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Projected Backdrops in Oblivion’s Skytower

Last year Tom Cruise starred in Oblivion, and while it’s not one of his highest reviewed films, it had some projection technology that was worth taking a closer look at. Several of the shots used a CAVE-like system for dynamic background changes and realistic environment lighting. This means that instead of filming with a bluescreen and post-processing the background and lighting effects in,  the lighting could be directly captured through the camera. This is a huge time-saver, as correcting subtle visual details in post, such as material reflections and interreflections, can be a very tedious and difficult process!





According to Triple Wide Media, 21 projectors were used to canvas 500′ x 42′ screen that wrapped 270 degrees around the set. That couldn’t have been a fun experience calibrating and edge blending, but the results were definitely worth the effort. Given the fidelity of the shots, we wouldn’t be surprised if these kinds of techniques started becoming more common for big-budget films.