How to film a model rocket like Apollo 13! | Miniature plus After Effects tutorial

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Here’s our tutorial on how we recently tried to recreate a budget version of the launch sequence from Ron Howard’s 1995 film “Apollo 13” starring Tom Hanks (famous for “Huston, we have a problem”!)

Digital Domain created the original shots in the film using vary large miniatures and motion control. they composited these with real plate photography of Cape Canaveral as backgrounds, pyro elements and CGI.

I’m always trying to experiment with very ambitious filmmaking effects on a serious budget, so we attempted to recreate these sorts of shots in our studio using a green screen, a slider and gimbal to do any camera movements, and a commercially available Saturn V rocket we suspended by threads. In After Effects the miniature shots were composited with backgrounds of Cape Canaveral from Google Earth and other pre-keyed elements for the fire and debris. We also use the Particle World effect to generate some of the fire trails under the rocket, and an adjustment layer on top to add a glow. The result isn’t 100% realistic, but hopefully it demonstrates the technique!

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Duration: 00:10:06

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