Watch: In Honor of 'Back to the Future' Day, Here's an Awesome Hoverboard VFX Tutorial

Back to the Future Hoverboard Tutorial
Look sharp, everybody! Marty McFly will be arriving from 1985 today.

In the sequel to Back to the Future, Marty and Doc travel to the future, October 21st, 2015, to save Marty's children. What they find is a utopia of cool gadgetry (self-tying sneakers and hoverboards) and unlikely occurrences — sorry, Cubs fans, this doesn't appear to be the year your team will win the World Series.

In honor of what is being called "Back to the Future Day," our friends at Adobe have put together a tutorial showing a simple After Effects technique for compositing together a hoverboard shot. Check it out:

Of course, this is probably the simplest way of creating a hoverboard effect. You're just taking some footage of a person skateboarding — and it helps if the camera is locked off for this shot — then masking out the wheels and adding a shadow. It's that simple.

Then again, if you want something more akin to the hoverboard effect in Back to the Future II, you'll have to do a bit more work in production. Luckily, all you need is a plank and a green screen to really make the effect shine. Here's thevfxbro to show you how it's done:

As for what Marty is actually going to find today, sadly there will be no fully-functioning hoverboards, or any of the other delightful gadgetry that makes an appearance in the film. What he will find, however, looks something like this:

Though apparently, Nike has designed a pair of self-tying shoes which they sent to Michael J. Fox:

 

Michael J. Fox models the first self-lacing Nike MAG.

Posted by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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It also helps to be in the tunnel at Griffith Park.

October 21, 2015 at 10:39PM, Edited October 21, 10:41PM

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Avery Maycock
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