UFO over Santa Clarita from Aristomenis Tsirbas on Vimeo.

UFO over Santa Clarita from MeniThings on YouTube.

UFO over Santa Clarita

“UFO Over Santa Clarita” is a CGI exercise in photorealism. While most assumed that the UFO’s must be CGI while everything else was live-action, in reality everything is computer generated. The sky is a digital matte painting wrapped on a semi-sphere. The car, its driver, the bushes, and even the flock of birds are all animated CG models. The sun is a hand tracked digital flare with associated lens aberrations and smudges. Everything is fake.

The hoax video was directed by Aristomenis (Meni) Tsirbas of MeniThings Productions in partnership with the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. While Meni was responsible for direction, animation and lighting, a crew of talented Gnomon School students were assigned concept design, modeling and texturing for this all-CGI photo real VFX experiment.


Aristomenis Tsirbas
Director, Producer, Camera & Lighting

Alex Alvarez

Darrin Krumweide

Wayne Hollingsworth
Visual Effects

Stefano Farci
Environment Model, Texture & Setup

Adad Morales
Environment Model, Texture & Setup

Guilherme Rambelli
Car & Mothership Models

Jose Trujillo
UFO Scout Model

Tiffany Yung
Hand Model, Texture & Rigging

Berk Hakguder
Smoke VFX, Flock Model & Animation

Jeff Lund
Mothership Texture

Chika Saito
UFO Scout Texture

Ben Sartory
Additional Modeling

Leonardo Krajden
Mothership Concept

Yuri Blagoveschenskiy
UFO Scout Concept