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Future War/Hay Bales

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Project 1: robot
Project 2: hay bales

Project 1:

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The main objective was to add the robot to the scene, but since the sky didn't really fit in, I replaced it with one that wouldn't draw attention from the robot, and got the idea of a world in war when doing so.
After keying out the sky and adding a HDR dome, I used an existing city skyline to build a high resolution image in Photoshop, and added that as a flat plane in the horizon. Multiple gradients were placed in front of it as fog to blend it in, and to give the illusion of depth, more fog was added in the foreground, but this time as a 2D box to be controlled by expressions and masked.

I rendered off a few extra planes to go along with the robot, and took some time getting the lighting to look correct as they got further into the fog (for the record, based on the sun position, the shadows of the planes were hundreds of metres away from the camera location).

Frame from the original footage:

Project 2:

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The main idea behind this was integrating a lot of render passes at once, though to mask out the centre hay bale, quite a complicated expression based track was needed.

Floating hay bales: unmultiplied, alpha, normals, shadow (raw).
Banner: ambient occlusion, keylight, rim light (raw), normals, shadow (raw), self shadow from hay bale (raw).
Ground hay bale: premultiplied, normals, ambient occlusion.
Particles: premultiplied for each floating hay bale.

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