In this project, I worked as a VFX Supervisor and 3D Generalist.
My briefing was to create Twenty Five Visual Effects shots for a short film that was almost entirely filmed from a helicopter and drone.
The short film is called AquaVista and takes you on a journey through the Netherlands while you hang under a bird named the Grutto.
This film would be shown in an experience center that still needed to be built.
The idea was to create a 4D movie experience where viewers would lay under the Grutto while flying over these beautiful landscapes.
I was approached by In2Content with the task of consulting on some of their most challenging Visual Effects shots for this project.
To make sure those shots looked good in post-production, they needed the guidance of a VFX Supervisor on set.
As we worked out the shots there, we came to a nice breakdown of the shots and discovered we had some work to do.
To create 25 shots, we did character animation, tracking, match-move, particle FX, 3D scenery, and everything else we needed.
Most of these shots were taken from a helicopter or a drone. Since we worked with this drone, we had to close down parts of city centers in order to shoot safely.
Due to this, automatic tracking became nearly impossible due to heavy lens distortions and motion blur. It was challenging to capture the tracking shots, which were shot using a high-speed drone.
I loved the shots where the Grutto bird character was fully visible on screen.
Also, we cleaned up scenes and copied parts over, which worked well.
For this project, we had to match the lighting of the set to the CG elements.
I chose to take on set HDRIs, which are 360 images we can use for lighting our 3D elements to match the live-action footage.
We used a 360 camera to make this process a bit more efficient on set.
HDRI images came out perfect, and it was very helpful to get the character to match the scene lighting.
As it was starting up this project, the Experience Center still needed to be built.
The Afsluitdijk Wadden Center had a unique idea that would make visitors feel like they were flying through a movie on moving benches.
I don't know whether it was a time or safety concern in the end as the film was shown without the 4D experience.
This movie is built into a separate room for visitors to view the experience.
My first project working with In2Content's wonderful people led to many more projects over the years.
It was lovely working onset with the crew, and working out all these crazy plans.
And in the end, we create more than 25 Visual Effects shots in this fifteen-minute movie experience.