"Beam me up, Scotty"

Got assigned by ESPN to create a few VFX to enhance a Co-Promotion between the 2016 Home Run Derby and the premiere of the new Star Trek Beyond Movie.

The idea was to combine baseball with Star Trek! so by the magic of editorial work, Joe Castellano at REVEAL took lines from the several movie trailers creating a mini story where the USS Enterprise gets attacked by unidentified objects that later reveal themselves as baseballs that had been hit by different Major League sluggers.

My role here was to take scenes from the actual movie and compose many baseballs hitting the ship, as well as creating the illusion that the characters of the movie were looking or flying by planet Earth. 

 Autodesk Flame view of the compositing

Autodesk Flame view of the compositing

Through the use of Autodesk Flame I generated a particle system for the scene, replacing the particles with nodes of textured 3D baseballs. I added a particle bouncer defining the surface of the ship so the computer would analyze the physics of the balls hitting the Enterprise. Later I added digital light sources to match the scene and color corrected the particle system as a whole to attenuate the effect and make it more believable. Finally added some motion blur and manipulated a few shadows traveling over the surface of the ship to create a complete illusion of the baseballs hitting the USS Enterprise.

The VFX work was done in tandem with my talented friend Craig Lamson, who took also a few scenes replacing missiles by baseballs and created a beautiful warp traveling baseball effect that worked great as a transitional cut.

 To support the promo story, I had to insert planet Earth into the movie scene, adjusting color and tracking to match the movie clip.

To support the promo story, I had to insert planet Earth into the movie scene, adjusting color and tracking to match the movie clip.

Finally, as any good ESPN promo we needed to create an end card reflecting both the tune in action to the Home Run Derby and the Star Trek movie, so I decided to create the HRD logo in a 3D style close to the style of the already established Star Trek logo. We animated the logos over the movie trailer backgrounds provided by Paramount Studios and the result was a fun co-promotional piece with a very effective story.

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