The Exigency: a feature-length animated film made in Poser

Mar 13, 2019 at 10:00 am by nemirc

The Exigency

Are you the kind of person that would spend 12 years on a project? What does it take to actually work on such a long project? I'd say it takes a lot of passion and a certain level of insanity.

Cody Vibbart is doing just that: The Exigency is a feature-length animated movie, made in Poser, Bryce and After Effects (among other things), and it has taken 12 years to complete.

Cody began working on The Exigency in 2006. At that point, the movie was titled “Sleeping Giant” and it was being made using the base Poser 4 figures. However, a couple of years later the plan changed, as he decided to upgrade the content.

If you are familiar with Poser, then you know you can't simply “swap” a character, since there are big rigging and proportion differences between the old P4 content and the newer content. That meant having to re-do everything again.

At some point, during 2008-2009, working on this movie became his full-time job, spending long hours working on his project. As someone who has worked long hours on a long project, I can relate. However, my projects have never been longer than two and a half years, and I can't imagine myself working on the same project for 12 years.

On his website, he has a clip of “Sleeping Giant,” the movie that would eventually become The Exigency. The clip is actually 10 minutes long, and, as someone who has worked in Animation for a long time, I can tell you 10 minutes may sound like a short clip, but they take a lot of work to produce.

From what you can see in the 10-minute clip (and the images on the website, of course), it's an alien-invasion science-fiction film.

The film opens with the protagonist, Kyle, as he is driving to an office building to meet with someone. A few minutes later, an alien invasion happens and everything becomes chaos, as the aliens begin to shoot everything in sight.

What will happen next? We'll find out when the movie releases.

Unfortunately, Poser is not the best when it comes to character animation, so the limitations of the software really show. I'm not talking about the “technique” or “principles” of animation. I'm talking about basic things that Poser doesn't handle well, like interpolations and some rotations.

Poser tools are pretty bad, and they haven't been updated in ages (they already felt bad by the time I used Poser for the first time), so I can only imagine Cody having to do extra work by fixing all the interpolation and issues produced by animated elements in Poser.

Knowing how a software works, and thus, how much extra work you have to put gives a different perspective.

After watching “Sleeping Giant,” I think upgrading the assets was the best choice.

Newer Poser characters look better and more natural. Obviously they will not look photorealistic because it takes a lot of work to make something realistic-looking in Poser (not to mention the long render times), but they are still a welcome change over the base P4 figures.

You could argue they still look dated for today's standards, but, as the filmmaker says, he's more interested in telling a story than in getting everything to look perfect.

There's no information about when and how the movie will be released. Cody says it will be finished soon.

If you want to keep up with the updates, you can join his mailing list so you are notified when the movie is released.

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