Aurora – Special Edition

Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist

Inspired by Adobe Photoshop’s new generative AI capabilities, I gave my SAE thesis project back from 2007 the «Special Edition» treatment and made some minor changes I wasn’t able do the first time around when I was attending the digital film and animation school.

Especially one scene at the end never was as bombastic as I’d planned it to be. After some upscaling and with the help of some generative AI-magic the frame was extended and new details were added.

For dramatic effect I tried to generate some smoke-simulation in Blender but I was quickly reminded of the fact that one doesn’t just start up a 3D-software after years of absence without browsing through a handful of tutorials.

After hours of struggling and rendering, the first results were less than underwhelming and I went the old-school FX way of simulating smoke: Capturing footage of some milk dripped in water did the job just fine. When I cropped, enhanced and flipped some of the footage I had taken inside my kitchen cupboard earlier, there was no going back to Blender – for now.

Making of the smoke clouds

It’s been 16 years since the original version of Aurora – a fictitious trailer, my very own homage to high concept disaster movies à la Independence Day but it hasn’t lost an ounce of its soul, enthusiasm and – admittedly – cringiness:

I give you: Aurora – Special Edition:

Aurora – Special Edition

Maybe the next version will finally get its own soundtrack without all the copyright issues…

In the meantime, here’s the original version and some bonus content:

The original version from 2007
Some outtakes for good measure