Countdown like it’s 1999

Well, here we are again! I am sensing polite smiles all around as we buckle up for yet another edition of Countdown. Honestly, the thinking behind this was similar to the previous pine cones. Not sure of the time I’d have, it was really just something I thought I could chip away at in short bursts without taxing my brain too much. It would just be a case of modifying my previous attempt, looking at the early nineties set.


This time, we’re in 1999, a happy time just before the millennium bug would come along and change life as we know it, blowing up all of our computers and pulling planes from the sky. Or, perhaps, not so much. Thankfully. I understand much was done behind the scenes to alleviate any potential issues, but, as a child at the time, all I remember is the media doing a good job of putting the fear of God into us. Some things don’t change, huh, or maybe it was a godsend that we all bought our Y2K-compliant watches, calculators and underwear. All this being said, I can’t have let it get to me that much, as my memories of that Christmas and New Year are entirely happy. I guess that’s how it should be when you’re seven.

Besides the obvious switch to indigo lighting, the main set really hasn’t changed much; some minor adjustments to the backdrop, and some new textures, but that’s about it. It was really a test to see how much I could do to clean up the clock’s ‘wings’ without having to redo them, because I remember they were quite the pain and I can barely even remember how I did it anyway.

cd1999-011aNew letters and numbers area! Clearly, they were going mad with the budget at this point – they might have even gone into triple figures throwing the lights in over here. The boards are the same as before, just modified, but the backdrop and numbers tray are completely new.

cd1999-010aIf you’re not a fan of the colour scheme – maybe you’d prefer it if it were blue daba dee daba die – here’s an attempt at recreating the credits, with the flashing lights and bright orange:

cd1999-lightsI feel like Countdown – with a warm presenter, at least – is a programme perfect for this time of year, whether you’re snowed in, dumfungled or just feeling lazy. Essentially a parlour game, friendly and unquestionably familiar, it seems to chime with much of the Christmas spirit of tradition. That would doubtless explains why, these days, the Christmas break is about the only time Channel 4 don’t show Countdown! It didn’t used to be this way, though; I remember when the grand final was screened on Christmas Day itself, indeed 1999 being one such year. I know it’s not as popular as it used to be, and Nick Hewer is so dour that he cannot be relied upon to big things up, but I do miss the finals actually having a sense of occasion. Ah well. I suppose hidden-away-at-two-o’clock Countdown is better than no Countdown at all.

70 comments
  1. Love this! Wonderfully done! 😍And I remember Y2K… it was such a nonevent in the end, but the days leading up to it were an incredible countdown! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Charlie! And indeed. I remember some computers’ dates changing wrongly, but that’s about it. Well done to the clever people who were working on it, I guess!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great, I’ve never seen Countdown so wouldn’t know it looked right compared to the real set or not but nevertheless – it looks RIGHT 😁

    Oh, and by the way – Eiffel 65 πŸ‘½

    Nice touch to have references that fly over some heads πŸ’™

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Cheers, Steve. Never?!?! Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor! I dread to think how many Countdowns I’ve seen over the years, though it has been a while since I last tuned in.

      Haha, glad someone enjoyed the reference. I thought 1999 and, besides Y2K, it was the first thing that came into my head! That’s probably because it was ubiquitous and… somewhat repetitive, to understate things rather.

      Like

      • Never. Yeah. I’ve led a sheltered life πŸ˜‚

        Y2K was the easiest money I’ve ever earnt. Got paid just under a grand just for leaving my phone on and being “available”.

        Got called, but only to tell me I wasn’t needed and I could stand down. Still got paid!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Ha, brilliant! I can’t imagine how many Eiffel 65 CDs that amount could buy πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Evan Millerchip said:

    Hello Jay, I love this!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Your welcome, I do countdown things too, hope you don’t mind, I used your oldest countdown clock back on the first video to the mongrelvids channel.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re wing set is truly astonishing. I’ve said it to you before on YouTube, but it really is. Also, it’s me caydrew from YouTube.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Woops, I used the wrong form of “you’re”. I meant your lol.

      Like

      • Jacob said:

        Haha don’t worry, your not the only one to do that πŸ€ͺ And thank you again! It’s not perfect but I’m happy with it for now πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha. It is perfect, don’t be silly! It looks identical to the real thing. Seriously! I wish I could do what you do, but I just do my sets on ROBLOX Studio, which is another game engine you might of heard. I just can’t quite do the wings. I might try Blender, but I doubt it would be as good as yours – you use C4D! I’m fairly happy with the main set I use right now, so I suppose there’s no need for Blender – yet. Anyway, I’ll be looking forward to your future YouTube videos, they amaze me every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      I hear that. The wings are by far the most challenging aspect of any Countdown set. It took ages to build them originally back in 2017 and I’m still tweaking them now.

      I’ve never used it but Blender looks like powerful software, and it’s free which is nice. I’d say it’s worth a shot whenever you feel ready.

      Thanks again for your kind words and support, I really appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve heard somebody say that it is difficult but doable on ROBLOX, which is nice to hear.

        The only time I made use of Blender is to make the outer ring mesh for my clock. I also made a doughnut by following a tutorial lol.

        No problem. I also just realised I accidentally made a new comment instead of replying. I need to figure out how to use this lol. Hopefully this is a reply as it says “Cancel reply”.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Haha no worries! Ah, so you’ve had a look at Blender already. Perhaps you could try and make just the clock in there, shouldn’t be too hard πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I could probably give it a go – in fact – you’ve just brought me to do it lol. I doubt it would be good, but it’s worth the shot. πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Absolutely! Don’t go in expecting perfection, just see what happens and have fun πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. I’ll just be messing about with things and see what I can do, like what I did on ROBLOX. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Yes, looking good so far!

        Like

  6. Brandin said:

    hi jay! gave the wings set ago took about 2 hours coz trying to curve the wings and make them look as accurate was super difficult lol lmk what u think πŸ™‚ https://imgur.com/a/XetbyqZ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Ooh that’s looking pretty good! I know, it’s a nightmare getting the right shape and curvature.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        thanks jay πŸ™‚ yea it really is i have been trying to smooth it out and stuff but its really difficult to do considering roblox just doesnt like these types of things haha, although im still trying to figure out how to smoothen out the wings a bit as they are super pointy from up close although it will definitly be worth the extra hassle haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        hi jay just a follow up on how the wings are made are going. i gave it the christmas look and added the cameras (they will most likely be gone when i make the game) https://imgur.com/a/bTGRhU5 theres a few angles and a pic of the audience in there.
        was also wondering if u would be able to show a shot of the board the letter number boards and conundrums part so i could do it more accuratly. Hope you like it and thanks in advance πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        I love the Christmas trees! If you mean the boards for the orange set, I haven’t gotten around to making those. The others are shown in this post and the 1994 one.

        Like

      • Brandin said:

        Thanks! yeah i did mean the orange ones but its alright i can go of this posts one πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        hi jay got another update for ya i tried the letters board https://imgur.com/a/DbcOXrd i also added some other things such as lighting and stuff. i gave the letters board a shot unfortunatly every time i tried to make the wings on it i just couldnt do it right so i kinda took the easy option although i will most likely try again sometime in the future lol. and thanks for not getting bored of me talking all the time haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        hey again jay i have another update for u in the form a static shot https://imgur.com/a/Dvywgiz
        i tried to make the actual desk which i think turned out good enough lol i also added the thing above the clock (i realise that it has to be higher up) but yeah thats all thats changed really. if u have any feedback lemme know πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Hi, yes looking good πŸ™‚ Yes, the Countdown sign could be a little higher and larger. Are you going to add the “cradle” underneath the clock? No idea how hard that would be in this app but it would add a lot to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        thanks, yeah it is a bit difficult but i have had a few goes at it but each time it looks thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top, i hope to someday get it correct

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Jay, its me caydrew again – just wondering if you could send some pictures of your wing set numbers and letters board so I know what they look like as I am planning on recreating them on ROBLOX? Many thanks, and it doesn’t matter if you can’t πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Hi, what do you mean specifically? There are already pictures of the boards in my posts.

      Like

      • I should’ve worded it better – I meant like a close up shot of the boards. You don’t have to if you don’t want to especially if it is a hassle to get them. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that’s it! Thanks a bundle Jay!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve seen that one, but totally forgot about it haha – I’ll have a look at that again too.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Brandin said:

    hey jay random question, but would u be able to take an above view of the set im trying to figure out how the curve works with the wings

    Like

    • Jacob said:

      Here it is, not sure how accurate it is though.

      Like

      • Brandin said:

        thanks i got it a bit better than what mine was originally as mine was alot more wider. Also you know the wooden set do you perhaps have any idea how the audience was seated as i cant seem to find anything and trying to place seats without seeing them in the studio is tricky

        Like

      • Brandin said:

        nvm i figure out the audience although be it difficult i kinda got a reference from the end credits

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Oh, good. I don’t know how the audience seating looked in those days anyway, but I would have just guessed the same as the wing set.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        i did this as from the credits and intro the seats were really close to the main part of the set https://imgur.com/a/lzpRMqF i did add more seats in the back incase but hey its always gonna be a guessing game for this one

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, this should be helpful. I just can’t seem to get the wings curvature correct. It might just be Roblox limitations though. I’ll give it another go.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Good luck! It’s very hard without a nice reference shot. I feel like they should probably have the same curvature as the back of the stage, but it looks okay through the cameras. And I really can’t face messing with them too much!

        Like

      • I don’t know how you did your wings set, but they exactly look like the real thing! They’re just a bit confusing for me personally.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        That looks good so far πŸ™‚

        Like

  9. Brandin said:

    hi jay! been doing some updates to my wings set and i think it looks more like the real thing (i hope) heres some pics of it https://imgur.com/a/4regzMt lemme know what u think πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Wow, yes it’s coming along really well. Nice work!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Adam Beach said:

      Oh wow Brandin. That’s looking great. Keep it up πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        thanks guys πŸ˜€

        Like

  10. Brandin said:

    hi jay, can u send the colour codes of the wings for this varient?

    Like

    • Brandin said:

      sorry if the way i asked sounds rude, i dont mean it too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        No worries!

        #787878 for the darker panels (which light up).
        #8E8E8E for the others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        thanks, im guessing to make it coloured you use some sort of lighting?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Correct, just like the real thing. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        ahh right, ive been just colouring the parts then putting point lights for the more brighter parts

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Whatever works for you! If you have separate files for each version of the set then that’s fine. Besides the authenticity, I did it like that because it’s quicker than switching textures.

        Like

      • Brandin said:

        funnily enough ive not done that, mainly due to the fact that i havent gotten the colouring right so i usually dont ever feel happy with them, ill make sure to start saving them when i get the colours correct. ah right texturing on roblox studio is alot simpler due it having built in textures to just slap on the parts so i usually just use concrete textures

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        That sounds wise. Actually I’m reminded of another reason why I tried to keep them in one file: tweaking bits of the set. When I made those clock videos last year, I ended up branching off into separate files for 1994, 1999 etc. and I kept forgetting about little tweaks I’d made to one but not the other.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        yeah, usually thats the best bet is too keep them in the same file till your done with the tweaks, heres my current wings and this also shows what i mean by just colouring parts https://imgur.com/a/fx7SdSe with the lighting i went off pictures of your set as the ones of the actual set are lower quality, the thing i struggle with is the tiny lights on the wings themselves, do you have any advice of going around doing it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Well, I’m not sure if it’s any help for Roblox but mine are lights, cloned and aligned to a spline:

        It was a lot quicker than say, placing them individually, but still a pain!

        Like

      • Brandin said:

        ah right, i knew i was doing something wrong. i was placing the lights to high up im pretty sure, ill give them a go now and ill let you know if i get anywhere with them

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brandin said:

        well the best i could get was this https://imgur.com/a/sJaU31w ill most likely put them on all the wings before making a full judgment but hopefully it looks good

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Yes, looks like a good start πŸ™‚

        Like

      • Brandin said:

        hi again, quick question. whats the colour of the light that shines on the clock for the 1994 set? just wondering incase the clock face also has a colour too

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        The clock is grey with spotlights pointed at it, same as the rest of the set. For 1994, I have #D75F3C lighting the whole clock and #E6C3BE in the centre.

        Liked by 1 person

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