Kathryn Williams - 'When'
Dir. D.A.R.Y.L, Feb 2007 / Agency: Pulse Films


This apocalyptic music video probably represents the largest, most complex and technically demanding visual effects job I've done since the Steve Malkmus 'Dark Wave' video. We shot all footage on green screen in multiple layers (shot using a Panasonic AG-HVX at 960*720/50fps on P2 cards). We also shot some flour particles and smoke elements over a black screen.

The background elements are almost entirely synthetic in nature. In order to generate a 3D camera move for the various 3D apps that would be generating elements for the finished piece, tracking data had to be derived from the footage. Once this was done, I used some third party tools to export the tracked camera to Lightwave and Vue. The clouds and tree were generated in Vue using the new "Spectral atmosphere" model of Vue6 (and took a terrifyingly long time to render!). The smaller particles and the exploding fragments of tree were created using Lightwave. The comets/meteors were created in After Effects using Trapcode Particular for their solid smoke trails. Keying was done using a mixture of Keylight with a lot of hand-tweaking and all the colour effects were done with Sythetic Aperture Color Finesse. The final online was an incredibly dense After Effects composite which took a Quad G5/4GB RAM workstation over 24hours to render!. The master was rendered out in a pseudo-HD resolution of 1024 by 576, which upscales rather well to 720p for broadcast, though HD was not a requirement for end delivery.