Jeremiah Harm

Jeremiah Harm – Promotional Teaser

  • Production Company: BLIND SPOT PICTURES
  • Post Production: TROLL VFX
  • Color Grading: JAMES POST

In late 2012 Blind Spot Pictures produced a feature film promo demo to sell the concept to potential investors. Troll was responsible for all of the visual effects.

We had a really short deadline to meet and everyone in our small team contributed to the effort. I took the opportunity to learn new skills and decided to create the shots assigned to me in Maya, which at the time was still fairly new to me.

My job was to complete four shots from start to finish, all more or less the same but still providing quite a bit of work.

Here’s the original plate for the most challenging shot.

And here’s the target concept made by Jussi Lehtiniemi, who set a goal for me to achieve.

To start with, I matched the overall lighting with the concept by masking areas of the frame and grading them.

Adding the crusher into the shot required plenty of slow roto work. Doing four roto-heavy shots on a tight schedule was pretty daunting.

I tracked the shot with SynthEyes and brought the camera into Maya, where I built the 3d scene. Here’s the raw render combined with the live plate.

And here’s with the 3D-elements graded to better match with the concept art.

The last thing to be added were the flares, which were done by Samuli Torssonen in After Effects.

Final image, graded by James Post.


In addition to the crusher, I practiced a bit of wire and rig removal on a challenging shot where the lizard jumps at Harm. While very short in length, the trouble with the shot was with all that smoke and a moving spotlight that made seamless rig removal tricky.

Here’s the original plate. Note the harness holding the actor and the assistant pulling the rig on the right.

The assistant and the wire he was holding obviously had to go, so I masked the area he was in and froze the frame. I painted out some of him and removed the wire, but left the legs in. There was no way anyone could spot them unless they were pointed out (which is what I’m doing now). The final touch was to reintroduce matching grain to the frozen area to make it truly look part of the image.

Removing the harness itself was a problem since it moved through drifting smoke and there was a damn moving spotlight to complicate things. I used NukeX’s rig removal tools to get the job done and while it did get me 80% there, the rest I had to fix manually.

To cover whatever small hints of the rig the remained in the image, I added a bit of stock smoke to conceal the fact it had ever been there. Additional smoke over the area where the removed assistant was helped to hide him as well.

What in the end sold the shot was the matte work by Jussi Lehtiniemi. I had little to do with this stage of the process, but I’m including the frame here to illustrate the process the shot went through here at Troll.

And here’s the final color graded frame, courtesy of James Post.