Stranger Things Upside Down VFX (After Effects & Unreal Engine)

Learn how to create the Upside Down effect from the Netflix series Stranger Things in this Adobe After Effects tutorial video. Composite real life shots and Unreal Engine 3D worlds for realistic VFX.

Stranger Things season 4

Recently Netflix announced that Stranger Things seasons 4 will finally be released in 2022. Originally this was planned for 2020 but I think you can guess why it got delay so long… Nonetheless the whole internet is ready and we are too! Every time a new season is announced we celebrate this with a tutorial and this time wont be any different.

In the past we did Elevens mind control, black veins and transitioning to the upside down. But for this episode we wanted to go a step further and be able to recreate ANY scene PLUS it’s upside down version right at your own home.

dIY camera tracking

Our Virtual Production setup is completely DIY. Everything we needed we already had at the studio. A VR system to track our camera, Video transmitters to send and receive our footage and a greenscreen, a computer and Unreal Engine

However not everybody has these items laying around at their home so I have some alternatives.

Greenscreen

If you don’t own a greenscreen you could always use a green cloth of some sort or even a green wall. As long as its green and evenly lit it should do the trick. Now if you don’t have access to those things either you can rotoscope everything. It’s going to take a lot more time but can defiantly work. Just make sure the contrast between the talent and background is big enough. And that you don’t have too much motion blur for an easier rotoscope.

yannick holding diy greenscreen
Yannick holding a DIY greenscreen (fabric)

Video Transmitters

In our video we used the Hollyland mars 400s pro transmitters and receivers. Which are perfect when doing projects like this because they provide low latency. So thank you Hollyland for send those our way!

Lorenzo installing transmitters
Lorenzo installing the Hollyland mars 400s pros

However if you don’t have the budget for these you can also attach a long HDMI cable to your camera. This should have no latency at all but you’ll be attach to the cable at all time which could get in the way. So be careful when doing this.

3D Tracking

These days more and more people have a VR setup at home with them becoming more affordable. This is perfect to use for your DIY virtual production. an alternative to this is the unreal remote app. When installing a plugin in unreal engine you can than input the IP of your computer into it. Once that’s done your mobile phone will become the 3D tracker which controls the virtual camera.

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