TRON (1982) Demo



  • edited April 2019

    @FilmSensei @Triem23 they appear to occur at a distance of every 4.5 grid lines (reset after turns), and as the bikes can drive anywhere and not only on grid lines, or exact multiple of 1/2, 1/4 etc, the lines don't line up with the grids at all after a few turns. The 'fade to white' section seems to be 1.5 grid gaps long with the fade to white over only about half of that and the other half as 'normal' wall and is probably possibly(?) part of the bike design itself. Therefore the vertical line can appear where there was previously a 'normal' section of wall on the previous frame as the section on the end of the bike moves past and reveals it.

    Single step through it from 46 seconds in the clip Triem23 originally posted.

    Edit: They also mess with the grid size at 0.59 as the far bike has vertical lines at only 2.5 grid gaps and the bike is now only about 3/4 of a grid gap long instead of about 1.3 grid gaps long. Looks like they approximately doubled the size of the grid spacing.

  • @Triem23 @Palacono Wow! I never noticed it before. I guess I just didn't pay that close attention.

    Both the fade to white and height of the wall could be accomplished in the Lifetime Panel. Adding Gradients to Color and Scale I think would do the trick.

    Like I said, I think duplicating the Particle Sim and dropping down the Particle per Second number while changing the color would take care of the vertical lines.

  • edited April 2019

    @FilmSensei I was adding to my previous post as you replied, so note: they also cheat the grid size when they want to. Possibly to stop it looking too messy in close up shots?

    Also, my previous suggestion the fade is part of the bike is likely wrong, as they manage to turn corners and some fade does show on the bend. But then this was all done manually a frame at a time, so they could add/remove what they wanted, when they wanted to.  ;)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Yup. Copy the first wall particle sim, drop the pps, tweak the color, done. 

  • I think for the little sequence in my film, I might have to deal with each "trail" shot by shot...….as I still haven't blocked the scene as yet. But I'm getting incredible info here......thanks :)

  • @Palacono I'm really glad you mentioned this. I was just randomly creating my scene without actually looking at the original for reference. There is certainly a lot that I missed. The wheelbase of the bike seems to be about 1 grid square, and the bikes are travelling approximately 1/2 grid square per frame (23.976 frames per second). The wall does seem to emanate from the back tire, white in color, before turning to a color that sort of matches the bike color after about 1/2 grid square. The wall comes out of the back tire about the height of the tire, but then grows to the height of the bike, again after about 1/2 grid square. There are definitely vertical lines on the wall, and they do seem to be variable in distance to each other, but in general, we could go with one every 4.5 grid squares.

    Still, I don't think it would be too difficult to create this procedurally using the Particle Sim. Saving it as a template would allow you to quickly and easily create a Light Cycle scene that you could drop right into a video or movie.

  • I've said it once and I'll say it again...…'s such a wonderful, classic, historical piece of filmmaking :)

  • @WedgeOz I totally agree. I remember when it came out in the theaters. I was fourteen years of age. My buddy and I went to see it together, and we loved it! The movie lost money, but the arcade game is what made it profitable for Disney. I really liked "TRON: Legacy" also!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Love Tron. Totally doable in the particle sim - especially since @FilmSensei just provided a detailed breakdown. 

    That said, you're still going to end up using planes. All the walls left from "before now" should be planes since that's a lot less intensive than particles. That's fine since Paul has already laid out planes - he's got his mazes built  already. 

  • @Triem23 What you are saying makes a lot of sense. Planes to be used as walls should be included in any template that is built. In later shots, they could then be slotted in where previous Particle Sim generated walls were created in previous shots. The key would be in making sure that the Plane Walls match the Particle Sim Walls. That would definitely speed up render times, it would also allow you to go beyond the 60 second Particle Sim life limit, and you could drop the wall more easily when a light cycle is destroyed.

  • Wow, those clips are really cool. Can’t wait to see the short when it’s finished

  •  And to think most of the original film was hand painted to get those effects... Painstaking work.

  • edited April 2019

    I'm currently having a TRON helmet 3D printed for me by my brother. Have a guy in the USA making up a costume right now (for those of you that don't know, I'm in Australia) for scenes that he will film and send to me. Whilst I work out the "light cycle" sequence here. And have two actresses eagerly waiting to don spandex costumes to act out their scenes here.

    Nice participation from around the globe for fun of film making :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator


    I'm curious how much you're paying for the helmet. The original costumes used off the shelf hockey helmets with hand-modification, of course.

    Some point  where I don't leave for work in 10 min I'll discuss a theater production/fundraiser I worked on once called "A Very TRON Thanksgiving." Fun show, a few decent gags, and a few brilliant bits (I'm biased here - turned out by first rehearsal the team that was supposed to do the script was only five pages in, so I ended up writing most of it), and a lot of fluorescent paint on body suits with a lot of black light. 

    Kinda something I'd want to redo in video one day.

    One gag - our "light cycles" Were little Razer Scooters, and there was the scene on the "Information Superhighway" where our heroes were being honked at by all passing traffic for going too slow... 1982 code running in 2004? Yeah.

  • Ha! My little sequence will not have any "movie-like" TRON costumes unfortunately. My budget won't allow it. However, my brother will be 3D printing a couple of helmets for me to use which will look pretty much identical to the ones seen in the movie. Cost-wise, I pay him for the spools of filament he uses to create them. I think maybe less than $20 per spool? The costumes will just be spandex with a few effects thrown in to make them glow a bit.  I just want it to be familiar enough that people will see that it's a "TRON homage".

    Having said that...….I have a friend that lives in Washington who is always enthusiastic to appear in any of my little films, and right at this moment, he's designing a costume made from hockey helmets, body armor etc. I gave him carte blanche to design whatever he liked, as long as he appears "evil" He'll be the equivalent of "Sark" from TRON...though in his case his name shall be "Worm" :). Once again, I'll make splashes of VFX glows etc once he sends me all his footage.

    You'll have to keep me updated about that fundraiser thingy, and yes, video it one day if you can!

    By the way.....just between you and me...……..(and whoever reads this thread)……...I had a 90 minute phone chat with one of the actors from TRON last weekend :). Where we didn't talk about TRON at was very much a personal "need a friend to talk to" chat...….totally blew my mind! :)

  • @WedgeOz Wow! How about that for coincidence!

    @Triem23 That would be an awesome play to see!


    Adding Sark's Carrier to the sequence now. I'll insert my actor into the final shot (inside the bridge) later. This is the actor that will be sending me his footage from the USA, so it's going to be a bit of a slow process.

    I could have put much more detail into the Carrier (shadows, reflections etc....), but want to keep it looking like the 1982 graphics as much as possible (with only a few tweaks here and there) :)

  • @WedgeOz That looks fantastic!

  • Tis a beautiful model for sure :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

     Paul, looks amazing. Pretty spot on. Fun fact: TRON used a Phong shader, Hitfilm has a Phong shader... 

    @FilmSensei ah, the play. Thanksgiving, 2003. I don't have a script, or the video. Merely memories. Any video version would be rewriten for now, anyway. I remember many of the "good gags," and story beats. Among the best bits was the MCP being bored with corporate takeovers  and divesting into independent theater, the introduction of TRON as he fought off invading SPAM (not before spambots overwhelmed Jeeves and Yahoo), finding out this was TRON 23.11 build 2003 (beta) and TRON 1.0 was needed. 1.0 was very "GET OFF MY LAWN!" Light cycles have a max speed of 58,000 baud and aren't "street legal" for the information superhighway. "Cliff, what is this Thanksgiving you speak of?" "Look it up, Google, look it up..." The actor who played Google, in particular, was amazing! He made what were basically first-draft lines and made them sing. BIT was an actor in a black bodysuit with one of those origami "fortune tellers" with part of the inside colored in fluorescent pink (NO), the other green (YES).

    The utter cheapness was part of the charm. 

  • @WedgeOz ,

    This is awesome stuff right here. Awesome model, you made it look pretty good and it definitely looks better than the stuff in the original Tron flick. :) 

    Would you mind answering, what frame rate are you using? I see an almost back and forth or stuttering type thing going on in your camera animation. 

  • Hey @spydurhank ..............Just the average Frame Rate of 25fps. In fact, I have my Hitfilm software set at just the default start up. I've found my old PC accommodates this the best :). I have on occasion though set it for much higher renders (when people "hire" me to do VFX stuff for them), but for my little projects I stick to the default. My poor little PC appreciates


    Just an update on my "Tron Sequence" from my next film. Bits and pieces (this is why it looks disjointed), as I still have to insert a couple of actors....and still need to finish the  whole sequence. (Also, don't want to give away I'm about two-thirds of the way through. I appreciate all the feedback and tutorials about the light trails, and will be incorporating parts of all of them. For this video, I am using planes mostly..........and in the aerial shot, I incorporated an "extruded" image of a maze, made just from lines I drew with "Paint Box".......using masks to unveil each strip of the trail as the cycles went by. Still a whole lot to go!!

  • Holy !!!

    That is freaking fantastic. Love the moving reflections on the bikes and stuff.

    This is entirely way too good. The old Tron movie vfx don't stand a chance against this. 

  • Haha thanks mate! As much as I absolutely adore the original film and want to pay homage to it, Hitfilm's bag of goodies compels me to "update" it slightly :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Looking fantastic, Paul! 

  • Thanks buddy! :)

  • I agree. This is looking fantastic!

  • That looks absolutely stunning! Incredible work!

  • Once again...thanks guys! You're all too kind! :). I'll say it again, Hitfilm is the best "Big Boys Toy" ever! As Mark Hamill said as he hosted The Making Of The Empire Strikes Back TV Special..........."We're only limited by our own imagination" :)

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