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I’ve been saying for years that in the modern era of CGI special effects, all UFO videos are worth nothing without at least some independent verification of the sighting. And the YouTube video above is the perfect illustration of that, with its incredibly realistic rendering – take a look at it.

What’s that you say? It’s a very stylish looking alien craft, but you can see that it’s obviously a fake that’s been composited into the footage? Actually, that’s the sucker punch. The mind-blowing revelation about this UFO footage is that *everything* in the video is CGI – the car, the sky, the entire environment:

“UFO Over Santa Clarita” was a painstakingly crafted joke played by Aristomenis “Meni” Tsirbas, the director of the 2007 computer-animated film Battle for Terra who has also contributed visual effects and animation work to movies like Titanic and Hellboy and several Star Trek television series. A long-time champion of “photorealistic” CGI, Tsirbas and his team spent about four months mimicking the look of an accidental extraterrestrial encounter captured on a smartphone.

And until now, Tsirbas hadn’t revealed the truth to anyone outside a handful of friends.

“The point of the video was to prove that CGI can look natural and convincing,” Tsirbas told Wired. ”Everybody assumes the background and car are real, and that the UFOs are probably fake, especially the over-the-top mothership at the end. The general reaction is disbelief, so I usually have to prove it by showing a wireframe of the entire shot to prove that nothing is real.”

Read the full story at Wired)