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Making Of 'Sad Alien'

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Date Added: 21st May 2012
Software used:


For the last five years I've been working in the VFS industry, so post-production is my daily bread. Like a lot of the world, I use Nuke for post-processing and for this scene it was fairly simple, as you can see on Nuke's tree (Fig.18).


I always render to 32bit EXR format to have full control over the render in Nuke. My passes were just beauty and ID mask. I made a few color corrections and added local masks to highlight some areas. Then I adjusted the glows on the LED diodes and smoothed a little glow over the whole image. I decided that it needed a little bit more atmosphere, so I decided to add some dust particles. The simplest way to do that was importing the camera to Nuke and using its particle system with proper ZBlur to create the dust. I also mixed it with a dust photograph to make it more real.

Finally it came time to add a well-known combination: chromatic aberration, vignette and grain. I always caution people to use this combination wisely as it can help your image, but can just as easily destroy it. Just observe normal photos and that should help.

Here's a comparison of the pure render and the final image (Fig.19).


And here's a larger version of the final image (Fig.20).

Fig.20 - Character design © Sony Pictures


Finally here comes the end. I have special relationship with this poor alien; we spent about five years together from the beginning of this project to the end. I'm really happy to see him finished - there's one less skeleton in my wardrobe. I hope you've enjoyed my Making Of and feel free to contact me with any questions at

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Gunnar Assmy Aka MaView on Wed, 23 May 2012 5:54pm
Stunning work and Thanks for sharing your workflow Jan! cheerz! gunnar
Victoria on Wed, 23 May 2012 5:13am
Hello, Thank you very much for sharing the making of your alien with us.. I really appreciate all the tricks you share. I am not an user of Modo but I'm sure you helped with this Tut all those Modo users. Your final image is fantastic. Very good luck with future works.
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