center for detectors [ short promotional video ]

This was a promotional piece for a research lab at RIT that works on designing the image sensors found in huge telescopes used to image distant stars and galaxies.

In the piece, there was a shot of a shuttle craft launching up into space. Kat, one of my artists, modeled  and shaded the craft. I lit the scene in Blender and rendered using the Cycles renderer.

Blender's smoke simulator was used to create the exhaust.

The comet flying about the planet was created with Particular. 

The planet was generated in Photoshop. In order to create the illusion that the camera was flying over the planet, I used the power pin tool to warp the image over time. Since it was a short shot, the effect worked perfectly.

One of the sequences involved flying through a cloud of molecules which I rendered using Blender's internal raytracer.

Various molecules were modeled before being randomly placed using a particle system.

Three of the prominent molecules were keyframed due to the need to have their position and timing be specific.

Flying through the stars in the milky way was achieved by using Trapcode Form to render a 3d point cloud that was generated from actual star position/scale/color data.

The star data came in the form of a text file.

I worked on a script that parsed through the data to generate a 3d point cloud in blender.

This now infamous 'baby shot' involved overlaying a semi-transparent brain onto the footage we shot of a baby.

There weren't many reference marks to help with a 3d solve. I learned my lesson on this shoot.

The make-up dots on her face were not nearly enough to get a solid object track.

I ended up bringing the shot into Mocha and setting up 11 different planar tracks. I took those results into After Effects and applied a dot pattern to each track. I then rendered that image sequence out and brought it into Blender. The rendered dots were used as 2d tracking points for a object solve.

Blender's solving algorithms came through for me. I spent a few days on this shot, even trying Syntheyes before finding a good solution.

Here's the 3d point cloud inside Blender. The solve was remarkably solid, 

Here's the brain model and some lights  I used to simulate brain activity. Whew.