Digital sculpting programs have revolutionized the process of modeling highly detailed 3D objects. WE SUPPORT INDIETweet us your film, comic book, game, or crowdfunding project and we will retweet. Email us your project details and we will write a post about it with links to your crowdfunding page.
With the advent of digital special effects, however, films like this have become cheaper to make, and more realistic on screen, which ultimately results in even more bum’s-on-seats.
In both films, scientists discover that an asteroid is heading for earth, and it’s not the kind the size of a basketball. With both films using this template to tell a story, one could reasonably ask what the difference between them is. Tea Leoni is the investigative reporter who uncovers the conspiracy by the White House to keep the imminent destruction of Earth under wraps until the last possible moment. Maxmillian Schell is Leoni’s father, who happens to be dating a girl a third his age (much to his daughters chagrin) and her mother is fast becoming a raging alcoholic.
Wood, while ensuring we all keep staring at those enormous blue eyes of his, lacks the real emotive quality in this film to create audience empathy, although he does try hard. The special effects are state of the art for 1998, which means that compared to current technical achievements, they no longer stand up.
With all it’s faults, Deep Impact is still a fairly good film, and tries hard to provoke some sort of discussion as to what would actually happen should these types of events occur.
With a cast of quasi-stars (including Michael Clarke Duncan in his first major screen role, Steve Buscemi and the William Fichtner) and some real A-listers (like Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler, as well as a before-he-was-famous Owen Wilson) Armageddon is an exercise in patience and attention span.
Now, at this point, I must let you know that Armageddon was, for a long long time, my all-time favourite film. But where Deep Impact was more stately in its style, Armageddon is like throwing footage into a blender and hoping it turns out okay. Of course, with the man behind Bad Boys and The Rock at the helm, you’d hardly expect anything else. The thing about Armageddon is that at no point does it ever pretend to be anything except what you see on screen. So which film is the more entertaining: the more emotive Deep Impact, or the hysterical antics of Affleck and Willis in Armageddon? Normally detesting these kinds of bios, Rodney’s keen love of film more often outclasses his ability to write convincingly about them.
Never blessed with a body worthy of a porn star, nor being the heir to a wealthy industrialists fortune, nor suffering the tragedy of having his parents murdered outside a Gotham theater, Rodney is, contrary to popular opinion, neither Ron Jeremy, JD Rockefeller, or Batman.
As a serious appreciator of film since 1996, Rodney’s love affair with the medium has continued with his online blog, Fernby Films, a facility allowing him to communicate with fellow cineasts in their mutual love of all things movie. Quest' opera e distribuita con licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Condividi allo stesso modo 3.0 Unported. The lack of any non-destructive sub-division levels makes it extremely diminishes its use-value. There are even workarounds a modeler can do like convert the tesselated object using a modifier. Join up to receive the latest news, tuts, freebies, deals and tips on media production and digital marketing. As a sure fire way of getting bums-on-seats in the cineplexes, the destruction (or imminent destruction) of our home-world is up there with the best car chase films and shoot-em ups. Earthquake, War of the Worlds, heck, even Plan Nine From Outer Space all talked about world shaping events. In the mid nineties, films such as Independence Day reinvented the end-of-the-world genre and gave it a more modern pop-culture twist.
This, plus the pressure of a rise in rank as new presenter on MSNBC, ensures Leoni is stressed for the majority of the film. Curmudgeonly astronaut Robert Duvall goes along for the ride on the rocket to space, to plant the bomb in the asteroid.
The water flooding effects are below par, and reminiscent of stuff seen in The Day After Tomorrow. In the place of emotion and a sense of drama, Armageddon is an overblown, histrionic action film, barrelling through it’s 150 minute runtime with scant regard for logic or reason. Not for any sense of greatness, it’s just that Armageddon is such a fun viewing experience, you cannot help but smile at the sheer stupidity of it all.


The editing is rambunctious, perhaps due to the fact about half the editing population of Hollywood worked on this film, which equates to a rather uneven and discombobulating affair overall.
Michael Bay is the gold standard of slick, cinematic directors who throw caution to the wind and simply enjoy entertaining people. Well, truth be told, I find Armageddon more watchable more often, a sign that as a film, it’s more entertaining. Simple enough but Maya’s sculpting tool is extremely problematic when you are working on highly detailed organic models, which is extremely annoying because this is when a sculpting tool is most appropriate. The whole goal of using sculpting tools would be to achieve a level of control over geometry that traditional mesh editing lacks. Blender has the ability to add a modifier to a base mesh, allowing the modeler to manipulate the base mesh at a projected higher poly count. The multiresolution mesh modifier or standard sculpt mode offers great features and flexibility.
Going back to Blender development being so quick to improve I feel that a dyntopo function with quad capabilities is not so far off. These were the kind of films audiences wanted to see, something that was out of the realms of possibility and utterly nonsensical that they could enjoy, and forget about later on.
Then, during the summer of 1998, two films came out that, for some reasons, were almost entirely identical. Leder’s grasp of action is perhaps a little lacking, although she did tackle the big scales in The Peacemaker, a far better film than most critics would agree upon. Unfortunately for Tea Leoni, I have never found her to be a great actress, and this film was meant to be her starring role after minor success in Bad Boys.
Of course, science gets a bit wobbly along the way during the outer space bits, and these logical leaps are understandable.
Generally, the tension created as the Earth is partially obliterated is quite decent, however these below par effects now mitigate any sense of awe and wonder. Of course, this is typical of Michael Bay’s earlier work, something he tries hard to minimise in more recent fare such as The Island and Transformers.
The opening destruction sequence is awesome, New York being pulverised into oblivion by the smaller debris raining through the sky. At no point do they try and confront an audience with something shocking, they simply rely on their talent to bring a level of excitement to the screen to give the audience a few hours of escapist fare. The more fulfilling one, however, would have to be Deep Impact, which evolves characters and emotions, unlike it’s more shallow, carbon-copy characterised cousin. Maya offers a sculpting tool for its standard mesh editing, but it is not a true sculpting function. You are left with ┬áhaving to model a single side or repeatedly delete one side and keep updating the duplicate. There is nothing the sculpt tool in Maya offers that can not be done quicker and easier than using soft select and transformations.
If you get into the tens of thousands with Maya the viewport lag makes it impossible to model anything.
With other animation apps development is often times kept in the dark, over-exaggerated, or left to speculation. You can even piggy back off of ZBrush’s community as the same textures applied to a ZBrush brush can be applied to a Blender brush. This keeps the GUI viewport extremely fast and allows Blender artists to work with a much more detailed object with out lag. Most of these films were big budget affairs, using the major film stars of the time in sprawling, epic story-lines bordering on the masochistic. For me, Armageddon is perhaps the more re-watchable film, a brain-emptying logic defying artefact that just astounds with its stupidity each time you watch.
But her sense of awe and enormity is superb, perfectly capturing the staggering sense of disbelief that humanity would feel should this type of thing ever actually happen.
Frodo… er, I mean Elijah Wood takes on the role of the discoverer of the meteorite, representing the youth of today, and the hope for mankind through his selfless actions. Bruce Willis is the square jawed leader of a pack of deep sea oil drillers who are called upon by their government to save the earth by dropping a bomb into an oncoming asteroid.
During the course of the film, Paris gets annihilated as well, in one of the movie’s best sequences.
Many deride Bay as simply a cipher for masochistic imagery bordering on sexist cinema-porn (shots for the sake of doing so, with virtually no redeeming cinematic value whatsoever) however this is perhaps being a little too overreaching for the man.


The cast are all expendable to the extreme, with plenty of emotion charged deaths coming at you thick and fast.
Thankfully, though the world did not really end with either of these films, and we can live to fight another day as a species. We started this comparison keeping money out of the equation (Maya is expensive and Blender is open-source). Mostly, the effects were state of the art models, with the use of computers still a long way off even in the late 80’s.
A few months later, Armageddon, the Michael Bay directed shout-fest, emerged onto the market with an identical plot contrivance, and managed to be even more profitable than Deep Impact could have hoped for. Deep Impact, while perhaps being slightly more cerebral, is less about the asteroid strike and more about the build-up before it. The cast are well chosen, with little stunt casting (unlike Armageddon) and the people involved feel real, in the most unreal scenario imaginable. His girlfriend (Leelee Sobieski, who had previously tempted Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut) is rather reticent to take off with him and save herself, preferring to stay with her doomed family. This was brought to bear in the exception that proves the rule; her role in Spanglish was an example of her talent put to great use. Only they have the skills required to drill deep enough into the asteroid to ensure success, however, the unruly gang of reprobates are obviously in dire need of psychotherapy.
All throughout this, the American flag gets a fair waving, and the slo-motion bravado never ceases. But it’s all so slick, so tightly controlled, you hardly get a moment to really think about it. Blender’s track record of keeping development transparent means that they can trusted with what features are being focused on. This is exactly how ZBrush works with its resolution levels, however, Blender does not work in 2.5D space, and it can not get as detailed as ZBrush.
While most audiences pondered Hollywood’s ability to produce two almost identical films within the same calendar year (and almost even within the same calendar month!), they were also excited to be able to take in two slightly different takes on the end of the world. After drilling a hole into it, you drop a nuclear weapon down the middle and run away fast.
Humanity’s disparate and desperate efforts to survive are explored in Deep Impact, and what it would be like to make some really, really hard decisions.
From the moment of discovery of the asteroid, to the moment when part of it strikes the Earth, and the cataclysm that follows, are all profoundly moving in the context of the film, and the cast plays it utterly straight. The President, Morgan Freeman, is resoundingly solid in his efforts to minimise panic, ensuring prices are fixed, there is no looting or hoarding.
Nevertheless, Leoni is supposed to be the lead in this film, and it tells of her inability to shoulder the responsibility. Duvall is about the classiest actor on the screen, and he tries valiantly to increase the sincerity of all involved, but it’s a fruitless effort overall.
None of his films carry a hidden message that isn’t already on the movie poster or in the trailer. Meanwhile, down on Earth, various smaller bits of asteroid strike the planet, putting into context the potential damage to be done should the large rock make landfall.
The President has the undesirable duty of ensuring that humanity survives, although minimal mention is made of anybody outside the US.
He manages to capture a sense of urgency and histrionic overacting within his camera-work that would put Brett Ratner to shame. The fact that Deep Impact excludes the rest of humanity for the bulk of it’s runtime ends up ensuring anybody outside America feels slighted is a little far-sighted, considering that Spielberg was a producer here. Unlike the sturdy hand of Mimi Leder, who would go on to direct Pay It Forward and pretty much ruin her chances of directing anything a-list again. Leder’s sure hand manages to reflect the drama and sense of purpose within her film, while Bat resorts to flashy moves and angles to get his point across.



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