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Horror Vacui – Exploring Earth’s (un)real geological formations

Created by Matteo Zamagni, “Horror Vacui” is a non-narrative film that explores geological formations of Earth and the frenetic hyper-development attained by humankind. The work reflects upon the alienation from nature as well as the act of perceiving, and the biased interpretation of the notion of ‘reality’.

By mixing CGI techniques and real footage Matteo blurs the distinction between reality and a digital recreation of it, making the viewers question whether what they are seeing is real or not. The video begins with observing ever-evolving natural patterns through digitally recreated satellite images, aerial drone footage, natural macro textures and digital terrain scans. Further moving into gradually developing terrains, where man-made networks expand and disseminate across the earth’s surface.

Matteo used a variety of softwares ranging from 3D applications and renderers, industry-standard editing and VFX software, as well as technique-specific, scientific and geographical softwares and drone footage. Some of these include open source geographical websites for collection of ultra hi-res satellite imagery, Open topography – used to collect vast black/white LIDAR datasets, Global Mapper – used to georeference and sample the color form hi-res satellite imagery onto the LIDAR terrains, Google Earth for collecting hi-res satellite historical imagery to compose together in order to create a timelapse like effect, PhotoScan to create various 3D scans from selected drone footage (4K res), Zbrush to create assets and clean topologies, crazy bump to generate multiple texture maps in order to recreate digital terrains seen in bird’s eye view, Cinema 4D (Octane renderer) to create main 3D scenes, Houdini for coral growth simulation. Finally for sound Matteo used Ableton + various VSTs and for video editing and compositing After Effects and Premiere.

Project PageMatteo Zamagni

Credits: Created by Matteo Zamagni, Soundtrack by TSVI / 3D Production : Lino Sabia, Lorenzo Depascalis, Claudio Giambusso, Matteo Zamagni / Editing, Compositing, VFX, Grading: Sabrina Haas, Claudio Giambusso, Matteo Zamagni / Executive Producer : Thomas Wightman

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