Case Study

Infinite Possibilities

Interplanetary vistas and retro-futuristic tech FX help transform “Infinity System” into a sprawling epic sci-fi western.


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Infinity System

Directed by Matthew Hall


To achieve the ambitiously cinematic vision for their production without breaking the bank, the filmmakers worked closely with Some Guy in Anaheim before shooting began in order to strategize several VFX-heavy sequences, maximizing their on-screen impact. The result is a sprawling sci-fi western brimming with epic locations and boldly constructed action setpieces.

From the early stages of pre-production, Director Matthew Hall developed a clear vision for his futuristic sci-fi western. A binary star system, a dozen orbiting planets, a combination of hi-tech and low-tech gadgetry, and a bustling western boom town against a harsh wilderness backdrop provided the perfect setting to explore the themes of his story. Some Guy in Anaheim produced dozens of shots of other-worldly skies, with multiple unique planets visible, rendered at different times of day to correspond with the practical sunlight filmed on location.

For some shots, a “second sun” is visible in the sky and additional shadow elements were created to align with the additional light source. In many cases, entirely new skies and cloudscapes were added, both for aesthetics and for sense of continuity between shots. For several establishing shots, the western boom town was augmented with additional buildings and industrial elements, to match the story’s description of the town’s sustainable terra-farming. The story’s climax features a showdown with retro-futuristic “ray guns” and an ominous sky that also hints at the “white room” seen in the conclusion. The white room was a practical location, rather than a green screen environment, which allowed for the sterile lighting the scene required. However the scene featured several holographic displays that had to be added behind the actors, who where also wearing white, so extensive rotoscoping was done in order to properly composite the elements.

VFX Tasks:

  • 2D/3D exoplanet generation
  • Digital sky replacement & anamorphic compositing
  • 3D matchmoving
  • 3D spaceship and building generation
  • Rotoscoping & Digital Touchup FX
  • Ray guns, medical tools and HUD FX and compositing

Bringing Deadwater to Life

While the fictional town of Deadwater utilized a practical location, additional digital buildings were created to bring the terra-farming and industrial aspects to life in aerial views of the town. A new sky with visible exoplanets and a re-lit landscape further enhanced the other-worldly nature of the story’s setting.

A World with Two Suns

Some Guy in Anaheim integrated cinematic skyscapes with dramatic clouds and exoplanets, plus two suns for two light sources, requiring a second shadow to be added. Because the shadows overlap, the original shadow was lightened, achieving a more realistic appearance.

Details, details…

The story’s protagonist, Wayne, is given medical treatment by the mysterious Kira, using a practical green laser prop, seamlessly augmented with additional light interaction and subtle wisps of smoke.

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