VFX “Megathread” on potential 777 video (is it real or is it a hoax, 3D industry discussion inside)

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tl;dr: Cumulatively, we VFX artists can’t discern one way or the other. No one has stood on a soap box yet with authority who is worth considering as a “final word.” It can plausibly be faked in 2014 and the majority of us believe that if it is faked that it was a “composite job” meaning, someone (US government?) started with “clean” footage of a plane doing nothing out of the ordinary then overlaid the orbs.

I am a 3D artist, a “generalist” with most experience in PR and marketing as well as video games and other disparate fields. One of many drones in our field who can speak with authority on this subject. We all have worthwhile things to say because we all do things differently. As a generalist I can tell you the term is overrated and we don’t use it to describe ourselves in the field. Let me use this silly term of self-description to impart just that, this is a huge field with no single expert at everything. We need this kind of thread to be coherent as a result. We don’t need to go into who I am, unicorns and their benefits/drawbacks, just trying to give you my background as briefly as possible.

Before anyone accuses me of being a MIB or part of a 4th dimensional alien conspiracy (literally 2 things that have happened to me in recent days on this subject), I have and will continue to reveal my RL ID to trusted places. One of those places was the mod staff. I’m no one special but the person I represent myself as and welcome anyone to challenge it.

Enough about me, the point of the post: Let’s try and organize some of our thoughts on the plane and focus discussion about potentiality VFX/fake here. We all have relevant opinions and none of us will agree 100%. For instance, I disagreed with a member who thinks it’s obviously a 3D model, we both have relevant opinions and are worth listening to (he’s wrong, I’m right! /s)

To that end, let’s try and keep this thread VFX-oriented only. Rabbit holes further down, sure whatever, everything always comes down to whether or not Bob Lazar is lying so who cares if it’s 15-deep where no one reads it. But root comments, let’s try and keep them VFX-oriented. Let’s treat it like a general “AMA” where people like me can chime in, pretend we can produce James Cameron flicks in a silo and argue about. It’s kind of what we need here to both stay organized and have the actual discussion on the post-production side of this whole thing.

A member encouraged me to make a post based on his moderated post. Seeing as that I guess somehow moved the needle and this is not about me, I’ve copy and pasted what I wrote with as little alteration as possible below.

So let’s get this party started, my thoughts from that thread (was going to consolidate with Chat GPT but, she’s bad):

I’m an actual 3D artist, I know we seem to be plentiful around here these days but I have clients and I get paid for what I do and it’s been happening for decades. That post [about a model that showed hard edges, potentially showing an obvious 3D model, post it here person who made it!] was good but I disagree with it, I find it highly unlikely someone went through all of that effort and forgot to subdivide the Predator model.

I do believe it’s fakable. That doesn’t mean it’s fake. I think myself and most VFX artists will agree if this is fake it’s likely a composite job (getting sick of saying those words). If it’s a composite job, where did the source video come from? Predator drones? Spy planes or satellites? It came from the government if it’s fake, then, right? We’ve never had confirmation of aliens, we have had plenty of confirmation of government elaborate ruses to unknown ends (more information see: Mirage Men).

I and many thousands of others can do this with source footage. Yes, even in 2014. You go to the movies, you watch TV, you play video games. Do you think some of us might be able to spin some orbs with some trails and composite it over existing footage? Are we like bound to God on high to only use these powers for cinema and games?

Rotating spheres on an axis, think about it, it’s kind of that easy if you know what you’re doing. The trails from the spheres would be the hardest part but we’re not talking about something that couldn’t be easily done by anyone who knows particle systems. In fact those trails look to me like someone bought an early version of X-Particles and was trying to find a use.

I know you all really really really want us to be able to tell you something definitive here. Frankly if we crack this nut it’s going to be through this crowd-sourcing of crazy little rabbit holes. Most of them are nothing, but one of them may lead to something.

In fact, the more scrutiny it receives the more I’m like, “man maybe this really was something.”

So nothing definitive, I question anyone who says they can tell you definitively as a VFX/3D artist (wow, sounds familiar, it’s like this entire subject on a smaller scale)

_____Comment from /u/JETLIFEMUZIK94**:** Wow…hold my fucking upvote

My Answer:

Thanks, and if you want bonus speculation, the banking of the supposed 777 and the Predator flying through the contrails feels like something I would do to set up an interesting shot. It makes less sense as a thing that would happen IRL for any reason.

That to me is one of the strongest pieces of evidence this is fake. I can totally see a good 3D artist losing the realism when it comes to camera shots and stuff and defaulting to a subconscious “entertainment” perspective with the cameras.

If this was MH370, why the bank? If this is a test, why the bank? Did they engage the phenomenon and try and out maneuver it and filmed the whole thing? Perhaps, but there seem like not a lot of great answers for why a plane that goes like a few miles per hour (Predators max air speed is ~130mph at a lower altitude) literally at that altitude is there in that specific spot. The plane would have to know and be looking for the Predator to meet up maybe? It just seems weird.

I have the bonus of having done work in aerospace. Not an expert by any stretch (artist, I’m an artist with knowledge of orbital mechanics, nothing more fancy than that) but it does make me question the whole setup.

The fact that I think this is likely a composite job leaves me from pursuing this specific line harder, plus just because it doesn’t make sense to me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense to pilots out there in some way as I’m not a pilot.


Comment from /u/JETLIFEMUZIK94**:** That’s the part I keep coming back to, and nobody have a good answer on. Why was it being followed to begin with by a drone. It just seems to perfect 🤷🏽‍♂️

My Answer:

Doesn’t mean it’s fake. The possibilities are endless. I can speculate this is all genuine and not a setup even with all of this. Like what if the US government was alerted and put intel assets in place to act to save lives if needed, these are human beings with emotions and souls who would want to help. Also, at that point it was probably considered a hijacking and you bet your fucking ass after 9/11 every available American asset has a procedure in place to focus on hijacked planes.

All you would then need is deployable Predators in that vicinity that could scramble and be airborne in the appropriate amount of time.

If we’re talking about NHI who operate outside the bounds of time then it would only make sense that they’d put the show on when the eyes were in place to watch.

Ultimately all of it is inconclusive and the point being we VFX artists aren’t able to prove much (so far) on this and I don’t anticipate we will ever be able to point to a smoking gun. The fake, too simple, the effects, too simple, and the stuff that’s harder to fake isn’t impossible by any stretch.

Literally all this takes is someone to be playing with particles in a coherent way for like a video game and while he’s playing around in Houdini or whatever decides to render out something with a ray tracer and placing IR filters over it. Those IR filters would be relatively easy to fake (harder to get perfect) and solve a lot of “render engine problems” you might encounter in 2014.

Honestly though, people over-emphasize the 2014 part. My frank opinion is the biggest changes in capabilities from 2014 to 2023 is the reduction of render times. There hasn’t been some huge revolution in being able to produce content. Anything that’s built to streamline content would leave artifact or other tell-tale signs making the 2014 utterly meaningless.

All of this rambling, I’m just kind of circling the toilet, “inconclusive” is the best and potentially only answer an “expert” can give.

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