UFO hoax videos have existed long before the Internet; they probably date all the way back to the invention of film. But technology has made it not only possible, but just plain fun for alien believers to make their own videos of fake spaceships flying overheard. Now, one Hollywood animator may have topped them all.
Aristomenis Tsirbas spent four months working on an amazing CGI film of a massive saucer circling over a highway in Santa Clarita, Calif. After the driver pulls over, with a camera in hand, the ship disappears, giving way to what would looks like a mothership that appears -- then disappears -- out of thin air.
The only problem is that the entire video -- everything from the spaceships to the wires, even the car -- was produced on a computer. Tsirbas also lists graphic work in “Titanic” and “Hellboy” on his resume.
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“The point of the video was to prove that CGI can look natural and convincing,” Tsirbas told Wired. ”Everybody assumes the background and car are real, and that the UFOs are probably fake, especially the over-the-top mothership at the end. The general reaction is disbelief, so I usually have to prove it by showing a wireframe of the entire shot to prove that nothing is real.”
The 45-year-old director was inspired by the notion that computerized graphics have only degraded movies, a belief that’s slowly gained steam even in the face of hit movies like “The Avengers” and Tsirbas’ previous work. The students at Gnomon School of Visual Effects, where the director teaches filmmaking, helped him with the 39-second video.
“Getting it mostly right wasn’t good enough. We had to nail the car and desert perfectly, otherwise the gag wouldn’t work,” he said. “Often CGI is too perfectly and uniformly exposed, when reality has things blowing out or falling into darkness all over the place. The car interior was a beautiful model, but I deliberately crunched down that element in the composite until it was almost entirely black, because a real camera would do the same if exposing for the sky.”