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Digital Compositing in "Most Dangerous"

Digital Compositing in "Most Dangerous"

Jake Bohringer
by jakebohringer on 29 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

This is a showcase of my visual effects work as of 2020. All the work featured in this reel is from a short film I produced titled "Most Dangerous," which is unfinished. I was responsible for producing & directing the film, and for the matte painting, lighting, and compositing demonstrated in this reel.

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Watch the reel below ...

The VFX shots in this film involved 3D camera tracking & image projections to integrate effects & elements. Additional tasks included lighting & rendering CG elements, as well as matte painting for background & sky replacements.

Every decision that was made was to help create the dangerous world of espionage and mercenaries.

3D lighting and rendering was done with V-Ray in Maya, matte painting was done in Photoshop, and all compositing was done in Nuke. 

Below is a breakdown of one of the key visual effects shots.

This same breakdown can be found on my website here.

The chopper sequence is comprised of four main elements: a matte painting for the background, the chopper, the hero subject, and the foreground soldiers.

The initial setup involved extracting the hero subject from the live-action plate that was captured on location.

Any areas of the subject that were not covered by the green screen were rotoscoped.

After keying the subject, 3D camera data was extracted from the footage.

This allowed for 3D elements, such as the helicopter, to have real parallax as the camera moved through space. 

The chopper was then lit to match the daytime lighting of the live-action footage.

Additional textures & decals were placed on the chopper in Nuke by projecting images onto 3D cards, and then moving those cards into the correct position using point cloud data.

The ground from the original footage was then expanded and cleaned up to eliminate any stray shadows, and then re-projected onto a 3D ground plane so that it would integrate into the scene seamlessly.

Soldiers were extracted from separate footage and composited into the scene.

The final phase included color correcting all elements to match, tweaking black levels, and compositing atmospheric elements for the final effect.

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