Several shots featured an ancient spirit that makes itself known as a piece of living rock. Here’s a test shot to establish one possible look. The plate featured an empty rock wall:
The plate was stabilized. A section of the plate was isolated with a mask, color graded, and warped to create the sense of a torso and arms:
To fill the rock spirit’s open mouth, a piece of the plate was tinted blue and given animated Turbulent Displace filter.
A CG head was animated in Maya. The model was adapted from a Turbosquid source, whereby the head was removed from a complete character. The head given a basic set of phoneme blend shapes. The texture was derived by projecting the first frame of the plate from the camera’s point-of-view and converting it into a bitmap texture by using Maya’s Convert To File Texture tool. Here’s the basic 3D set-up: 2 lights, the camera, and the head:
The render was dropped on top of the comp:
To better integrate the CG, a piece of the plate was cut out with animated masks. The masks followed the movement of the face to create the illusion that the face was pushing nearby dirt and pebbles.
An all-important shadow was created with yet another animated mask – the contents of which were color graded darker and given partial opacity.
Here’s the final result, with a little extra color adjustment on the foreground:
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