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The Steam Tank
February 7, 2006 4:09 PM   Subscribe

The Steam Tank is a brief visual effects reel by Chris Paul, from the Vancouver Film School. It begins with a somewhat mundane steam powered tank attacking a mounted gun in a downtown building, but then replays the event shot by shot, showing the original filmed plate, and adding on each cgi component, to give a good idea of how cg & reality interface in an effects piece. warning: link goes to direct download of 56MB QuickTime mov
posted by jonson (13 comments total)

 
a somewhat mundane steam powered tank

Well, if you know of any steam powered tanks that are more impressive, I'd like to see them!

Nice work. According to his bio, he's working at The Orphanage on the new Superman, so, uh... yeah. I'm jealous.
posted by brundlefly at 4:41 PM on February 7, 2006


Hmm. Caused a buffer overrun exception in Quicktime about halfway through. What I saw looked cool though.
posted by octothorpe at 4:55 PM on February 7, 2006


MeFi'ed...

(There's a MeFi Effect?)
posted by jca at 6:33 PM on February 7, 2006


jonson, your posts are great.
posted by event at 6:36 PM on February 7, 2006


What's cool to see is how he employs little tweaks one doesn't think about -- like darkening the reflective windows on a building, so as not to require that the image of the reflected tank. Or the fact that (obvious in retrospect) the almost unnoticeable haze of debris kicked up around the treads must be added for versimilitude.

Nice -- thanks.
posted by BT at 6:51 PM on February 7, 2006


Yeah you right, BT. It's the little things that matter. Some exceptional compositing jobs have been Starship Troopers and Reign of Fire. Really great integration of the creatures with the environment, and it all has to do with the little details. Kicking up mud, dirt, etc. That was the problem for me with the effects in King Kong. Absolutely amazing character work, but the compositing just seemed sloppy.
posted by brundlefly at 7:55 PM on February 7, 2006


oh no, not the sun tower!

I used to work on the top floor of the bottom section of that building. Awesome caryatids outside our windows, which you can just make out in the movie. The coffee shop on the ground floor has some of the best sandwiches around.

The last building that disappears behind the tank when it drives over the camera is where robin williams' character lived in The Final Cut.
posted by jeffj at 8:03 PM on February 7, 2006


So YOU were the bastard shooting at that utterly awesome steam tank! How could you?
posted by brundlefly at 8:17 PM on February 7, 2006


The last building that disappears behind the tank when it drives over the camera is where robin williams' character lived in The Final Cut.

Ah, that answers a question my co-worker posed ("why does he delete the 2nd building?"). Clearly, it's because he thought Robin Williams might still be in there.

Oh, and event - thanks!
posted by jonson at 8:18 PM on February 7, 2006


Ah, that answers a question my co-worker posed ("why does he delete the 2nd building?").

Oh, I meant the right-hand building in the first shot after the titles, when the tank drives directly over the camera.

However, a good friend of mine lives in the deleted building that you're referring to.
posted by jeffj at 8:35 PM on February 7, 2006


So YOU were the bastard shooting at that utterly awesome steam tank! How could you?

fucker deleted my friend's building.
posted by jeffj at 8:37 PM on February 7, 2006


Anyone know what piece of music is being used in the clip?
posted by Scoo at 10:10 AM on February 8, 2006


What's cool to see is how he employs little tweaks one doesn't think about -- like darkening the reflective windows on a building, so as not to require that the image of the reflected tank.

Actually, there are dark windows superimposed over the real windows, and those dark windows *do* reflect the tank. Also notice how they deleted the feet of the people walking by the windows (the pedestrians overlay both the sidewalk and the unedited windows). That's pretty sweet.
posted by spiderwire at 10:15 PM on February 9, 2006


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