Replicate the Maze runner opening elevator scene

edited May 2015 in Filmmaking

Hi Guys,

I would like to try and replicate the opening scene to Maze runner with the elevator (lift) and Thomas inside. I have access to green screen and a 3d model of a mesh lift cage but limited access to anything in a practical sense (Suggestions in the respect appreciated too). I know anything I am able to do wont be perfect but a reasonable approximation would be good. It should include the creation of the lift shaft too. I'm in the UK as that might affect the availability of practical props.

I was thinking maybe camera projection to create the shaft? at least the view from above


  • KirstieTKirstieT Staff
    edited May 2015

    Using the camera projection to create the shaft is a good idea. Take a look at @Triem23's Dalek scene here:

    From about 0:16 onwards you can see what's possible if you were to use that technique (and as a bonus, you wouldn't need to buy any props or physically create anything either). 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Camera projection might work, but an elevator shaft is a big square. Maybe get a still image of concrete--seamless might be best--and build it from planes. 

    Four 3D planes to make a box. Precomp it.  

    Bring in as 3D unrolled. Stack duplicates on top of each other to make a longer shaft. Precomp it. 

    Bring in as 3D unrolled, add your cage and light it. 

    Depends on the shot, I guess. If you need just one overhead of the elevator sinking with a little camera for interest, go with projection. If you need multiple or different angles, or if you want the camera to go very far down the shaft, build it with planes, or even a 3D model? Take a look on turbosquod for free chimney or hall or duct models. You might find something that looks right. 

  • Thanks for the tips guys. I think I have a plan now as I will be needing side shots with the lift rising, its a cage lift with mesh sides. I also need a shot from the to. time will tell if it works. Test shot to come.

    @Triem23, how did you create the fluorescent lights in your corridor shot? I know to add 3d lights but they only illuminate, they don't show as lights that you can see. I need strip lights in the lift shaft. Actor lighting will be practical effect.



  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @DreamArchitect, there are two things going on there, both dealing with material settings. First, the source image for the projection is being used as an environment map in the Dalek's material settings on the object layer. Secondly, there are something like 12 point lights, roughly aligned with the wall lights. Hitfilm's renderer will generate specular highlights from lights, and I spent some time adjusting the shininess settings in the material options in the model import settings. 

    So, the reflections of the ceiling light tubes is from the environment map, the shifting highlights are from the point lights. 

  • Ok thanks for that @Triem23. I'll be putting a test shot together soon

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