Compositing reel

Compositing Reel

Drew Perttula

October 2001 Demo Reel Notes

DivX demo reel (26MB) available, though you'll have to ask me to post a link to the current location, since it has moved around.

My tools are After Effects and Photoshop by Adobe; Rayz by Silicon Grail; Blender by NaN; POV-Ray, Gimp, and various scripting languages.

God with flamethrower

The interactive effects are an animated color-correction and a noise distortion field near the center of the image-- both Rayz effects.

Original particle system written in Perl. 50 particles emit from a moving source position and direction. Particles accelerate upward and are recycled after they reach a certain distance. Rendered as spheres with POV-Ray.

Final POV-Ray render using a halo effect with turbulence inside each sphere. Additional glow added later with Rayz.

Church explosion

Pew model by Harlan Hile using Blender. I exported the Blender object to POV-Ray for rendering.

Pew animation written in POV-Ray's own scripting language. Pews and floor rendered in POV-Ray.

Z-buffer rendered as a separate pass with a gradient texture on all objects.

Explosion is a POV-Ray sphere with a turbulent halo interior. I animated the threshold between opaque orange and transparent to increase the volume of the explosion over time.

I used Rayz to mask the explosion to an animated depth using the pew element Z-buffer.

Traveling light pass from POV-Ray. Glow enhanced with Rayz.

Dust element pulled from video shot at a ranch in Martinez; stabilized with Rayz. I replicated the usable dust area and masked it with another animated depth matte.

To add authentic camera shake, I actually shook a real camera and tracked the result with Rayz. Then I applied the shake to the church shot (in the same slow motion as the rest of the shot).


I have two friends who I can convince to stand outside the Sierra Spring Water building in Emeryville in various outfits. I'm the one in black at the end.

Rayz contains Ultimatte, which I used on the 12 "cels" to create about 3000 frames of people.

A custom crowd placer Perl script reads a bitmap of person locations (shown here). The script drives the Gimp to scale and place the individual-person frames at the right locations. Scaling is simply a function of y-position. Each person instance has its own counter and framerate.

The placer script placed people on a large panorama, but for efficiency, it didn't include people very far outside of the current field of view. The actual panning and zooming was done with Rayz.


Tower climb

Simple composite done with After Effects. The foreground element had to be tracked to undo a camera move.


Neptune - ship flyby

A multi-layer effect done with POV-Ray (for the 3D work) and After Effects (for the compositing). The dog was composited over the cockpit, whose front window was replaced with a moving starfield. That result was mapped onto a surface inside the ship's window.


Neptune - lever pull

After Effects combines a background miniature; a 3D lever created in POV-Ray; and a roto'd dog element. I adjusted the timing of the lever pull to match the dog's movement.


Neptune - ship hit

Some simple After Effects lightning and camera shake effects, plus a roto'd dog animated over the scene.


Real-time foreground over time-lapse scene

The background uses a custom video capture program I wrote that accumulates frames and saves a motion-blurred, time-lapse animation directly. The foreground (me) was difference-matted from its background using Rayz and placed over the time-lapse animation.

Powered by Zope