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  • Writer's pictureMichael

Digital Composition Submission: ‘Aliens Versus Badass 2’

So I was rummaging around in the attic and found a box of old video tapes…

The trailer was made over a very short space of time. Initially the idea was to make a more straight laced alien invasion movie, albeit influenced by thelow budget  B movies of the 50s. The aliens were to have tentacles and fly similar to the sentinels from the Matrix Movies.  However, animating the tentacles correctly proved troublesome, and as time was running short I made the decision to scrap this idea and go for a more traditional Alien spaceship. I was also losing interest in the project so decided I wanted to spice it up a little, and the result was a pastiche of old action movies from the 80s and 90s.

hdr test
prog render 2

The majority of scenes featured green screen and matte painting components- this was the main compositing method, and the majority of the camera work needed was shot in one day in a studio. For scenes featuring the Spaceships, these were first rendered in 3ds max as PNG sequences and then composited into the footage, rather than using  3d camera tracking. Time was short and I couldn’t risk wasting time on fixing or reshooting poor tracks. Considering most of the 3d assets were flying through the air rather than sitting on the ground, there was less necessity for camera tracking to align objects correctly.

Due to technical limitations, some of the green screen footage came out with rough edges or slight transparency. I overcame this problem by using two or more layers of the same footage, with slight changes to the clipping settings in each.


Extensive colour correction was required in most scenes to bring everything together.  For the pre invasion scenes I chose to tint the screen blue, and orange-red for the destruction scenes. A variety of techniques were used for this including adjusting tints, hues and contrasts for individual assets, and colour overlays to set the mood of the whole scene.  The bright glow of the nuclear explosion was created by having a high exposure adjustment layer which got less bright over time.

Comp 1_00041

Whilst I strove to create as much of the content myself as possible, I had to rely on stock imagery for certain scenes. Some of the original skies were replaced to look more dramatic, the explosions and flame effects were premade, and the skyscrapers used in the city mattes were taken from a pre-

existing 3d asset package. These were then rendered and colour corrected as necessary.  Whilst i created the planet earth model myself, the textures were also taken from Online resource Files.


Stock imagery from,

allbestgreenscreen on youtube.

Audio files from and

Supporting Cast supplied by uproar comics

Sci Fi Photoshop Brushes by Rawox

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