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Iron Sky

Iron Sky

  • Director: TIMO VUORENSOLA
  • DOP: MIKA ORASMAA
  • Production Company: BLIND SPOT PICTURES
  • Post Production: ENERGIA PRODUCTIONS
  • Color Grading: POST CONTROL

In 2011 I worked at Energia Productions on the visual effects of the most expensive Finnish feature film to date. With a team of just twenty artists, we managed to get over 800 shots done in a period of eight months. The feat was only made possible by the sheer talent and dedication of all involved and I’m proud to have been part of it.

So what did I actually do then? My title on the film credits was VFX Artist and I did just about everything from previz, to modeling, texturing, shading, animation, lighting, effects, rendering and even a little bit of compositing. Overall I was responsible for about 25 full-CGI shots, give or take, and contributed to several others. Below you’ll find a few highlights.


The big money shot of burning Zeppelins after the big space battle was almost entirely mine. Kelly Myers did the basic animation and camera work after which I took over. The hardest thing to pull off was the fluid sim for the fire and smoke and while it ended up looking quite decent, the effect really didn’t hold up as the camera got too close.

 


The bombing of the Nazi fortress was another big one. I spent a whole week with the fluid sims for the nuke explosions and while there’s certainly room for improvement, I’m quite happy with the final results.

 


Whenever you see the Moon from orbit in the film, chances are it’s my shot. The color and displacement maps came directly from NASA and their awesome Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter which provided some super-high detail source files for me to work with. Extracting the data from their native format into something usable was not that trivial, especially when you had to deal with files several gigabytes in size.

 


The Earth fleet arriving to the rescue was my shot as well. While the absolutely linear animation is a bit boring, the idea was to clearly establish that the ships belonged to the nations of the UN. A lot of effort went into shading all of the appearing vessels. And yes, it was me who put in the TARDIS you can see flying among the fleet.

 


Blowing up the moon was one of the last things I did on the production and as such there really wasn’t much time to do it right. The cracking surface isn’t really visible under the too thick dust layer, but the whole crust was fractured and does fly off in a fairly convincing manner.

 


Ah, blowing up Valkyries. I did that a lot. Every time you see one go boom, it’s my handiwork. The model was a bit of a pain to work with, but still, how often do you get to play with Nazi ufos?