DS Masterclass: Iron Sky Behind the Scenes.

DS Masterclass: Iron Sky Behind the Scenes.

February 01, 2019

A while ago, the Finnish creators of the Iron Sky franchise decided to film one of the last scenes for the Iron Sky sequel in North Hollywood. Team DS hopped on board and used this occasion to make the shooting day into a masterclass about the use of simple pixel-mapping software to light up elaborate scenes. 
Take a look at the Behind The Scenes below and DIY setup for Pixel Mapping.

Ironsky a DS Masterclass from Digital Sputnik on Vimeo.


In a dark warehouse in North Hollywood is probably the largest number of airplane seats to ever be in one room. The name of the enterprise is Aero Mock-ups and it serves as a studio for rough and smooth flight scenes alike.

The Finnish crew behind Iron Sky: The Coming Race picked this venue to film one of the last scenes for the long-awaited sequel to the 2012 hit. It was the scene of a spaceship crashing into the hollow of the earth (where, as we understand from the 25M+ views trailer, we will see Hitler riding around on a dinosaur).

If anyone needs reminding, the Iron Sky franchise started with a dark comedy of the same name, in which Nazis living on the moon plotted to do some more Nazi stuff back on earth.

The UFO crash shooting day for the new installment lent itself as an ideal setting for a modern class in how to shoot an elaborate sci-fi scene with a moderate budget.

LED big player Digital Sputnik decided to come on board with the newest in light control technology and use the occasion to make the shooting day into a masterclass, where the highlight was the impressive use of simple pixel mapping software to light up the entire scene.

Using an array of their DS Line products -which are now all over Hollywood- a wall of LED lights was set up around an old plane’s cockpit, where the main characters goofiness along with Soviet-quality navigation equipment caused the ship to enter the atmosphere too abruptly, crash through an ice cap, fly through a magma hole and crash again in the grounds of a lush hollow earth.

The light programming alone for a sequence like this would be a half a day task for a couple of DMX technicians. In here though, the guys simply created a timeline in Davinci Resolve with footage of cloudy skies, a nice sunset, and some volcano eruptions and then ran that video through MadMapper, which mapped it onto the light fixtures as if they were screens. So depending on the place of the scene, a participant from the workshop would simply drag the lights’ diagram onto the part of the timeline corresponding, and it worked like magic. It took them around 30 mins. to get the show going. The simplicity of it was amusing to look at, and incidentally, the actors admitted to appreciating how it creates an atmosphere that makes it easy to act along to.

The Workshop has been announced as a first in a series of Digital Sputnik’s collaborations with filmmakers on a variety of shoots around the world, all of which will be filmed for a BTS series on how to find simple solutions that give the right results.

Iron Sky: The coming race, after many years under production now has a release date set for the spring of 2019, and photography has been wrapped.


Check out the article on the Iron Sky Masterclass on No Film School web.