Oscars Effects – Inception ‘Rotating Room’


by Noemi Bodino, Michela Pratola, Giulia Tasca

Original title: Inception
Country of production: USA, United Kingdom
Year: 2010
Genres: action, sci-fi, thriller, drama
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Produced by: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
Special Effects: Chris Corbould, Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Peter Bebb
Academy Award for Best Special Effects in 2011.

Inception uses mainly mechanical systems to achieve special effects, notably realized through the construction of a large box (with all the elements appropriately fixed) which is was rotated giving the effect of weightlessness and the illusion of being able to walk with ease vertically.
For the realization of this video, we have selected three scenes of the film, structuring it in as many chapters: Cubic City, Gravity and Spin Liquid Revolution.
To play them, we built a set used for the composition of each scene.

Cubic City:

  • Place a box inside a tube. To fit the box it’s necessary that the diagonal is the same size as the diameter of the tube;
  • Set the camera to frame the exact size of the constructed set;
  • Rotate the tube and in this way you can create the movement of the ball inside the box;
  • In AE the ball was placed in a citizen scenario:
    1. With Chroma Key, we replaced the walls of the box with the actual filming of the road;
    2. It was subsequently applied a mask to be able to add a different recovery and create the effect of a cubic city (to modify and enhance the perspective it has been used CC Power Pin);
    3. Finally to give more realism to the scenario it was applied some Color Correction and were included shadows.

Gravity Revolution:

  • Using the set built previously were inserted and fixed with hot glue the miniature furniture to “decorate” the box,
  • Turning the pipe the ball moves on all sides of the box;
  • In AE was performed some Color Correction.

Spin Liquid:

  • Inside the set was fixed a glass with glue to make it stable and not let it move;
  • Once poured the liquid into the glass, the tube was rotated to swing the liquid inside;
  • In AE was performed some Color Correction.

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