Double Negative Creates ‘Real’ Gotham for Batman Begins
Double Negative had to be able to create detailed versions of the Chicago locations used during principal photography so that shots created entirely with vfx would sit in with the live action. The Double Negative R&D team worked closely with Sirrs and Glass to create a unique photographic toolset. A specialized Tessalator unit comprising a custom motion control system mounted on a 100- foot mobile crane shot detailed stills plates at quarter block intervals along three key streets in downtown Chicago, creating a library of more than 200 super-high-res panoramas. All images were shot with a high dynamic exposure range, which allowed the vfx artists to relight the scenes to match the theatrically lit main unit photography. Over the period of the production, the team shot around 1.5 million digital stills exposures.
Double Negative also played a key role during the frenetic car chase sequence creating all the digital environments for the miniature shots where the Batmobile leaps across the rooftops of Gotham. Double Negative added a digital helicopter, seamlessly matched to the live action original, as well as passing cop cars, digital freeways, traffic and numerous debris effects enhancements.
Double Negative vfx programmers developed DNB, a completely new volumetric renderer to create digital steam plumes that exactly matched the practical effects created on set. DNB generated digital fog was added to the miniature of the Narrows to depict the unfolding disaster. During the monorail fight sequence DNB geysers were added to the CG streets as the train charges through the city.
Since its formation in 1998, Double Negative (www.dneg.com) has firmly established itself as a leading player in visual effects production worldwide. Located in the heart of London's Soho, the company is a pre-eminent visual effects studio with more than 30 features to its credit.