Hanley Films

Project Gravity

This was my final, individual project for my Visual Effects and Animation class during my senior year at Syracuse University. We were only required to produce a 30-second animation, but I felt like making a whole short!

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As you may have guessed, this short film is intended as a lighthearted, parodic homage to the Back to The Future series of films.  For this reason, and because it was a school project, it is believed that the use of portions of the soundtracks from these films falls under the Fair Use guidelines of U.S. copyright law.

This was the first project where I was able to use what I had learned thus far about After Effects, rather than just the tools available to me in Final Cut Pro. I made pretty heavy use of rotoscoping to create the flying car effects, as well as point tracking to "stick" various other elements into place. Oddly enough, one of the trickiest shots wound up being the side view of the car floating upwards. The effect itself was simple - just a two-dimensional image being animated. However, the reflections needed to shift as it moved in order to be believable, so I had to play around a lot with the warping tools and masks to get that to work.

This is also the first project since The Vase where I tried any sort of color grading, but this time I was able to use Apple Color to do so. The adjustments I made were very subtle, as you can see below, but I think they added a bit to the feel of the movie.

Before-and-after examples of the color grading in the movie