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CIS Hollywood and Method Studios Discuss On Stranger Tides

CIS Hollywood completed 70 shots on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, which included a sequence of Jack Sparrow stranding Angelica on a small island.

CIS Hollywood completed 70 shots on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, which included a sequence of Jack Sparrow stranding Angelica on a small island. Greg Oeher, CIS Hollywood vfx supervisor, notes, "In this sequence, several horizon coastlines required land masses to be removed. We also had to fix Barbarossa's peg leg on a few shots. On several shots, we did retime compositing for performance as well as detailed retiming to enhance some of the fight scenes. In another sequence, we built a CG book held by a man pulled from the water after 200 years. We also created some atmospheric and 2D set enhancement and/or replacements and a hand-full of rig removals. Because the movie is stereo 3-D, we also did all proper color and position alignment to insure that our work integrated seamlessly into the stereo environment."

Meanwhile, Method Studios was called in at the last minute to create a shot that extends the River Thames establishing shot where Jack Sparrow and Angelica are seen climbing onto a dockside. Matt Dessero, Method Studios vfx supervisor, says, "The director wanted a much wider view than was shot, including the London skyline off in the distance. We had just six weeks to turn the shot around in stereo. Working to the deadline we decided to take an approach where we built a simple model and projected matte paintings on top of the geometry, as opposed to building the shot out in full CG.

"It was critical that all of our matte painting layers aligned to geometry, as ultimately, we would not only be adding a cg atmospherics and a water surface into the shot, but we also needed to re-project the matte paintings back onto the geo and take a snap shot from the other eye to create the stereo effect. The foreground dockside and props we rendered full CG to guarantee realistic depth and parallax would not be lost. The river water surface was rendered in 3-D and blended with the water from which Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz were filmed rising from. It was a real challenge to blend from the CG water to the plate water. We matched the water harmonics as close as possible to the original plate. Then we exported the CG water surface geometry into Nuke (our compositing software) and projected the original plate water onto the CG water surface. This was done to help blend the live-action water to the CG water surface. We also rendered sewer water, spewing off the dockside and fire and embers for the torches in 3-D, and added in multiple fog layers with holdouts to enhancethe atmosphere."