AIE students bring dead to life

AIE students bring dead to life

AIE students bring dead to life


Students in the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media –Specialising in 3D Animation and Visual FX have been working hard on VFX shots for two upcoming movies ‘Theatre of the Dead’ and ‘Tumblegum’.

To my surprise, real bullets were not fired on the set of ‘Theatre of the Dead’. Film cast members all survived the shoot with no real harm. This was great news, not only for the actors and their families but also the Canberra Screen and Media students. This provided them the opportunity to gain industry experience by working on two feature films.

The students worked on a wide range of shots including:

  • Creating muzzle flashes
  • Blood splatters
  • Rig removal
  • Removing crew from shots
  • Colour correction
  • Compositing
  • Car explosions

This screenshot shows two key elements that required removal. Firstly, the cameraman’s shadow appeared on the dumpster while filming. The second element is a bit easier to spot. A crew and cast member had to be removed from a reference camera shot that was not intended for final edit. Removal of the shadow and cast member both involved rotoscoping and tracking, a process where for each frame areas in the image are selected and replaced.

Unlike the monsters AIE screen students create, actors can get hurt. In order to avoid unnecessary bodily harm padding is placed on the walls and floor when stunts are preformed.. After the scene has been filmed the students removed the pads from the wall.  A pre-recorded shot of the same scene minus the safety precautions is used to give a realistic finish and the Band-Aids can stay in the first aid kit.

In the children’s movie,’ Tumblegum’, students were tasked with compositing several shots. Compositing is the combining of a number of visual elements. The shots ranged from changing the number plate on a car to removing puppeteers from a scene and sending a character flying through the air.

AIE students are taught the industry standard compositing software, Nuke, the same tool that is used on films such as The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. The opportunity for our students to work on real commercial productions with the specialist education they receive give obvious advantages in gaining employment post AIE.

Stay tuned to the AIE YouTube and Facebook pages to see a breakdown of our students’ work on these films pending their release in late 2013 (to avoid spoilers J). To keep up on the latest information and see the teaser trailer for Theater of the Dead head over to http://theatreofthedead.com.au 

If you are interested in learning more about the Animation or VFX industry, organise a free tour by contacting your nearest campus today.