Sigma 6

How to begin?… Basically it all began about two years ago with an idea. Then it became a script. And after a couple of unsuccessful attempts at obtaining funding, it niggled away in the back of my mind until I could no longer bear it and have therefore decided to go it alone and finally create my short film entitled SIGMA 6.

The class system presented in SIGMA 6 suggests a dystopian controlled culture to manage and satisfy the divided forms of human psyche. This monitors everything from breeding to occupation. However it also reveals an obvious dictatorship that shows no remorse for its citizens.

The film will follow one central character as she struggles to achieve a higher status in society. The overall look and feel of SIGMA 6 will change from the proletarians’ gritty underground world to the polished and carefully orchestrated system that resides above, to achieve a striking composition both visually and emotionally. With 3D software, I will completely design the spaces and objects I imagine for my virtual world.  This imagined world is not a copy of the reality we live in; rather the rendered environment will be obviously artificial.  I want to use the software to highlight the differences between a synthetic experience and real life. For instance, I want to experiment with perceptions of depth by including one or two objects which remain the same size or become smaller as the camera approaches them.  Additionally, I am considering disturbing the suspension of disbelief by making the walls within the virtual environment pulsate suddenly for a very short period of time.

I have taken an intensive course in Maya (3D animation software), completed some storyboards and re-written the script several times. (With the probability of several more re-writes as I go along). I have decided that working from home is not for me. Far too many distractions. I have found solace in the Mitchell Library and intend to go there 3-5 days a week. Today was my first day there and I spent far too long trying to get the lighting correct for the opening scene. Lighting is hard. (That’s not an excuse, it’s the truth. In the big studios you’d have a whole team of people whose sole jobs it is to light scenes.) Anyway, this is what I’ve come up with so far.

I’m still not happy with the way the fluorescent light looks. I had bump mapping difficulties… It doesn’t help that I’m trying to run Maya on my MacBook… If only I had a Quad Core G5…

You may wonder why I have decided to post the film’s progression publicly… Quite simple. As part of the intended exhibiting of the short film, this blog (and other things) will hopefully provide a clearer understanding of the creation of the “world” I intend to construct in Maya. (It also gives me a chance to see what others think as well as personal reflection).

Apologies if my blog gets too technical. Hope it doesn’t put people off. Just putting it in on the off chance some genius will give me some advice. 😉

Sigma 6
This is a still showing the work in progress for my film 'Sigma 6'.

(originally posted 27.04.2010 on


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