DMA Central


How To Blow Up A UFO: Creating Visual Effects For The Movies

“How can I make this UFO shoot laser-beams and then explode?”

The question may sound a bit strange, but for Devon Conradson of Los Almos, NM it’s a question that’s pretty common for people in the career he’s exploring – Creating Hollywood Visual Effects. Everyone needs to start somewhere, Devon started with a passion for science fiction movies and with a little inspiration from his family. And Devon’s seen first hand the real possibility of working in the movie business – you see, he also has a cousin who worked on the recent box office hit, Toy Story 3.

Devon’s just spent the past week learning how to create visual effects for the movies like the big timers in Hollywood. And now Devon’s creative ideas are now turning into real life graphics like those in Hollywood blockbusters.

But right now he’s trying to figure out how to make a UFO blow up.

“We get all the hands on time in class, so you can take something you’ve learned and apply it right away.”

Currently, most Hollywood movies rely on the use of green screens to manipulate backgrounds and replace the “green screen” with other pieces of video and effects to create entirely new environments. This is exactly what Devon did. Using a program called Adobe After Effects, one of the industry’s leading visual effects programs Devon took images from various resources and created a layout of objects, backgrounds and text. This “composite” was used with other “assets” to create an entirely new film. Check it out:

At the Mini-Film Festival at the end of the week, Devon shows off his destructive side, the rest of the class watches as a UFO is destroyed. It’s met with laughs and applause by fellow classmates, parents, and instructors. After a 5-day class learning the inside of Hollywood Visual Effects at Digital Media Academy, Devon’s learned how to blow up a UFO. “I had a lot of fun. The week flew by so fast – I don’t want to go home. But that’s ok, I plan on coming back next year and continue to pursue a career in visual effects.”

Digital Media Academy’s 2010 summer courses run from July 21st to August 6th. Learn more about DMA’s courses a here.

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