VFX Breakdown: Shot from "Absolom" Sci-fi Short (WIP)

This is a quick VFX breakdown of a shot I’m currently working on for my personal sci-fi project (inspired by footage shot by Valentina Vee and used with permission). I still need to add a reflection to the side window in the main window, but I think I’m happy with the shot so far.

Adobe After Effects
Maxon Cinema 4D
VideoCopilot Element 3D, Orb

Music: Chivalry by Tea Time (purchased from PremiumBeat)

The nebula came from an asset pack called Interstellarium by Andy Dominique Rak.

Drone Camouflage Colour 3D Model by ElvinT (downloaded from TurboSquid)

The planet’s city lights were part of “Coruscant - Star Wars Planet Texture,” downloaded from CGTrader and created by ShinyMan.

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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keith_hamilton_vfx


Incredible! The reflection in the glass is so good! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

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The credit for the reflections goes to Valentina Vee, who graciously allowed me to “play” with the footage she shot for an Aputure video (https://youtu.be/qZKodXWOqCs). She made the decision to film the front window without a green screen behind it. It makes rotoscoping a pain, but it allows for some awesome reflections. And since she used black fabric, all I had to do was create a luma matte for the windows, place the pre-composed background above the footage, and set the blend mode for the background layer to Screen.


amazing work! I’m a sucker for space ships/space scenes. Thank you for sharing!

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Awesome shot!! Thanks for sharing!

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Great stuff!! Also totally digging the reflections :+1:
Camera tracking also in AE?

I tried tracking in AE and C4D, but the AE track turned out better. It was tricky because it was a tripod pan.

Interesting. Never tried C4D’s tracking. I usually use Syntheyes (torturous UI, but great results).

Yes - tripod tracks are a PITA…:slight_smile: They have so little parallax that a real 3D track is impossible but often just enough to have ugly sliding…

It helps if you parallax-calibrate the camera rig before the shoot = finding the no-parallax position for the camera by panning left/right while watching two sticks/stands positioned in considerable distance in front of the camera and then adjusting the front-to-back position of the cam until the two sticks always line up…

It took some finessing to get the track to look as it does. Not perfect, but I didn’t want to spend too much time on it. It’s good enough for my purposes.

I’ll have to remember what you said about parallax calibration if I’m involved in something like this in the future. The purpose of the video this footage came from was a lesson on lighting a scene more than shooting for VFX.

I love it! Great tracking work too!

This shot is super sick! The reflections in the windshield are a really nice touch.