this project was about learning and combining basic dynamic effects in a single shot. i used autodesk maya for the dynamic effects and adobe after effects for compositing.
the first step was creating the ocean displacement. i used a spot light to act as the reflection of the moon on the waves. the horizon was feathered so it wouldn't be visible over the horizon of the clouds.
i used a template to start the clouds and adjusted the ratio of the noise to generate the amount of clouds i wanted. i used a choke matte to hide the edges of the clouds and some color correction to set the value.
all the stars were done using paint effects against a large dome in maya. there are several layers, for the distant stars and ones that make up the arm of the milky way galaxy. the moon just ended up being a picture, since the camera move wouldn't really show off a 3D moon.
i used the black nebula brush from paint effects on the same dome the stars were painted on to add to the depth of the milky way galaxy arm. after a lot of trial and error, i decided to render with a white background so that i could use a multiply blending mode in after effects. it was way too dark against the background so i added several blurred layers of the stars behind so that the nebula brush popped out a little more.
the next step was to add glows for the atmosphere and the moon. most of the color correction used at this point was to set up the values for the final color correction. the shot was meant to invoke the surrealness of the night sky, so i didn't mind going a bit overboard on he glows.
the tent on the cliff was modeled using maya and nCloth with constraints to keep it tethered against the wind. in after effects, to get the value right, i removed a little of the contrast and added a blurred layer of fog.
for the final color correction, i upped the contrast using a curves layer and brought some of the red and green back in. some more glow was added so that it could overlap the cliff and tent. i added a vignette around the comp along with some blur.
the last step was to fake that beautiful widescreen look and calling it a day.