How to Recreate the Orange Desert Effect From 'Blade Runner 2049'

You want Hollywood-grade shots but you don't have the money? The bad news is most of the time you can't do anything about this. The good news is there are cases when with the help of some VFX you can go a long way, as in this case. This video will help you recreate that orange desert look from "Blade Runner 2049."

The guys from Film Riot made another quite informative and, at the same time, hilarious video explaining how using the tools you currently have you can recreate a signature look from a recent Hollywood movie. They have shot the raw footage outside without any green screen, because they chose to rotoscope, or cut out manually, the subject from the scene.

Desert effect (after)
Original footage from the attempt to recreate the desert effect

The original footage didn't have a very busy background which makes isolating the subject a little bit easier. After this it's a matter of adding objects to the background, for which they chose free 3D stock objects, then coloring grading the scene, and voila.

The good news is you can do that in Photoshop with the same ease, if you plan to do this as a still shot, not as a video.

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3 Comments

Sean Molin's picture

Just wanted to say that Roger Deakins is god.

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

He's quite good indeed. One of my favorite cinematographers. In the film this scene was all shot in camera (you probably know that).

It is very sad that this film doesn't do well. It is a masterpiece.