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Mustang — WWII Book Trailer (with BTS Photos)


Grant Hobbs shares some background of his VFX work on a video about WWII.

This is a book trailer I recently put together for my old history teacher from way back in the 7th grade (yeah, it’s been a while). I used Blender, Terragen, and Fusion for the VFX work, but also relied heavily on practical effects where… well, practical. Hope you like it!!

One of the VFX shot setups, with a smoke sim:

The most time-consuming part of the project was making a gimbaled P-51 Mustang cockpit mockup, which was fabricated with help from a lot of very generous people (extra special thanks to David Schirato) at Dallas Makerspace. It was amazing having so many talented people pitch in in different ways, and since I had never designed/built anything on this scale before (or even picked up a welding torch for that matter), I don’t know how I would have finished without them. (By the way, the wonderful burnt corpse sculpture was made by Kris Anderson, also at Dallas Makerspace.)

Here you can see the cockpit rig at the shooting location:

Harry Morin as the pilot, wearing authentic WWII USAAF flight gear courtesy of reenactor Wade Williams:

This is what the interior of the cockpit looked like—notice that the lower sides are not built out at all, since I did not plan to see them in the finished project (they did wind up sneaking into a shot or two though).

The instrument panel was also practical. Some of the instruments were powered pneumatically and worked based on gimbal orientation, and some were imitations controlled via an Arduino by a custom iPad app:

Looking back on it, I can’t help but wonder whether the trailer itself was worth such a significant time investment—but it was a great learning experience, and I met a lot of really cool people in the process!


  1. Rombout Versluijs on

    Looks stunning! The vimeo player always gives horrible playback sadly, so i could watch it smoothly. So you made a book accompanied with this trailer all for the teacher? Thats sound like a massive project?!?!

    Stunning trailer!!!

    • Rombout Versluijs on

      Im getting confused now

      "Trailer written, storyboarded, designed, built, planned, shot, edited, and finished by Grant Hobbs. Inspired by original trailer concepts by John J. Dwyer and scenes from the book."

    • Amazing work! Loved that opening shot of the P-51. Would love to see more behind the screens of integrating in the practical and 3d shots.

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