About STATIC – A VFX Short Film:
“STATIC” is a story of a man who is subject to haphazard glimpses of the future as he walks around the city he lives in. His visions contain elements that could be decades or even centuries in our probable future.
Though he sees himself as somewhat of an outcast due to his ability, he feels a responsibility to warn his fellow human beings of the course we may be taking and the only way to determine the path we take is to examine the choices we make in our present.
General Production Notes:
I only discovered the AEAF Awards in early April 2015 and once I saw the deadline for submissions was May 30th 2015 I knew I’d be spending every minute I had between now and then to create the absolute best VFX entry
I could possibly produce in the short amount of time I had before deadline. The concept and story line was decided on in the first 3 days. I then quickly moved on to filming around my hometown of Sydney, Australia. In the first 2 weeks I did a lot of filming in and around the city keeping my concept firmly in mind. After filming the majority of the plates I started basic composition and grading tests to determine the overall feel of the film. I then started work on all the scenes that required 3D elements and VFX. Motion tracking, modeling, rigging, texturing, animating, rendering and compositing took up a good part of the following 6 weeks. I ended up with 8 VFX scenes, 2 of which I felt didn’t reach my standards so were unfortunately cut from the final edit. The editing and several rounds of rendering took up the last week of production.
I wanted the transitions from the video plates to the VFX to be as smooth and realistic as possible. I chose not to use camera mapping with still images as it didn’t give the dynamic “blurring of reality” feel I wanted the characters visions to have. I wanted to have some natural, live, moving elements that were in the footage remain in the VFX shots. For example the man in the alley and tourist on the train station. I also wanted control over the lighting to create the “cyberpunk” atmosphere I had envisioned. So instead I camera tracked all the scenes, rebuilt the scenes in 3D and then projected my live plate footage as a video texture onto the geometry. I then added lighting, my pure 3D characters and other elements into the set reconstruction, rendered
and composited it all together. I’m quite happy with the result. Having the ability to re-light the plate footage (some of which was shot in daylight) gave me the ability to create some striking effects and even control the time of day.