Eyeon Case Study Battlestar Galactica Aurore de Blois


Do you often find yourself breaking down shots in your mind that you see in other productions, be it film or broadcast and trying to figure out how they were created, or how you would create them?

Yes, all the time- it is a hard-wired response with me and I would guess that anyone else working in VFX does the same thing. It is a habit I enjoy getting lost in. However, when you are captivated with the work as much as I am this is too difficult to avoid. At times it can make it hard to enjoy things because I find myself just studying the VFX instead of getting into the stories. I tend to see films more than once anyway, just so that eventually I do watch a film instead of studying it. Watching Harryhausen or Pal films always helps to ground me. I see them over and over again constantly and just enjoy the picture each time. Perhaps this has something to do with a masterpiece that can't be merely scrutinized and studied.


What differences, if any, do you find when compositing shots in a space environment as opposed to a land-based environment? Are there any specific problems that present themselves in post?

Live action shots require matchmoving, keying, roto, plate cleanup, rig removal, speed ramping, grid warping, transformations, joining plates, matching film grain... the list goes on. Any number of things and sometimes all of them at once and getting the CG in the shot to match the plate seamlessly. More work no matter how you look at it, but incredibly rewarding. I think my favorites have been the Centurions because they always look different in each environment they are in, so it allows me to play with a new look for them.

All-CG spaceship shots are a great deal of fun to work with. Due to the inherent differences between all-CG shots and live action shots, the all-CG shots do not feel like work at all, more like fun time. Our animators devise exciting and dynamic shots that are a pleasure to print. The FTL jumps require additional time and effort to and insert the jumps though, but are still tremendously enjoyable for me. I have had shots where the entire fleet jumps in or out, so whipping up 40 or 50 jumps and making them distinct -yet maintaining the established look-  requires a lot of effort but is still enjoyable to do. I always make sure each one has uniqueness to it so it clearly isn't re-using, especially in how the ships themselves are being affected as they jump.

The fire effects from explosions are extremely realistic; can you shed some insight on how those are created?

I wish I could take credit for that but it is the ingenious work of Sean Jackson. He is BSG’s firebug. It’s all a blend of Lightwave particles and his sorcery. He is also a very accomplished compositor so he understands how to make the most out of his elements so that they can be utilized to their greatest benefit.

Donovan Zulauf
eyeon Software
Public Relations
Office - 416.686.8411 x 180
Mobile - 416.294.3980

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