Rodeo FX Creates Magical Effects for Now You See Me
Montreal -- Visual effects production studio Rodeo FX “magically” delivered 350 complex VFX shots for Summit Entertainment’s Now You See Me, serving as the film’s main VFX vendor. The Rodeo FX team created and produced a huge and diverse array of shots for the new film, comprising 23 total minutes of visual effects-driven screen time.
Rodeo’s work involved producing the VFX for dozens of sequences. These included creating: CG crowds to fill in thousands of seats of the MGM Grand Hotel and the Savoy Theater, millions of CG Euros, a magical prop named the “Crusher,” Manhattan and Chicago city matte paintings, Las Vegas “Four Horsemen” signs and promo, and holographic design rising from CG water and smoke. Of particular note was Rodeo’s creation of projections onto buildings and the highly complex “Five Points” motion graphics-driven sequence (described further below.) Rodeo created numerous additional CG images, including playing cards, large bubbles, cars and helicopters, a police chase, actor doubles and even a CG rabbit.
Sébastien Moreau, President/Founder, Rodeo FX, said, “This project was one of the largest and most comprehensive we’ve ever undertaken since the founding of our company. As the main VFX vendor, we worked on this film for more than a year. Every sequence involved a great detail of advance planning and we had to develop new techniques and workflow pipelines to accommodate the demand. Over 100 of our artists were involved with Now You See Me in total. While we are still, perhaps, best known for our innovative matte paintings and digital environments work, this film was a true milestone in the evolution of Rodeo FX. We have proven ourselves as an industry leader and innovator -- one that can handle the demand for hundreds of highly complex and diverse visual effects.”
Regarding Now You See Me, Rodeo FX’s VFX Supervisor Ara Khanikian said, “This was a really fun project for us – one that allowed us to really push our creative boundaries and create a very wide range of VFX. We found quick and efficient solutions to solve a lot of complex shots, and the end result is a seamless blend of artistic and technical know-how. All I can say is that I'm extremely proud of the work we have done, and I’m proud to have contributed to this beautiful film.”
Adds Isabelle Langlois, Rodeo FX’s Head of Production, “This was a very interesting project for us, one that involved a number of complex solutions to creative challenges. Every sequence we delivered for this film was so different, and each involved a good amount of communication between director Louis Leterrier, VFX Supervisor Nick Brooks, and VFX Producer Tom Elder-Groebe. We enjoyed highly productive back and forth conversations with Louis to fine-tune his vision, and Nick Brooks came to Montreal twice to visit with our artists and to work closely in tandem with them. We created numerous simulations and even handled significant motion graphics work on the ‘Five Points’ sequence. I believe we delivered on this show beyond expectations—our clients were super happy with our work.”
Nicholas Brooks, VFX Supervisor for Now You See Me, adds, “Rodeo FX was our primary visual effects vendor on this film, and they did a fantastic job. The challenge here was to tackle a wide range of creative challenges, from major crowd replication in a 9,000 seat stadium during an extended sequence, to high end, holographic design for a sequence in which images were projected onto the side of a building. They also brought us a virtual CG car chase, photoreal magic props and even enormous bubbles. These diverse VFX ranged from what I call ‘photographic forgery’ to highly creative solutions. The excellent Rodeo FX team members are always very responsible and professional collaborators—‘Mes amis du Nord.’”