wondertouch, the leading software developer of particle effects, was the tool of choice for Eden FX in its work on HELLBOY. In particular, particleIllusion's speed and ease-of-use proved to be a major asset for animators at Eden FX when they were asked to create shots of smoke from a burn as well as augment live-action footage of columns exploding from gunfire during a shoot-out sequence.
Steve Pugh, visual effects producer at Eden FX, explains, "We were under a very tight deadline on this project, so every tool had to perform. For one sequence, we had to deliver two shots of a smoke effect that would arise after Hellboy catches rosary beads in his hand and the crucifix burns his palm on contact. Using particleIllusion, the production crew was able to very easily track a smoke element onto the moving footage and quickly dial in just the right amount of speed, drift, turbulence, and opacity. In a library shoot-out sequence, Hellboy blasts through huge columns while trying to kill a demon -- sending chunks of the columns flying. On-set charges provided some punch, but the director wanted more damage and intensity. Again we turned to particleIllusion for a quick turnaround - adding smoke, sparks and debris to the explosions. The software made very short work of the shots and the end result was really fantastic."
Chris Zapara, Eden FX supervising artist, had a similarly positive experience with particleIllusion while working on shots that needed to convey the impression of great force, saying, "HELLBOY abounds with effects such as explosions, dust hits, burning and steam, and by nature these types of shots must look exceptionally powerful and dynamic. particleIllusion has been invaluable in that regard. In one particular scene, Hellboy rips a piece of machinery from a wall and smashes it into another wall, causing the piece of machinery to gush steam. In the initial shots, the existing steam wasn't strong enough and was additionally corrupted by wires supporting the prop. With particleIllusion, we were able to quickly match the existing steam, track the nozzle onto the film plate, and effectively triple the amount of steam, giving the shot the appropriate look and feel."
"Eden FX's ability to create complex and dynamic effects for HELLBOY in such a short period of time illustrates particleIllusion's core strengths in meeting tough production challenges -- extreme ease-of-use, realtime previsualization previews and ultra-fast rendering of final output," remarked wondertouch president Alan Lorence.
particleIllusion, which has been in use at Eden FX for two years, is also incorporated into its production pipeline to create a broad range of particle effects for such high-profile television series as STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE and NAVY NCIS.
Established in 2000 by visual effects and post-production notables John Gross and Mark Miller, Hollywood-based Eden FX (www.edenfx.com) specializes in visual effects work in the areas of 3D animation, character animation, 3D tracking, compositing, direction, on-set supervision and conceptual design and consultation.
St. Louis, Missouri-based wondertouch (www.wondertouch.com) develops particle effects for use in film post-production, film previs, standard and HD video and commercial broadcast industries.