Aurum - indie sci-fi series pilot project

Hey there everyone!

It's been quite a while since I've been on these forums - maybe I'll find some familiar faces and surely a lot of new ones.  :)
Sitting in front of my PC a lot I miss the exchange with other filmmakers so thought why not use the lonely VFX and post-work I'm doing as a good entry to get back into the the online exchange. This community used to be a second home for a long long time...

For some time now, I've been working on a crazy sci-fi series plot which we shot a little technical test for last august. It uses a lot of greenscreen, lots of 3D and post FX stuff and I've been working on a technical update for the last 4 weeks and will shoot some more scenes to produce a complete pilot episode. It's been great fun, quite a challenge and I got a lot of technical help and advice from the Hitfilm guys.

Here's the new cinematic trailer:

It's about a group of people who discover unknown ancient ruins in a cave system. On the paintings they find marks of the annunaki, the mystical aliens who have supposedly helped the ancient cultures with the building of their monuments.  Unintentionally, they set in motion a chain of events with global, maybe even universal proportions.

The current updated shots look something like this:




  • Love it! Especially the glowing green lightning stuff.

  • Trailer was giving me goosebumps.

  • Would love to see a bts of this

  • I agree with @Godofthunder. Behind the scenes would be very interesting.

    Having said that I am SO impressed and excited by the trailer. It's got a great feel to it and a distinctive style.
    It reminds me a little of a Cyberpunk short somebody posted (last year?)

    What impressed me most about the trailer (apart from the visuals, sound, acting, music, vfx  ) was the timing.
    Just as I thought it might be a charming little short film it exploded into something much bigger. Really took me by surprise and was a great hook,.


  • edited August 2018

    THIS WAS INSANE! I am so impressed by this! The VFX is amazing, the story feels like Indiana Jones and Gravity Falls combined, the sound design was fantastic, and the editing was on point! I aspire to have your talent, keep up the great work!

  • I'm with @Godofthunder and @DafterThings ,a BTS would be nice to see

  • @Sollthar What is up dude? Saw your face in the trailer. Awesome stuff man, great to see your work again after all these years. :)

  • Thanks a lot for the kind words! Really glad you enjoy the trailer. I hope to make a version "B" soon with the upgraded visuals and story elements.

    I'll try to get some BTS material together and lead a bit through the process!

    Yeah, cool to read your name again too. I'm good. Still alive. Still doing the occasional shoot every once in a while. What are you up to?

  • Cant wait!

  • Great work! Can't wait to see more of this!

  • edited August 2018

    Sorry, for some weird reason, my post appeard several times now (There was a forum issue yesterday).


  • Thanks a lot. Glad you like it!

    As promised, a little BTS for the shot compositions used on "Aurum":;

  • Good stuff.  Well done tech!

    Also, have to commend the actors who have to react to nothing in the scene but the green screen.

  • @Sollthar where did you get all the 3d background elements?

  • Thank you @Stargazer54 . Yeah, the actors had to trust my directions blindly as they saw nothing but green. But they had good fun. :)


    Some I modeled myself, some I bought from various places and retextured them to my needs.

  • @Sollthar ,

    I'm doing great but seriously, your last video post, dude wow. Awesome as always. :)

  • edited August 2018

    Thanks. I'll keep this updated as the pilot progresses.


  • edited August 2018

    There also a BTS sequence of how the throne room was created in case anyone is interested in that too:


  • Mind blown

    keep ‘em coming please

  • @Sollthar apologies for the earlier issue with things double-posting or not appearing at all. You ran afoul of an automated spam filter, then when I approved your posts they all came back at once. Shouldn't happen again as you are now "approved".

    Also, welcome back!

  • Ah, that explains it. Thank you Daniel! Glad to be back around here.  :)

  • edited January 2019

    And here I am again after work took me in.

    I'm experimenting with different techniques and was wondering if I could get some feedback from some of you guys here. I'm working on the intro-sequence trying out different workflows to get what I'd like. 

    So if anyone could have a watch at this ( not listed ) youtube outtake and tell me what they think that would be great. Does it work? What does? What doesn't? Would you continue watching? etc. Anything that helps me out of the VFX-too-close-to-everything bubble would be neat.  :P


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Late to the thread  so, for now, wow! I'll be critical another time. Lotta hard work for excellent results. Awesome work! 

  • @Sollthar

    I'm fairly new to vfx (Only been at it for a few months so take this as you will.)

    Incredible work.

    Everything looks great but the frontal shots of the character.

    Something just feels... off about it. He doesn't blend well into the background, and as soon as I saw his face my mind said turn off, and I became slightly less intrigued.

    (I think that would be the point where your audience would lose interest.)

    All the shots with him, from behind, far away, and side look excellent though. 

    My suggestion would be to not show his face until that shot at 1:20 as the far away shots look better and would build up suspense to the reveal. (Especially since you have the item shot of his hand and flashlight before that.)

    Then keep the rest of it as it is, as it looks very well done.

    Those would be my suggestions.  Make sure to hear what everyone else has to say and keep up the good work!!


  • Thanks a lot for the comment Xhan47 ! The idea with keeping the face in the dark is actually very cool. I'm going with that.  :D

    Yeah, we tried different lighting and compositing techniques for each shot actually to see what would give what result and how long it would take. That's why some of it looks different. 

  • @Sollthar No problem.

    Sweet. Adds a bit of a Raiders of the lost Ark intro to it. 





  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    One issue with the front shots is lighting direction isn't matching. Light streams into the cave from behind  but your actor is lit from a non-existent source to his front left. 

    There are hundred-million dollar movies that make this error  including Star Wars ep II, III, VII and VIII or the Hobbit movies.

    On second viewing (of all videos in the thread except the throne build) every shot where BG/FG lighting matches looks fantastic. Shots with lighting mismatch look off. 

    Don't worry about this TOO much since the fix is a LOT of relighting BG elements (you don't want to reshoot!). The VFX are more than good enough to tell the story. Most shots are more than good enough to pass for current TV and a few are feature film quality. 


  • edited January 2019

    Thanks a lot for the feedback @Triem23
    You're right. The lighting is always the trickiest part. Have to figure out ways to adapt that better. Could work to maybe render with a CG double and then match that as good as possible. 

    Adapting the contrast harsher to the backgrounds helped a lot already I think. Updated the above link.

  • Wow! I understand what Triem23 is saying, but honestly, this is super cool.! Love it. I think as you take into account things like lighting and such, your films will just get better and better.

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