The bravura freeway chase and all the rest of those mind-bending action stunts in THE MATRIX RELOADED were planned with help of 3D animatics and other services provided by Pixel Liberation Front (PLF). The Venice, California-based company also contributed pre-production and on-set pre-visualization to the upcoming MATRIX REVOLUTIONS.
PLF additionally mapped out everything from camera placement to stunt car speeds in great detail. These were key resources used by the Wachowski Brothers and visual effects supervisor John Gaeta in designing the look and timing of what are some of the most creative, complex and highly coordinated cinematic sequences in recent memory.
PLF was involved in RELOADED for two years, updating digital blueprints as demanded. Once pre-visualized in SOFTIMAGEXSI, concepts or shots were used by the directors and visual effects team as a reference from which to make critical creative and technical decisions. Pre-visualized materials were also used on set to communicate the requirements, parameters or desired "flow" of the action to other collaborators, including stunt performers, technical coordinators, camera operators and set personnel.
"Very detailed comic book-quality storyboards had been created for virtually every scene of the movie, and we needed to take these to the next level in planning many of the camera moves and scenarios we had envisioned," Gaeta said. "PLF was a constant resource for and extension of our team, whether we were developing sequences at Eon in Venice, working out the technical logistics of a shoot in Alameda or Sydney or handing off shots to be completed by visual effects vendors."
The pre-visualization process developed by PLF involved creating accurate, to-scale digital models of all of the elements in a film sequence. This included the set or location, the characters, key props and set dressing, as well as virtual cameras, which allowed the action, timing and camera position of a scene to be refined with immediately viewable results. PLF also incorporated other elements relevant to the physical production, such as positions of various vehicles, necessary vehicle paths to make the action believable - and achievable - and even the required size for the camera lens.
PLF credits for RELOADED include: Colin Green, pre-visualization supervisor; Laurent Lavigne and Kyle Robinson, pre-visualization lead artists; Derek Fisher, Raul Moreno, Robb Nunn, Ben Procter, Rpin Suwwanath, Alex Vegh and PeiPei Yuan, pre-visualization artists; and Duncan Burbridge and Sean Cushing, pre-visualization coordinators.
For more information about PLF, please call (310) 396-9854 or visit www.thefront.com.