Steve Ernst – VFX Reel 2012



A sample of my work up through the year 2012.

Shot Breakdown:
Sci-fi Screen – Using Blender, I tracked the markers, then estimated the original camera focal length and distortion to get a good solve and rendered the undistorted footage. Then I placed a 3D screen with an emitting edge material in the space and rendered it out separately. Finally I made a rough mask around the talent, keyed out the greenscreen, rotoscoped the remaining markers to remove them, and composited everything together in Adobe After Effects.

Wolverine claws – In Blender, I tracked the hand, modeled and animated the claws, modeled a hand to occlude the claws and give better reflections, then painted over the tracking markers to create a new texture for masking the markers. I then painted a new mask for the cuts when the claws retract, rendered it out and brought it into After Effects to animate the healing effect. While in After Effects, I also added a subtle displacement effect when the claws are still inside the arm.

Window greenscreen – I pulled a good key on noisy RED footage with Blender, then used roto mattes to clean up the foreground. Then I created a Seattle skyline using photographic elements, added some film grain, and composited everything together in After Effects.

Gravestone shot A – I took a still frame of the sunny gravestone into Photoshop, where I carefully painted out the original name to create a clean plate, and I did the same with a frame of the shadowed gravestone. Then I brought them both into After Effects and overlayed new text, using various techniques to make it look etched into the stone. Then I rotoscoped the actor’s shadow and used that as an alpha matte for the shadowed gravestone layer, effectively recreating the shadow. Finally, I added some film grain.

Gravestone shot B – Much the same process as above. I created a clean plate in Photoshop, brought it into After Effects to create the ‘etched’ text and composited it into the shot.

RvB2 lightsaber fight – I accurately rotoscoped the prop blades as well as intricate subtraction masks in After Effects.

The Sith and the Jedi lightsaber fight – Same process as above, for the most part. This project also involved rotoscoping difficult-to-see blades against a dark background, and painting out bendy prop blades.

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