3D CG Short Film

Completed: March 2011​

Designed, Simulated, Animated, Rendered, Composited, and Edited by Michael Cafarelli

Created with:

Version 1

The original concept for Collider was to create a short, high-quality CG film using RealFlow tests I had created. As the concept developed, it began to transform into a much bigger project. Version 1 was long and ambitious, with an end section that would require a realistic render of low-orbit Earth, greenscreen footage of an "astronaut", and a CG space shuttle. Although most of this end section was never completed, I did put together a rough animatic, which still serves as the only "completed" version of the project.

Version 3

Version 2 was a failed re-design of the project, and so I quickly moved on to Version 3, which removed the entire end section, and increased the resolution considerably. It was around this time that I became very interested in 3D-Stereo and IMAX resolution/framing. I decided that I wanted to use this project to see if I could make a 3D IMAX short film.

I completely re-animated and re-framed the shots for the new format, but doing so proved to be a major computational hurdle. Even though IMAX film was estimated to be "liberally" in the 12-16K resolution range, some special effects for the IMAX version of The Dark Knight were done at 5.6K resolution, so I decided that this was what I would try to acheive as well. However, my computer's inability to quickly process 3D renders and 2D composites at this resolution created an extremely slow production, and eventually I lost interest in the project entirely.

I had only gotten a couple of shots completed by the time production ended. One such shot can be seen at the top of this page, as well as a single 5.6K, IMAX-aspect-ratio frame.

Version 4

After a couple of years of letting the project collect dust, I began to get the itch to give it another try. By this time, I had improved my 3D Animation and Compositing skills, and my computer had been upgraded, perhaps giving me the extra power to complete it. Be it forgetfulness or over-confidence, I decided to increase the resolution again, to 8K, again in the massive 1.43 IMAX aspect ratio.

That proved to be too much, as well as the level of detail that I wished to put into all of those pixels, as the time it took to create each shot again ballooned. By the time that I threw u my hands one final time, I had only animated 3 shots, and finished one. Above you can see a full-resolution frame of the finished shot, and below you can see a 3D sample of the entire first shot.

If you'd like to see the 3D effect, cross your eyes while looking at this video. It's a bit subtle, especially on a small screen, so you may not be able to get the full 3D effect.