Master Race trailer

Posted Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 12:14 AM

I have many friends on the fringes of the movie industry. Most of us are just doing this kind of stuff for fun, with some hope we'll do it for a profession somewhere along the line. A couple of us are actually in the thick of it. Cameron Smith works as a compositor for WETA in New Zealand. He's worked on Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Fantastic Four: Silver Surfer, Enchanted, The Water Horse, and Prince Caspian. Peter Roberts is working in the props department of local productions like Charlotte's Web, and Band of Brothers: Pacific. And perhaps most famously, Justin Dix has worked in various creative Departments of big productions like the Star Wars prequels, Storm Warning, Rogue, and, of course, that effects masterpiece, Gates of Hell.

Well, Justin has been trying to get his own feature film off the ground for many years, but hasn't had a lot of luck with it so far. Various ideas have been developed, including a Zombie Western, or one based on Red Riding Hood, but his first big idea was called Master Race, about alien technology adapted by the Nazis during WWII. Over time he has gathered together a lot of preproduction work to show the storyline to potential investors, including the storyboards I have drawn up for it, and filming some footage for a teaser trailer. That trailer has remained incomplete for some time, the visual effects never having been completed. So I've volunteered to finish them up for him, now that I have the talents, skills, and software, to do it.

Here's what I did today. The man in the shot was filmed in front of greenscreen. The rest of the image is my own work, a 3D model of a hangar rooftop, and a matte painting for the distant background. With some compositing work, including: removing the greenscreen (keying); adding depth of field blur; adjusting the colour; and adding in a subtle reflection of the man in the metallic roof panels.

I'm very happy with this work. I think it's quite convincing. Unfortunately, the image I am working with here is low resolution and badly marred with artefacting, but the original video files should hopefully be coming in my direction soon so we'll see how it looks after I add that in.

When I was first asked to do some of this job, four years ago, I really didn't know what I was doing. Here's my first effort at the modelling and rendering I attempted way back then.

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