Category Archives: VFX

Sector 42 – The Space Movie

Three girls on a routine space mining mission in Sector 42 encounter an unknown intelligence. What will it mean to the Corporation? What will it mean to humanity?

Our amateur movie project that began as an idea on January first is finally complete! It’s been five months of long nights in the basement but it was truly a terrifically fun experience and Ken and I had a great time doing it all with our daughters.

We hope that you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

We also enjoyed writing about it, so if you’re interested in the making-of, you’ll find our stories here:

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Making a Space Movie – File Management

During our five month adventure we created over 50 thousand files. To be fair, the movie was three minutes long at 24 frames per second and at some point every frame was saved as a separate file so even if we only created each frame once that is over 4,300 files. That would have been nice to create each frame once but we created each segment multiple times. The estimate of 50 thousand is probably low. Dave and I needed to come up with a system to manage the files as well as share them between us while we worked on the movie. Dave was working on a Windows machine and I had a Mac. We each kept our own file structure that worked for us. Dave set up a google share drive that we would use to send files back and forth. Some files were as large as 150Mb. My file structure contained separate folders for potential source material such as sounds, graphics, and poster ideas. Almost every graphic element was created by us. Some of the elements such as the logos and star fields were made in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop so they have their own folders.

Beam Up Test

The original footage was kept in one folder and the frames from each segment of the movie, as well as the completed video, audio, and animation, segments in others. I see a few folders in there with example frames for problems that we were working through such as image quality, masking, color grading and test footage. An early test included beaming my daughter out of our basement.

Making a Space Movie – Live Action

Post-production for the asteroid-themed space thriller (trailer) starring our daughters continues. It’s finally time to put the girls into the shot and the whole live-action thing is certainly the hardest part. In this episode, we’ll go over the live-action shoot and incorporation of the live footage into the 3D set!

On the set with the talent (and Dave)
On the set with the talent (and Dave)

Continue reading Making a Space Movie – Live Action

Making a Space Movie – Exteriors

We’re making a film trailer for an asteroid-themed space thriller starring our daughters and while it completes post-production, I’m telling the story!

Once the interior set was mostly complete, we turned our attention to the exterior shots of space. We’ll start with the starship model and its original metallic-flake candy paint, as well as go over how we made all the tiny little asteroids.

The Artemis, a brave little scout ship in well-lit space
The Artemis, a brave little scout ship in well-lit space

Continue reading Making a Space Movie – Exteriors