Event Horizon: A Visual Effects Thesis


Chris Beidler

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Degree Program

Visual Effects Animation


Digital Media Arts College (DMAC)

First Advisor

Alex Duque

Second Advisor

Kevin Kao

Third Advisor

Brett Baker


This thesis was submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Fine Arts, Visual Effects Animation to be received from Digital Media Arts College in April 2014. The aim of this thesis was to create a science fiction themed effects sequence utilizing a number of cinematic cameras, movements, and a full digital set. All assets in the sequence were created to look cinematic and as real as possible so that live action integration would look almost seamless. To accomplish this task an entire production pipeline was created, and a number of compositing techniques were employed so that the footage that was real could blend seamlessly with the footage that was created in Maya. The pipeline included the creation of 3D assets, environmental effects, lights, and dynamic simulations. Compositing techniques ranged from chroma keying, to grain matching and color correction. Technical limitations did create restrictions on time and the scope of the project, but also led to the creation of workarounds and creative solutions to maintain deadlines set throughout the project. Through the proper creation and effective execution of this pipeline the goal of this thesis project was achieved.

Content Description

2 DVDs; Thesis w/ illustrations. 1 DVD contains: Thesis in PDF and MOV file describing the process. 2nd DVD contains: a demo reel.


MFA Box 1

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