A High Octane Event
A further sequence involved the air traffic control tower. According to Scalise, that was all greenscreen, with a matte painting.
"The disappearing effect is based as much on a world of reality as possible, using particle simulations to create the cloud," Scalise offered. "It's like an atmospheric effect that's happening. We used 3ds Max 2010 with fume fx plug-in; we put the usual flares and light effects to speed it up and give it more of a presence. We spent three weeks doing R&D and trying different techniques. We used Maya Fluids and After Effects to enhance it. We also added CG palm trees, roof tiles, flags, hanging pendants and debris in that sequence. Plus we added the Miami skyline in the distance on many shots in this sequence."
As for the future of the series, episode two has nearly a comparable number of vfx and includes "some big excitement." In terms of the roadmap, expect to see a return to Mount Inostranka and various CG environments surrounding the President in Air Force One and Marine One
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.