Delicious Visual Effects in Space Sweepers Movie

Space Sweepers, one of the most popular Netflix releases, became a huge surprise for the skeptics who thought only Hollywood could create science fiction movies with such delicious visual effects. The product of Korean moviemakers showed off how far the mastery of Korean visual effects professionals has come. The movie even received a Baeksang Arts Award for the Best Technical Achievement in Film. However, breathtaking and realistic VFX is not the only thing that has made this movie spoken about. Excellent actors’ cast performance made the movie lively, energetic, and really heartwarming at times. If your heart has been stolen by one of the Space Sweepers cast, you might want to know more about their work on the movie. Click here to jump to their press conference and learn more about the cast’s attitude to the movie.

Space Sweepers – Realistic Visual Effects for Creating Alternate Reality Video

The visual effects for Space Sweepers were created by Dexter Studios, based in Seoul. The company is known for its top-level VFX team, which had shown its skills in visual effects production while working on such South Korean movies as Ashfall and Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds.

The excellent job done by the VFX artists allowed creating not just nice visual effects but the super-realistic alternative reality in the Earth’s orbit, which is often compared to the Wild West of the cosmic era. The vast cosmic background created by the VFX team is stunning. Over a thousand experts in the field worked on the VFX and CG for Space Sweepers.

Space Sweepers – One of the First Korean Blockbusters

The action of the movie takes place in 2092, quite a near future for us, which makes it even more exciting to watch. Unlike traditional Hollywood space blockbusters with the good guys fighting with the evil aliens, Space Sweepers is a more down-to-earth film, if one can say so about a science fiction movie. It depicts the story of the three people and a robot trying to survive poverty on the almost uninhabited Earth. Each of them has their own story explaining how they got into such a life situation.

Because of the severe pollution of the Earth, most citizens moved to live in special orbital habitats created by the UTS corporation. The lack of money didn’t allow Kim Tae-ho, Tiger Park, Bubs (the robot-android), and Captain Jang to join the citizens in the orbital homes, so they had to stay on the planet and try to survive. The only way for them to earn a living is to become space sweeps and collect the space debris for further recycling on the UTS corporation factory. The only thing this team owns is a spaceship called Victory.

During one of their trips to collect space garbage, they find a girl named Dorothy, who is later discovered to be a mass destruction weapon chased by the Black Fox terrorist group and James Sullivan – the UTS SEO. Although, at first, the Victoria team wanted to exchange the girl for a ransom, later they built a strong bond and started protecting Dorothy.

Being set in space-like visual effects, the movie still shows relations between people, the unbridgeable abyss between the rich and the poor, and simple human values, which still matter in the space future.

The Motion-Capture Technology for Robot Bubs

A lot of work was made to create one of the main characters, the CG robot, as realistic as the real actors cast. Robot Bubs is the first Korean-made robot created using motion-capture technology. Played by the actor Yoo Hae-Jin the robot combined in itself the motion capture filming along with real actor’s voice acting. You say that’s not much of a big deal, but only not in this case. Robot Bubs is considered unique not only because of the location where it was created but also because of the movie budget, which is times smaller than the Hollywood films with similar level visual effects.

The creation of the robot Bubs required a lot of time and effort not only on the part of the Visual effects team but also on the part of Yoo Hae-Jin. The actor had to spend long hours on-set wearing a motion capture suit packed with movement tracking devices and other technical stuff to allow the VFX artists to get the visual characteristics of the robot movements and space surrounding him. Despite the technical difficulties of the shooting process, the robot looks super realistic in the movie. And although the audience can’t see the actor’s face, his character is perfectly felt through the movements and gestures he makes.

The Use of Unreal Engine to Visualize Space Sweepers Visual Effects

One of the reasons why the visual effects in Space Sweepers are so realistic is the use of Unreal Engine in the production process. This powerful real-time 3D creation platform allowed the film producers to create 100% CG scenes, particularly those where the vast space landscapes appear. The Unreal Engine helped the team understand what the final scene should look like at the previs stage, which simplified the shooting process a lot.

The creative director of the movie Hee-sung Yang said that Unreal Engine played a huge role in previsualization. It allowed getting high-quality 3D effects visualizations of the scenes with the lighting and details to get a clear vision of how the scene should look like. “The power of Unreal Engine has helped us build our own pipeline that is optimized for us, to focus on realizing our imaginations and to respond to any situation.” – explained Hee-sung Yang.

The tunnel scene in the movie wouldn’t look as realistic, but for Unreal Engine. It required a lot of work on lighting, VFX, and highly detailed designs, which would be impossible to accomplish without using this technology.

How Can You Enhance Your Videos With Visual Effects at Home?

Enjoying the VFX in the movies like Space Sweepers, a lot of people start wondering whether they can edit their videos the same way. To tell the truth, it’s impossible to achieve the same stunning effect as in Space Sweepers using regular video editing software. Still, you can add some visual effects to your videos using free or paid video editing programs. One of the most popular among beginner editors is an open-source video editor Shotcut. It’s free to download and offers some nice features, including video filters. Still, it’s far from being called a professional-grade video editor. Want to add some movie-fleur to your video? Adding a countdown timer video can do the trick. Want to make your audience burn with impatience to watch your video?  The countdown timer is the best way to do this.

If visual effects are what you want for your video, then you would probably like the HitFilm Pro by FXhome, which features over 820 effects and presets. Lightworks is another professional-grade editing software, which offers both free and paid versions.

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