VFX Breakdown: Town Extension

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There’s a small engine behind the prop train in this shot which pushes the locomotive forward. Removing it required replacing the horse that runs behind it. I grabbed a time-offset translated version of horse for the replacement.

We had a number of photographs and plates of tents and people which we used to extend the town both on screen left and right.

At this point in the story, they crew building the railway should not have reached the mountain range we see in the distance. I translated the the sky down below the horizon to remove them.

Lastly, an artist generated particle smoke for the train. A live smoke element was used in other areas of the shot.

VFX Breakdown: Forest Fire

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The 3D tracker in Nuke did an okay job on this shot, though it took a little more time to get a good track. Although the resulting point cloud sticks well, it’s distribution never matched a real world camera move.

I sampled four different forest fire elements from National Archive footage and projected stabilized versions of them on to cards to use with the tracked camera.

The larger smoke plumes are actually still frames with 3D luminosity based animated distortion to give it a faked sense of movement.

Lastly, the reflection in the lakes was a second flopped render of the same element masked into place.

Trailheads Promo for the NSMBA

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This video features some fun motion graphics integrated into a promotional video for the NSMBA.

Each “trail head” image was composited together from stills. Instead of manually adding accelerating cuts between these composits, each image initially had the same duration. The acceleration in duration of each image was achieved using a time warp – this saved me a lot of editing time and allowed me to make a very accurate acceleration curve.

Spinning the NSMA wheel on their logo was completed entirely in 2D using components of their original logo. The basic concept was to remove the perspective, animate the rotation of the wheel, and add the perspective back in. With motion blur on and a camera fly-through, the result looks pretty cool.


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Client BrownArtConsulting Inc.
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Features Contemporary Art News blog with private galleries for clients.
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