Park Runner Thumb_edited_edited.jpg

Park Runner

This video was made for a 3D visual effects module at uni by myself, and 2 friends.
It takes heavy inspiration from both Blade Runner films, and was a very ambitious project, being the first time any of us had attempt making anything like this.
I was responsible for all the 3D elements, storyboarding the video, and general editing.
Overall the project was fantastic to work on, and I'm glad we pushed ourselves to go for something big. There were a lot of limitations and lessons learnt from behind the camera (real and virtual), and overall I'm really happy with what we produced.

 
 

Making of

To help show some of the work that went into the project, here's some behind the scenes photos documenting the production

 
 

Storyboarding

It was incredibly important to know what we were shooting beforehand, with both the 3D scenes and the live action scenes. While the music was decided on quite quickly, we never adhered that strictly to it. On an even earlier storyboard, we took the essential scenes, cut the rest, and calculated an average scene length of 7 seconds. We knew we wanted the music to climax at the same time as the video, while keeping the more atmospheric parts near the opening, which led to a necessary cut masked during the action scene. In terms of the narrative, we knew we needed to keep it simple with the time constraint imposed by the module (90 secs), and wanted to convey the story visually.

 
 

Filming

We started shooting in October, initially doing 2 days back to back, the first going up Leckhampton Hill (where it got freezing cold), and the second in the warmth of the uni's green screen room. We knew we needed another day or two for filming the action scene, and the 'pob room' scene. However, this being our first time integrating live action with CGI meant there were a lot of things we either didn't account for, or had to reshoot a few times to get right. One of those things was the front facing car shot; trying the match the camera height and position with the 3D scene was difficult, but required only a few attempts. Same with the action scene, as the wall the protagonist takes cover behind is photoshopped in, we needed to match the perspective when shooting with the green screen.

 
 

Rendering

The first shot created was the 'Park reveal' scene, which became the testing ground for lighting, scale, and camera settings. The sky was initially going to be orangey, but we wanted a visual dichotomy between interior and exterior, so saved the orange for inside. The dark blue sky also helped it blend with the initial shot using the footage from the top of Leckhampton Hill. After creating several buildings and neon signs from Ruth and Minha's designs, I extended the city strip for the other scenes. While the 'spinner' car model itself isn't particularly impressive, I'm happy with how it turned out and the design led to these gorgeous reflections. All of this took an incredible amount of time to render though. Unfortunately, only one shot (the garage door opening) was rendered overnight due to a miscommunication, and university computers restarting earlier than they were supposed to. The computers would shut off at 6 P.M., so I'd get into uni around 9 A.M. and spend about an hour and a half setting up dozens of computers to render. If I were to improve one thing with the renders, it would be the fog. I tried several methods, none of which functioning better than what was used in the final product. I like the darker spots in it generated by a perlin noise material, but it just came out too thick (I was unable to alter its transparency properly) and noisy.