Lab Raid is a short film about three animal rights activists who break into an animal testing laboratory looking for animals to rescue. They stumble upon a terrible experiment; unwittingly releasing a monstrous test subject who hunts them down.
Lab Raid is a teaser for "Vivisection", a full-length feature about a monster discovered by animal rights activists during a break in to a military laboratory.
Kirill Smolskiy worked mostly on post production of the movie. That includes design of the titles, vfx, picture cleanup and full color correction. Kirill also worked on a set as a grip.
Bellow is a Q&A that happened after premier of the short.
Can you tell about design of the movie titles and credits?
We’ve watched a bunch of titles designs for inspiration before making our own titles. There are few websites on the web where you can view titles and “making of” from different movies. Very interesting and inspiring material.
John created a custom Lab Raid font that we used in our titles. It has A as in the logo in the movie. We added glowing red A in every word that has it, to make it look more interesting. Every titles is about 10 layers with different effects and shades on it. Effects on the titles are animated using expressions on different filters like distortion, scale, glow, etc. I used expression to add more randomness to the effects.
What other vfx work did you do?
There were couple shots that required additional vfx work.
There was a shot where we had to replace reflection in the window with a bigger and more scary one. I used matchmoving technique to create a good replacement. In Nuke there is a nice plugin called camera tracker. I used it to recreate cg camera and placed a 3d card on the place where the window should be. Then projected a new image on that card.
There was another shot where Garry cuts his hand. Since hand cut and him being in pain is happening in one shot. We could not put makeup on his hand. Off course someone on the set said: “don’t worry, we will fix it in post”. We had to come up with some ideas to disguise his hand injury. I’ve been collaborating with John on this one, and the only successful solution we found was creating fake blooming of the light he holds in the hand.
Also did some minor vfx work. There were few shots where on the set we forgot to turn on headlight. We had to track the footage and turn on the lights on the characters. Removed few wires in the shot where sign on the door moves. And cleaned up few security lights in the beginning of the movie.
We also used some "film effects" to disguise jump cuts in the movie. Some effects like "bad tv noie", "bad film gate", RGB split. I’ve created 4 or 5 presets for each effect and were placing them on top of jump cuts between the shots. Each effects is number of layers with different expressions that animate scale, transform, etc. For RGB split effect I’ve created 3 layers with just RED, GREEN, BLUE, shifted individual layer with expression and then added them back together.
What software did you use?
There are a lot of software and tools to make certain things faster and more beautiful. But I used all I had available to me.
For titles design and color correction I used After Effects. Because AE is motion graphics tool and it’s much faster to create animated and moving elements in after effects. Plus you can load all your shots in AE timeline. And it was much faster to do color correction when you have entire project loaded.
For vfx work I used NUKE. Because this is what the tool is meant for. Plus I am using it at my day work all the time. So I am pretty fast in it.
Gary Carlos Joseph
Claire Richelle Meiss
Cam Paulo Vincent-Brown
Post Production and VFX by Kirill Smolskiy
Director of Photography Mike Dallatorre
Music by Matt Linder
Production Design by Irwin Aquino
Edited by Shawn Bohonos
Produced by Sally Cook
Written and Directed by John Hughes