Today’s new releaseStar Trek: Into Darkness brings the long-running sci-fi franchise back to theaters after a long four-year layoff. The film is the follow up to 2009’s hit reboot of the classic Trek timeline, with creative lead J.J. Abrams once again returning to the director’s chair along with stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.
The sequel is among the most anticipated of this year’s summer movie season, and we’re excited to see the work of over a dozen Full Sail graduates who contributed to its production. Many of these artists worked on the film’s 2D to 3D conversion, and we spoke with recent Computer Animation grad Mark Ferrer about his work as a stereoscopic roto artist on the potential blockbuster.
Full Sail: How difficult is the 3D conversion for an action-heavy film like Star Trek?
Mark Ferrer: It was a lot of fun, but challenging. People don’t realize what goes into these conversions. Just one example – there was this sequence that had a bunch of falling ashes that they wanted us to grab. The challenge is there’s a lot of contrast in the background so it’s really easy to lose things when you’re doing the conversion. They had to have several of us on that one shot and it turned out looking really good.
FS: Has 3D film technology evolved much since Avatar re-popularized the genre in 2009?
MF: The conversion process has gotten a lot faster in the past few years. How our pipeline works now it’s really quick and efficient, and I think the quality is pretty obvious with this film – not just because I worked on it. The difference isn’t just in the action scenes either, but the dialog-heavy scenes where the 3D adds a lot to the screen composition. There’s points in this movie where you really feel like you’re on the Enterprise.
FS: The last Trek film was a great reimagining of the series, does this one do a good job of building upon that?
MF: I saw it this past Sunday, they had a cast and crew screening at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, and it’s great. The first one was an introduction to the characters, the ship, and Starfleet, so now this one can get into the nitty gritty. It feels like a natural progression, and I think there’s a lot in there for the old Star Trek fans.
Full Sail alumni who worked on Star Trek: Into Darkness include:
Schuyler Anderson (Computer Animation, 2011; tracking)
Paul Baccam (Computer Animation, 2008; rotoscope artist/stereoscopic artist)
Maxime Besner (Computer Animation, 2009; stereo compositor)
Nicholas Canavan (Computer Animation, 2008; stereoscopic rotoscope artist)