View Full Version : Create a flying astrovan in space

May 21, 2005, 06:58 PM
I just recently created a slideshow for gradutating seniors using iMovie. I started it off with a Star Wars theme, since Episode III was out the same week. The slideshow opens similar to the original Star Wars IV by using the music (purchased from iTunes for the iMovie use license) and the "far, far away" title effect with a spoof of the original text.

One thing I wanted to include, but didn't have time to do for the slideshow (which was put together in about 4 hours the day before - some parents were a little late getting pictures in), was to include the opening sequence from Star Wars IV where the rebel ship is being pursued by the Imperial cruiser. This group of kids were pretty close and they used to ride around in this old AstroVan together. I wanted to try and drop the AstroVan over the rebel ship for a few seconds of video.

I understand that this process is called compositing, but I've never done it before. What software do I need to do this little bit of movie magic? I'm not a visual artist, but I'm very handy with computers. Can someone point me in the right direction? Are there any free tools or trial versions that will let me complete this one 10 second clip?

Mr. Anderson
May 23, 2005, 09:37 AM
Do you have a picture or image of the underside of the Astrovan or are you thinking 3D here? That's not exactly a simple thing to do, either, since for it to look halfway decent you have to make sure that you have the same perspective on the video of the van.


May 23, 2005, 03:33 PM
what are you using to edit? you could do this pretty crudely in final cut express i'd think.... just with having layers of images of astrovan, and then sizing them down and making them move along with the motion of the ships they're covering

crude is the key word though

for something to look good, you'd need combustion or after effects, or at least motion.. though even then yeah, you'd probably have to break into the 3D realm too...

i think for your level of project and to get the point across, just resize and reposition layers of the astrovan pictures over the video using fce (or pro)... if someone knows that fce can't manipulate tracks like this, then please let me know and you'd need pro to do it at that point, but i think express has this capability.

May 23, 2005, 03:55 PM
Crude is absolutely fine for this project. In fact, I think a amateurish clip might give it a campy, Star Trek:TOS kind of feel (you know, where the cut-out of the shuttlecraft moves against the background of stars). It definitely doesn't need to be high-tech. My original thought was just to move a cut-out of an Astrovan across the screen over the original video ripped from the DVD.

I've got iMovie, and I can download a trial of After Effects but I don't know if it would watermark the video. I also have access to FCE so I could export and edit it in there as well.

Mr. Anderson
May 23, 2005, 11:26 PM
I'd use FCE so you can have more than one video track and do all the editing there without having to go back and forth with iMovie.

Post the results or even some frames - I'm curious now :D