This six month project was inspired by the popularity of tilt-shift miniature faking photography and was an attempt at expanding the concept to video format to give the effect of someone having a miniature of downtown Minneapolis in their basement.
The first 7 shots were made by taking photos and using the Vanish Point tool in Photoshop to turn the flat photo into a 3D scene. Then I imported it into After Effects, and cleaned up all the overlapping portions and missing areas and created the camera movement. The greenscreen footage was keyed and color corrected in Shake and then added into the scene in After Effects. The camera movement was then tracked with pftracker and imported into Maya where the 3D elements were added using free car models. The opening title, exacto blade and pop can were modeled and textured by myself. The background scene and renders of the Maya elements were then composited with a shallow depth of field to give it the tilt-shift look.
The final shot is a 3D city placed into a live action footage I shot. The footage was tracked using pftracker and was imported into Maya. Using several reference photos I constructed a basic model of downtown Minneapolis. In order to get the textures for all of the buildings, I had to go around Minneapolis and take photos of every building downtown from multiple angles. This step is what took the longest in the whole project. The scene was then rendered and composited with the background footage. Using the final frame of the footage, I used Photoshop to paint a day-to-night of the city for the transition of the lights being turned off.