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Space Invaders in Real Life - FX done with Blender


Jeremiah Warren sent us his recent animation which utilizes 2D stills made with Blender and composing and animating it over life footage in After Effects. In addition he also recorded a "Making of" to illustrate the approach he used.

Jeremiah wrote:

I created all the 3D elements (the ships, etc) in Blender, and composited them using After Effects. I used still renders versus full animations due to a lack of time, since I don't have drastic lighting changes I think it works pretty well. The one ship at the very end was an animation instead of a still.

The concept was to create a “game in real life” video. There were a ton of hugely successful videos done by popular YouTube users, and I wanted to try my hand at it. A well done Space Invaders video hadn't been done yet (with the exception of the game appearing in the Pixels short), so I figured it was a great opportunity for me. The whole project was shot in under 3 hours while in a hotel one morning in Colorado. Looking back, there are other things that I could have done to make it more exciting, but I think this is the best I could have done seeing my constraints and my location.

I'm an artist that enjoys creating intelligent material with a story that [hopefully]educates and/or entertains the audience. My tools include After Effects, Blender, and my beloved Canon 5D Mark II.

Making of:


  1. Steve Hellman on

    Nice short, simple and effective. Really enjoyed the " making of " section.
    Brings back fond memories...

  2. Fun. Very fun. And very well done given the very small amount of time put in (Do you just travel around with an old Atari joystick, or did you bring it along specifically for this project?). My only critique is that I believe the original space invaders game did not allow multiple shots from your cannon. You had to wait till your shot either hit a ship or left the top of the screen before you could shoot a second shot (around the 50 second mark and afterward we see multiple shots going up).

    Nice choice of music too.

  3. Nice Idea but on the Directing/Scripting part it could have been done much better. I know there isn't much budget but it would be fun to see an actual "space invaders- the movie"with people running scared because space invaders blast at them.

  4. It's quite disappointing when someone uses After Effects in conjunction with Blender. I mean hey, you might as well use 3DS Max since they're giving it away for free to students. Don't get me wrong, Blender is pretty powerful. I am an avid Blender user. But I've taken a look at 3DS Max and it's pretty killer with the features.

  5. Smart tips for a quickie vid. But for a clip to be put in this site, I had expected more Blender usage than just the simple models. It would probably be more justifiable if the compositing were done in Blender as well. Good work, anyway.

  6. djallalnamri on

    a little "depth of field" on the space invaders might have been a good "sfx"
    they should have been blurred a little
    great concept anyway ... especially knowing it's been done in a hotel room !

  7. Brilliant! Very understated and cleanly executed. People always pick up on niggles, but the fact is that you nailed all of the key elements like making the invaders scan believable across the window. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Nicholas Rishel on


    Some people like to complain about other peoples' complaining for the sake of complaining. ;D

    Nice, fun movie for the sake of making one. I did also notice that you weren't holding your thumb over the button though, must be playing a newer, auto-fire version.

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