In today’s session we made an alien space craft move across the desert in a wobbly way.

Saucer (duplicated)
Background changed to BW (black and white)
Shadow (generated in Nuke)

Here are steps taken to make it work:

1. First thing to do is to write in panoramic view and reduce saturation level to make it black and white. Then use Grade node to pin point black point and white point to fix the contrast.capture1

2. Then create a checkerboard as an animation sheet. Of course with that a merge is needed. With Transform node resize to make image fit the brackets. Make sure to leave some space in case of shaking the image. A shuffle and premult nodes are needed to put image on top of checkerboard. Changing values on Shuffle node will make it work.
Afterwards set key frames from 1 till 100 using Transfrom node to make viewer slide through panorama.

3. After a backround moves, saucer is needed to complete the task.
First merge everything together.
capture6Then simply use transform tool to move it across the panorama with key frames and it should move!

However, a line path must be wobbly. So on transform made for saucer set key frames on rotate section and rotate it every 10 key frames.
Useful tip! Hold shift and press right arrow to automatically move every 10 frames!



However, we must take a look at light source of background image. It’s opposite from actual saucer image. To flip saucer go to the same Transform and change scale value w to -1.


Also we can add Motion blur and to it! It’s important because when an image moves fast it kinda blurs a bit. So we want that here as well.capture12

4. However as it is a flying object, it needs a shadow!

A shadow can be created using Radial node. Using Transform to resize it. Softness and opacity values helps to make the shadow more believable.


To make a shadow follow the saucer you must COPY LINKS from Saucer_T (Transform for saucer) and PASTE it on Shadow_T Expression. It should look like this.


We want to move only X value. So leave only that then you paste it. Make sure to delete the brackets as well.
After that Nuke should create an automatic link indicating that it’s following same X value of the saucer.


Shadow offset was set to move the shadow to appropriate position. By that I mean that we need to take a second look at background’s light source. Since it’s a bit tilted a shadow must be fixed.

Here is how it should look now.

5. Last job: adding camera shake and grain to make it look old fashioned.


To make a camera shake you need to modify amplitude and rotation values.


6. Here is the final node sheet and final result.