Andor – Hybride

The series explores a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.

Hybride produced a total of 714 shots for 67 sequences of the show which premiered on Disney+ on September 21, 2022. The series received critical acclaim, in particular for its writing and the darker, more mature tone compared to previous Star Wars projects.

We’re proud to present a VFX breakdown of our work for the series, we hope you enjoy!

Thirteen Lives – MPC

From Amazon Studios and Director Ron Howard comes the biographical survival film, Thirteen Lives, a story of a coach and 12 boys trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. MPC provided cinematic visual effects for the film, including the underwater and cave environments.

Troll – Netflix

Norwegian Hollywood director Roar Uthaug has had trolls on his mind for 20 years. In this “Making of” you get an exclusive look at how director Roar Uthaug, with producers Espen Horn & Kristian Strand Sinkerud of Motion Blur, created TROLL – using state of the art VFX. Giving life to something that has been part of Norwegian folklore for hundreds of years.

Troll – Gimpville

Gimpville, a leading production company specializing in visual effects (VFX) for film and television, is pleased to announce its collaboration with acclaimed Norwegian director Roar Uthaug and Motionblur on the feature film Troll, set to premiere on Netflix.

With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Gimpville has built a reputation for delivering high-quality VFX work that enhances the storytelling and immerses audiences in the world of the film. The company’s talented team of artists and technicians is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with VFX and bringing the director’s vision to life on the big screen.

Troll is a highly anticipated film that follows a ragtag group of people who must come together to stop an ancient troll that was awakened in a Norwegian mountain and prevent it from wreaking havoc. With a captivating storyline and stunning visuals, the film is a thrilling and immersive experience for audiences.

Gimpville is excited to work with Roar Uthaug and the rest of the Troll team to bring this vision to life and showcase the company’s expertise in VFX. The film premiered on Netflix 1st December 2022 and became the most streamed non-English feature film on Netflix only 11 days after the initial release.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – Spin VFX

The extremely talented team at SPIN under the guidance of VFX Supervisor Wesley Sewell, entered the madness of the multiverses and brought to life some breathtaking environments and shots. The complexity of the stellar vortex required a visual balancing act. Story-wise, we were challenged with bringing all of these elements to a crescendo to underline the imminent danger our characters were in. We had highly detailed foreground asset destruction of the wall and pillars, choreographed brick destruction, black strands of vortex energy, and multiple layers of debris; all of which had to blend into the motion of our hero vortex setup, which in itself was made up of multiple high-resolution volume sims. Getting all of these elements to play together in a cohesive way without being visually overwhelming or introducing continuity issues required extensive planning and flexible effects setups that could be art-directed with quick turnaround times.

The second challenge was creating the “Multiverse Map” simulations. Doctor Strange summons this map from an ancient book which creates a sprawling three-dimensional visage around him. Each “orb” represents a time/place/universe that Doctor Strange can examine. The orb look was realized with multiple levels of procedural volumes, simulated volumes and particles, and internal lights to cast volumetric rays. ID passes were also critical to allow our compositing team to tune the renders per orb and per component to achieve the desired look. The “orbs” that we created were so successful that Marvel shared them with all the other VFX vendors for a beautiful continuity throughout the film.

She-Hulk – Attorney at Law – Digital Domain

To realize 43 minutes of screen time for Marvel Studios’ latest superhero, She-Hulk, Digital Domain VFX Supervisor Jan Philip Cramer and his outstanding team of artists sought inspiration in the technology used to create everyone’s favorite villain, Thanos. Building on that same technology, the Digital Domain team successfully transformed the 5’4” Tatiana Maslany into a 6’7” green giant, without sacrificing the nuance of the Emmy-winner’s performance.

In addition to utilizing the studios proprietary tools, Masquerade 2.0 and Charlatan, to bring She-Hulk to life, DD also worked on several other visual effects sequences throughout the series while introducing new systems. The team developed a ShapeWear system that allowed the superhero’s attire to accurately adjust to the character model, while subtly and realistically augmenting the muscles to match. This can be seen throughout the series and most notably in the dance scene with Megan the Stallion.

The team also created CG droid K.E.V.I.N., which was meant as an homage to Marvel Studios mastermind, Kevin Feige, and much more! In total, Digital Domain contributed nearly 1,000 VFX shots to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, including 660 shots of She-Hulk alone

The Orville – Season 3 – FuseFX

THIS IS UNREAL! The FuseFX team utilized Unreal Engine for episode 308 of ‘The Orville.’ The sequences are beautiful and allowed for the team to be more nimble, move together as one, save production time and produce stellar results. We’re just scratching the surface of our Unreal capabilities for our clients. #FuseFX #UnrealEngine #TheOrville #VFX #EpicGames http://www.fusefx.com

Top 10 Practical Effects of All Time

From the first time Georges Melies shot the moon’s eye out with some over-powered artillery, the visual effects of movies have helped filmmakers like Geroge Lucas take us to new worlds, helped Stanley Kubrick visualize our most far-reaching dreams, and helped filmmakers like James Cameron, and John Carpenter bring our greatest fears and impossible creatures to life.

For over a century, special effects have helped Hollywood realize impossible visions. Now, computers, pixels, and CGI have become the dominant force in vfx, but in this movie list, we’re talking about the old-school art of practical effects. This is for sure going to be a long one. So get ready for a fascinating VFX breakdown or two or ten, because we’re going to take a deep dive into the behind the scenes magic of some of your favorite action movies, sci fi movies, and horror movies with CineFix’s Top 10 Practical Effects of All Time.

Prey – MPC

MPC provided almost every VFX scene in Prey. This included digital augmentation to the Predator itself, as well as heightened gore, CG arrows, and various environmental enhancements. The team was also tasked with creating a small zoo’s worth of CG North American wildlife, including a grizzly bear, mountain lion, cougars, and a wolf, to name but a few.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain – One of Us

The real beauty of this film lies in the combination of traditional VFX (matte painting on canvas and analogue video techniques) with digital VFX as an innovative way of portraying Wain’s unstable mental health, and the cinematic representation of his unique style of painting. One of Us, led by VFX Supervisor Rupert Davies, had a crucial role in this process, adding digital visual effects as a way to blend art into reality and create unique surreal aesthetics.

8 Stunt Tricks Used Over And Over In Movies

Hollywood has many tricks to make impossible and dangerous stunts into a reality. Movies like “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” “Baby Driver,” and “Elf” used a Texas switch to allow an actor and their stunt double to switch places on screen without having to cut. “Avengers: Endgame” and “Men in Black: International” used wire rigs known as ratchet pulls to make it seem like characters were being hit by a serious blow. Meanwhile, a tuning fork can make characters like Maleficent and Captain Marvel look like they’re flying, and a tarp known as a magic carpet gave characters in “Underworld” superspeed.

How a 9-ton Dinosaur Was Made for “Jurassic World : Dominion”

The animatronic Giganotosaurus from “Jurassic World: Dominion” (2022) was the largest practical head built for any “Jurassic Park” film. The practical and digital effects teams worked hand in hand to bring the Giga to life. Live-action-dinosaur supervisor John Nolan led a team to create a Giga puppet that looked and moved like a real dinosaur could. The head was placed on a rig that weighed around 9 tons and could move up and down and interact with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Dern on set. While only the Giga’s head and neck were created, visual effects supervisor David Vickery and his team at ILM built the CG body to perfectly match the puppeteered movements on set.

How “Spider-Verse” forced animation to evolve

Non-photorealistic rendering has opened up an alternative to the ubiquitous “Pixar look.”

When you think of CGI animated films, you likely think of Pixar. The studio practically invented the genre with 1995’s Toy Story — the first CGI animated feature film.

After Toy Story, almost all animation studios wanted to follow in Pixar’s successful footsteps, straight down to their style. Many studios sought out “The Pixar Look”: extremely high quality, physically based, and in some cases almost photorealistic.

It’s an appealing approach that remains popular at the box office — but animated movies started looking kind of homogeneous. And while studios and independent artists tested out more stylized approaches in short films, no studio would commit to a feature-length animated movie that looked so different.

That is, until Sony Pictures/Imageworks took on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Instead of chasing the look everyone was after, the team wanted to create something visually new. They did it with “non-photorealistic rendering.”

And since Spider-Verse, non-photorealism has taken off, with almost every studio set to incorporate it in the next five years. Check out our video to learn more about how non-photorealism works.

RRR – Komaram Bheemudo – Makuta Visual Effects

Continuing with the wealth of VFX work for this film, we changed our pipeline to primarily Blender for asset work, lighting and rendering, complementing it with our established FX pipeline based around 3ds Max and TyFlow for crowd which we utilised in the Police Station sequence, and rendered using the Cycles For Max port of Blender’s Cycles renderer.

Due to the rock-solid rendering and shading, we were able to create multiple extension duplicates and material variations that we wouldn’t have been able to do with our previous pipeline.

RRR – Intermission Fight – Makuta Visual Effects

The first time that fire and water come together in conflict needed to be iconic and art directed digitally for the sparks and fire formation, plus the digital water for the spinning shots to ensure a balance between the forces, culminating in a major fist-fight on the balcony which had digital props and environment. This was also digitally extended and rebuilt totally for key stunt shots and sweeping camera moves.

After the first Covid lockdown, filming on this scene resumed with a reduced set which needed to be recreated digitally for the hand-to-hand fight sequence. In addition to this, we created the entire palace grounds layout after LiDAR scanning the space for the opening establisher and build-up shots showcased the exterior gate at night along with fully digital sets and characters to populate the crowd not only at the start, but within the entire fight sequence as well.

RRR – Climax Forest Fight – Makuta Visual Effects

For the epic final showdown against the British forces, Makuta not only LiDAR scanned, built and extended then entire digital forest for the studio shoot, exteriors and fully digital wide shots, but animated all of the elemental effects of fire and water fx simulations along with all of the digital props. Digital bows and arrows were created for safety alongside several motorbikes for numerous iconic shots in the film. Culminating in the interior destruction of the armoury building with a massive destruction simulation.

HALO – Season 1 – Rodeo FX

Halo was a challenge on several levels for the team: it was our first collaboration between Rodeo and Paramount+; taking on a highly anticipated video game adaptation that many fans had been asking for; and finally, we were tasked with creating environments that were going to surround the characters throughout the entire season, and beyond. The stakes were high, and the final results speak for themselves.

We started the adventure nearly 3 years ago with different tests right before the pandemic hit. As production resumed, our team went back to it and started the meticulous work of adapting a gigantic base of concept art references. While some locations were taken straight from the game, some were altered to better reflect the show’s vision.

From Reach City to Oban (Garbage City), Eridanus to Madrigal Outpost, join us on a deep journey through space as we look at the work done on season one of Halo.

Stranger Things – Season 4 – DNEG

Take a trip into the upside down with us to learn more about our work on Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4!

Enjoy this peek behind-the-scenes of the creative process behind the epic Vecna bat battle sequence. From the initial inspiration to seamlessly stitching together the final scene, DNEG’s Neil Eskuri (VFX Supervisor), Anita Borcsok (Environment Supervisor), S Rajuganesh (CG Supervisor) and Carlos Rosas (Animation Supervisor) have all the details.

Perry Mason – Digital Domain

Led by VFX Supervisor Mitchell S. Drain, Digital Domain was proud to produce some incredible work on “Perry Mason” for HBO. The work included a recreation of the original Angels Flight area in Los Angeles. The VFX team researched the look of the city as it was in 1930 and compared it to the modern urban layout it is now, then worked to integrate the two as seamlessly as possible. New techniques brought all designs back to life, from the buildings to the streets to the iconic Angels Flight cable-car, a once iconic vertical trolley that last operated in 1969.

The Sandman – One of Us

After 32 years confined to the world of the comic book, this year sees The Sandman brought to Netflix screens by visionary author Neil Gaiman and his fellow executive producers Allan Heinberg and David S. Goyer.

Across 240 Visual Effects shots, the One of Us team, made up of almost 100 artists and led by VFX Supervisor James Brennan-Craddock, take the viewer on a supernatural journey into the realm of the Sandman, where dreams, and especially nightmares, come to life.

The Sandman – One of Us

After 32 years confined to the world of the comic book, this year sees The Sandman brought to Netflix screens by visionary author Neil Gaiman and his fellow executive producers Allan Heinberg and David S. Goyer.

When the Sandman, aka Dream — the powerful cosmic being who controls all our dreams — is unexpectedly captured and held prisoner for over a century, he must journey across different worlds and timelines to fix the chaos his absence has caused.

Across 240 Visual Effects shots, the One of Us team — made up of almost 100 artists and led by VFX Supervisor James Brennan-Craddock, VFX Producer Catherine Martin and 2D Supervisor Nathan Remy — take the viewer on a supernatural journey into the realm of the Sandman, where dreams, and especially nightmares, come to life.

Bulbbul – Redchillies vfx

Bulbbul, a child bride, grows into an enigmatic woman ruling over her household, hiding her painful past, as supernatural murders of men plague her village.

This project is special for us, given the scale of certain effects we utilised in it. From raging forest conflagrations to fields filled with dense ‘Kash Phool (kans grass), Bulbbul was all about the behaviour of natural elements. Working on the inverted foot was an exciting challenge, as it involved delving deeper into human anatomy. Adding to that were scenic day-night conversions, as well as the red moon transitions, particle disintegration effects and a lot more.

Now and Then – Entropy Studio

“Now & Then” is a multi-layered thriller that explores the differences between youthful aspirations and the reality of adulthood, when the lives of a group of college best friends are forever changed after a celebratory weekend ends up with one of them dead. Now, 20 years later, the remaining five are reluctantly reunited by a threat that puts their seemingly perfect worlds at risk.

Ms. Marvel – Digital Domain

For the Marvel Studios hit series “Ms. Marvel,” Digital Domain VFX Supervisor Aladino Debert and his talented team of artists successfully brought the comic book hero and her superpowers to life. Building on the new origins, artists at Digital Domain designed a unique look for Kamala Khan’s powers featuring a blue-ish purple crystalline manifestation that radiated energy, highlighted by an internal luminescence, created in Houdini.

The team also created several environments including the crowded train station set on the eve of the infamous Partition of India, creating several digital trains, crowds in period-appropriate clothing, and smoke to bring it all to life. Additionally, Aladino and his team were responsible for the fight sequence in the final episode. For this sequence, the team developed the look for Kamran’s damaging powers, Ms. Marvel’s giant, hard-light hands, digital debris, partial digidoubles of Kamran and Ms. Marvel, and more.

The Digital Domain team was also responsible for the iconic closing scene, which appeared in the series’ poster where Ms. Marvel sits on a lamppost and looks out over the city as her hair blows in the wind.

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