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The Core Takes Many Tools & Talents To Make

Hitting theaters in the U.S. March 28, 2003, Paramount Picture's action film THE CORE relied on many visual effects houses to help depict the unnatural events taking place around the world due to changes in the earth's rotational inner core, resulting in catastrophic events for some of the world's most recognizable city scenes and monuments.

Among them was Australian VFX company Rising Sun Pictures, which did a sequence for when the space shuttle Endeavor veers off course while reentering the atmosphere, having to make an emergency landing in the Los Angeles River. The team used a combination of Softimage XSI, Maya, Mental Ray, Entropy and Shake to create effects ranging from particle ionization to water interaction when the CG shuttle splashes down in the river and skids for two miles. Rising Sun also did large-scale sea simulations and killer whale animation.

The largest sequence Frantic Films worked on for THE CORE included a crystal geode scene involving approximately 55 shots. "We used 3ds max on THE CORE because we were able to take advantage of its scriptability and flexibility to develop pipelines to handle the challenges that we faced on the project," said Chris Bond, president/creativedirector of Frantic Films. "3ds max's integration to our rendering pipelineand the ability for our R&D department to develop solutions around 3ds maxhelped solve all of those problems." Frantic Films, based in Winnipeg, Canada, received an Emmy nomination for VFX work on Stephen King's STORM OF THE CENTURY. The studio provides visual effects, 3D animation, post and live-action production for a growing roster of clients, including the upcoming XMEN 2.