The Hunt for Red October

3d, cinema 4d, motion design, Motion Graphics, Movies

Sometimes you watch a movie and it inspire you to create something. That was what happened last year (2016) whan I watched for 4th time The Hunt for Red October. That I wanted to make something about it. So I dive into Pinterest to look for references, styles, etc and saved a board about Red October.


First I was looking for maps of the journey that the Red Octoberakes in the film. In the movie that journey is called “Route Red One”. The submarine departures from Polijarny Naval Base near Murmanks, URSS.



After having found the picture above, I was looking for maps. So I found this website David Rumsey where they have scanned old maps at high resolution. There I downloaded some maps.


Reference Maps

Searching for maps, I discovered bathymety maps. So I search again about the subject. I thought that cold be great to try something with bathymetry. But using it in a way that can create something different. So, I found this images.

I found that wonderful tables, made of wood and glass, representing the bathymetry levels. I also found carboard bathymetry levels. So I decide to create something similiar to carboard, but in 3D.

I wanted to create a view from the top of the sea, and after, a view from under the sea. So I jump into Cinema 4D to test. And I came with this render. There is not postproduction in the frame.


First render test.

I introduce the following picture into Illustrator to trace the map.


Map for trace.


Traced map in Illustrator.

Once I traced the map. I can load it into Cinema 4D to start creating the 3D levels, texturing, lighting, etc.


Final frame from After Effects.

There is a part of the film in which the Red October arrives to a fictional canyon. It is called Thor’s Twins. It has two grand columns at the entrance, so I wanted to recreate that. The process for that, was to take screenshots from the film. In the film they show maps inside the Red October. In that maps you can see the lines (in red) that limits the submarine’s maneuver


Screenshot from the film.


Screenshot from the film.


After a research through internet about the Red October design, I found that it is a real submarine classified as Typhoon. One of the biggest in the world. Actually only 2-3 are left in service. For the movie the submarine was changed a little bit. Here I found a great review about the submarine.

After all the research phase, I started to trace maps in Illustrator. after that, I went to Cinema 4D to create the levels. in the next video I show you the Cinema 4D scene. All levels where aligned by hand.

Before start the renderd phase, I make some preview animations of all cameras, I load them into Premiere and I start the editing phase. It was so good that I made this because I can save a lot of render time knowing what amount of frames to render. Following you have the editing preview before rendering


It was rendered with the Cinema 4D’s Physical Render for the almost all, and with Sketch&Toon rendered for the grid lines above. I used the Take System in Cinema 4D to have in the same scene both elements, the ons that were goint to be rendered with Physical Render, and the ones that were going to be rendered with Sketch&Toon.

After that I jump to After Effects to make some color correction, add 16mm grain. Then I loaded all After Effects compositions through Dynamic Link and rendered them out from Premiere. And here you have the result.



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