Big Screens

Instructor: Mimi Yin


Credits: NASA, ESO, and Blender Foundation.

This longer version will be remastered with a new soundtrack soon!

Expanded Cinema show at Made in NY Media Center by IFP


VENUE: IAC 527 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011




Week 5:

What is it?

A visual love letter to space exploration, and the engrossing beauty of the cosmos.  A voyage beyond our solar neighborhood into the unknown and a panorama of views from alien worlds set beneath alien skies.

Refined Takeaway Sentence:

What does it feel like to be the first human to see a sunrise on an untouched, unexplored world?

What feelings do you want to provoke / evoke in the audience?

Wonder, awe, excitement, and interest.

Rough Storygraph:


The overall shape is a regular step up to the finale.
There are six general sections:

Leaving earth, passing the known planets, travelling through interstellar space, arriving at a distant solar system, sunrise/sunset/star-rise, decay into abstract eye candy.  Each section will be similar in length but the speed of the animation will increase towards the end.  Each section will blend into the next whereas the latter part will be more sudden and jumpy.
The climax is the abstract animation that happens towards the end; it lasts about twenty seconds.
The punchline is that each world has it’s own fantastic horizons and vistas.

Is it interactive?

It’s an eye brain interaction.  😉

What technologies are you exploring?

3D modeled planets and landscapes, volumetric shading networks, procedural and natural textures, particle effects, flocking behavior, physics simulation.

Open issues?

How to make the visuals work with soundtrack.

What questions do you have?

Does the visual story make sense.

What are your influences?

NASA, ESO, Carl Sagan, Carter Emmart, Neil DeGrasse Tyson,

Out of the Cradle: Exploring the Frontiers Beyond Earth by Ron Miller, Interstellar by Christopher Nolan, Blade Runner and Prometheus by Ridley Scott, 2001 a Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick.

On a Clear Day by the Peddlers, Soundtrack to Interstellar, Soundtrack to Tron Legacy

Paolo Soleri, Santiago Calatrava, Zaha Hadid, Jacques Fresco, Buckminster Fuller

What is your “visual language?”

Big open spaces, vistas, horizons, panoramas, light, color, shadow, movement.  Stone, water, sky, stars, clouds, and world building.

Any visuals from your 100 images assignment you’re going to build upon?

The stars, space, and planetary stuff.

Week 4:

Tech Labs: AE, Render Farm, Multiscreen Login, Cinema 4D.

What raw emotions do you want to insert into the roller coaster ride?  Wonder, exhilaration, delight, tranquility.

Week 3:

Rapid storyboarding shuffle.


Week 2:

One hundred images to test on the big screen.  Here is a sample.


Week 1:


There is quite a bit of background processes that must be set in motion to play a video file on the screen.  I was able to mock up a quick test of the rendering parameters with a 3D model I made in Blender 3D.  Very exciting to have something up on the screen to see what it looks like on day one!  Thanks Mimi!


Homework: Image Slideshow


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