Rodeo FX Teams with ILM to Deliver VFX for Pacific Rim
For Pacific Rim, Rodeo FX also created its very first organic character, which was the brain of a captured giant alien. Rouleau and his crew constructed a CG brain that was set inside a very large water aquarium, which included water bubbles. The brain even had tentacles which had to act and move by intelligent thought.
In the area of Environments, Rodeo FX had to create Hong Kong Bay. Says Jeremy Boissinot, Rodeo FX’s Environment Lead, “We first worked on the layout of the Hong Kong Bay, which was an environment based on real life Hong Kong. Once the layout was approved, we started the environment matte painting, using photography references provided by ILM.”
Boissinot and his team also created the Shatterdome, a military base located within a cliff along the shore of Hong Kong Bay. The Shatterdome model, which was created by Rodeo FX from artwork received from ILM, was a large-scale asset split into different main sections – the command building, the helipad platforms and the cliff itself. “Director del Toro didn’t want the Shatterdome to appear too futuristic,” Boissinot notes.
Boissinot noted that one of Rodeo FX’s biggest challenges was dealing with rainy environments. “We had to keep details in overcast or night-time environments with a great deal of atmosphere and rain. We also did some complex set extensions which featured a variety of light and rain effects.” Boissinot worked in tandem with Robert Bock, Rodeo FX’s VFX DP for Practical FX. Bock explains that Rodeo FX used practical effects elements to augment and improve the realism of the CG and FX in many scenes.
We shot numerous rain elements and water -- many of these shots had to depict water patterns caused by hovering helicopters near the Shatterdome landing pad,” Bock said. “We also shot driving mist and rain at high-speed, which was created by aiming compressed air at figurines of live actors to give the illusion that mist and rain was actually appearing around their bodies and on the ground as helicopters were landing.” Practical rain elements were also used for many of the matte paintings and to augment several live action scenes which required set-extensions.
Rodeo FX’s Laurent Spillemacker served as Compositing Supervisor for Pacific Rim. Supervising a team of 30 within Rodeo FX’s Compositing Department, Spillemacker oversaw all aspects of the compositing, to ensure a continuity of the look of the shots and the flawless integration of the CG work. Since the film was shot in 2D and post converted to 3D, Rodeo FX organized its work so the company could ultimately export every single layer.
“Pacific Rim represents the most comprehensive work our company has ever delivered, and stands as a true showcase to the entertainment industry of our company’s wealth of creative talents and technological expertise. We look forward to equally complex movies in the future!” Moreau concludes.
Source: Rodeo FX