“Ad Astra” has been such a nice surprise for me.
As a start, the whole VFX production of the film was supposed to happen in a different location. Hence, I knew very little about the project, until I received a phone call from the VFX supervisor. He explained what they were trying to achieve and the challenges they were facing.
It all boiled down to two tricky shots that were part of an upcoming trailer and weren’t going in a direction that was making the client happy.
As hard and soul-crushing these instances can be, it’s often best to get someone on the case that has the benefit of a clean slate view on the matter.
So, they promptly moved the work over to London where my friend and DMP artist extraordinaire Ed Babb and I, split the shots working out a plan of action.
We knew we had very little time. So, we decided to replace the most significant elements first and then move toward the more minute details.
After 3 days the shot was feeling quite different and that gave confidence to the client that we were going in the right direction.
We then used all the remaining time to add more architectural structures, animated machinery, and try different ideas.
In the end 99.5% of the original shot was completely replaced.
Below you can find a couple of different iterations, saved in different moments, with the bottom image being closer to what was delivered.
For some reason the foreground and comp of the shot was supposed to be done by another company, that’s why the final shot in the film looks a bit different from my DMP.
I waited a while before watching the film, but when I did I really loved it!
It’s been such a pleasure to be involved with this show, even though I could only work on this establishing shot.