The Morlocks are watching !

By François O. Beaulieu

Butch Fleischer's first efforts in computer imaging began back in 1996 with his discovery of Bryce 3D, a popular 3D imaging program. He had no idea at the time that his newly developing talent was going to one day lead him to create CGI renderings based on one of his favourite movies, The Time Machine. Butch had first seen George Pal's classic movie at eight years of age when it first came out in 1960 and this wonderful movie made a lasting impression on him, one which remained over a lifetime.

In 2004, Butch discovered Carrara, a versatile 3D program that led him to further refine the quality of his work. After a few years working with it, he came up with the idea of creating a series of interfaces for the LG Dare cellphone that he owned. And it is at that point that Butch's childhood memories of The Time Machine resurfaced. It came upon him to try and incorporate the dish from Pal's classic Time Machine into a dial on one of his interfaces. Butch's Website

It is this preliminary concept that incited Butch to search for further clues as to the design of Pal's Time Machine, which he fondly remembered from so long ago. Indeed, after the successful recreation of the Machine's dish, he figured he might as well recreate the whole Machine !

He began by searching the internet for images and then watched the DVD attentively, looking for key frames from which to do screen grabs to use as guides. But Butch did not want to only replicate the Machine, he also wanted to put it in context. And what better context could there be but the Sphinx ?

He worked on the renderings of the Machine over two weeks and completed them in mid-August 2010. He then took another week to reproduce the Sphinx.

When I came across his website last July, I contacted him about a write-up on his work. To my delight, Butch not only agreed enthusiastically, but also suggested creating several new renderings as well as a video clip.

Over the following weeks, he sent me various links to his renderings and video tests. I honestly expected the clip to be a very simple animation showing the dish in motion, but what Butch came up with instead turned out far more elaborate and inventive. In fact, it was nothing short of amazing !

There were three preliminary versions of the video animation before his final one. After his first version, a few suggestions I made were incorporated into his subsequent one. But Butch still had a few more surprises up his sleeve. It was fascinating to see the concept evolve, especially when, in the third version, he came up with the idea of showing the Machine travelling in time and then, in the final version, he incorporated Morlocks into the background - an idea which might sound simple enough but which took quite a number of hours to implement. Butch put an enormous amount of effort into this animation and hopes that his fellow Time Machine enthusiasts will enjoy it !

Below are examples of his various rendering of The Time Machine:

You may see more of Butch's Time Machine images on his website.


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The Time Machine Project 1998 Don Coleman
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