Tag Archives: Computer-generated imagery


By CaptainDisillusion via YouTube

Is the UFO Over Santa Clarita a Fake?

Yes! It Is!

But So Is Everything Else!!
This UFO Is an Animator’s Awesome Prank

via Wired.com

The UFO video starts like so many others on YouTube: An unimpressive feed from a handheld camera, jostled around within a moving car. There’s random background noise, then an expression of disbelief as the amateur filmmaker spots a spacecraft and tracks its path across the evening sky.

Suddenly, another ship appears as if out of the ether: a gigantic mothership that vanishes a few seconds later in a wisp of clouds.

YouTube viewers called BS almost immediately on the clip, which was titled “UFO Over Santa Clarita” and uploaded late last year. Many complimented the filmmakers’ digital craftsmanship and suggested they should head to Hollywood, where their CGI work could be put to good use creating alien ships. “I give an E for entertainment effort, but nothing for authenticity,” commented Youtube user Twister6424.

The skeptics couldn’t have been more right. But while the highly detailed alien ships were obviously fake, the even more surprising thing about the clip is that nothing else was real either. Every single element in the 39-second clip was computer-generated, from the car the supposed cameraman is driving to the cloudy blue sky where the alien crafts appear.

In reality, “UFO Over Santa Clarita” was a painstakingly crafted joke played by Aristomenis “Meni” Tsirbas, the director of the 2007 computer-animated film Battle for Terra who has also contributed visual effects and animation work to movies like Titanic and Hellboy and several Star Trek television series. A long-time champion of “photorealistic” CGI, Tsirbas and his team spent about four months mimicking the look of an accidental extraterrestrial encounter captured on a smartphone.

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(Click an image to begin slideshow)

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