Yellowstone Supervolcano VFX
xRez Studio has completed CGI and time-lapse work for Supervolcanoes, a fulldome film for digital planetarium distribution and directed by Thomas Lucas of Dynamic Earth and Black Holes fame. Helping describe the occurrence of past geologic massive volcanoes, the work encompasses visualization of the remnants of the Yellowstone Caldera, a past volcanic event that sent ash as far as Los Angeles. To show what lies beneath Yellowstone, a gigapixel panorama was shot of the Grand Prismatic pool, imported and then carefully reconstructed in Maya, allowing a grand pullback and subsequent cut into the earth, revealing one small channel of the massive magma chamber that sits below Idaho and Wyoming. In addition, fisheye time-lapse sequences were captured of several iconic Yellowstone geysers and locations. Lastly, at the lip of the waterfall of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, a unique stitched video embeded panorama was created, in order to achieve high resolution live-action capture at a resolution of 33 megapixels at 30fps, an ongoing challenge for portraying live-action in the dome. A chartered aerial overflight of the pool was also made to provide additional photo reference and texturing for the pullback shot. Co-produced by Spitz Inc, Mirage3Dand Thomas Lucas Productions, in association with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, with the support of the PA Film Council, the film will be distributed in the fall of 2012 to a wide range of planetariums.
Update: Review in InPark magazine.
Interactive Stitched Video Embedded into Pano (downsampled for web):