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Tippett Studios Provide VFX for Deathly Hallows 2, The Smurfs

Tippett Studios recently wrapped up work on the two summer releases HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 2 for Warner Bros. and THE SMURFS for Sony.

Tippett Studios recently wrapped up work on the two summer releases HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 2 for Warner Bros. and THE SMURFS for Sony.

For the final HARRY POTTER film, one of the most vfx animation intense projects Tippett has undertaken, the studio created the visual effects for the treasure vault scene where every time someone touches anything in the vault it multiples. The most challenging technical aspects of the project was managing the choreography of treasure mass on a shot by shot basis. All treasure mass was created for each of the shots, thus all practical effects were removed. Ray-tracing the volume of metallic surfaces. For the project, Tippett further integrated Houdini into our effects and animation pipeline

Key players included:VFX Supervisor Matt JacobsVFX Producer Fiona ChiltonFX Lead Scott SingerCG Supervisor Charles RoseTD Lead Howard CampbellCompositing Lead David SchneeMatchmove Lead Christopher PaizisRoto Lead David SullivanVFX Editor Shannon Hullender

For THE SMURFS, Tippett worked on three sequences — Gargamel Arrives, Azrael & Smurfette and Hairball. The biggest challenge on this project was sharing shots with Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) and creating a digital cat to match the animal actors that were used on set. There were four different cats that played the part of Azrael. Each cat looked different. Tippett's Blair Clark assisted on-set with the Azrael Smurfette chase sequence and Eric Leven assisted with the FAO Schwartz shoot.

The vfx house upgraded its fur simulation pipeline. Its fluid simulations were reworked using Houdini for a much more natural look. The TDs incorporated more Image Based Lighting than in the past and improved those tools to make the process quicker and easier.

For SMURFS, Tippett were also given a unique opportunity to create ten end-stills, each at 4K resolution. They worked very closely with SPI because they were tasked with delivering final frames based on renders of the CG environments they created. The steps were complicated but they drove the layout and posing of the Smurfs and SPI rendered the frames for them. Afterward, the studio created props that SPI did not have and finished the frames as matte paintings: adding details and painting over things that needed to be changed.

Key players included:Blair Clark – Visual Effects SupervisorScott Liedtka – Visual Effects Co-SupervisorSabina Fredenburg – Visual Effects ProducerWilliam Groebe – Animation SupervisorCharles Rose – CG SupervisorMark Dubeau – Character Art DirectorLarry Weiss – CG Lighting SupervisorColin Epstein – Compositing Supervisor

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