Method studios provided visual effects for the Warner Bros. feature “Wrath of the Titans.”
Press release from Method Studios:
Los Angeles, CA – Method Studios joined forces on the larger-than-life 3D visual effects in Warner Bros.’ Wrath of the Titans -- the second installment in the franchise. The main sequence for Method Studios in LA involved creating the awakening of the monstrous Kronos, father of Zeus. This fully CG rock giant is brought to life with glowing lava and causes the cataclysmic destruction of the Underworld. During pre-production, Method Studios in London created concept images for the production’s art department, as well as the visual effects in the establishment of the Underworld sequence. Olivier Dumont rose to the occasion as Method’s VFX Supervisor along with Aurelia Abate, Method’s VFX Producer.
“We’re very proud of the striking scenes our teams in LA and London put together for this project,” states Dan Glass, Method Studios’ Executive Vice President and Senior VFX Supervisor. “The Method crew was able to complete an amazing amount of work in a very short time period.”
“There were many challenges on this one,” adds Olivier Dumont. “It was a fluid production pipeline, not only between our Method teams, but with the entire production. Our ideas and designs for effects and character animation were welcomed, which made it a gratifying and inspiring process.”
The visual effects on the Kronos sequence included 114 shots featuring a fully CG Kronos in an entirely CG environment consisting of over 7000 pieces. The action takes place in a huge collapsing chamber, with Perseus and Andromeda freeing Zeus as Kronos awakes. Digital doubles of leading actors were created and composited into scenes along with fire, smoke, explosions and flowing lava. For the Underworld establishment sequence, Method London’s challenge was to get across the massive scale of the CG environment which included detailed matte paintings and the creation of a stone pillar tower which Zeus is later bound to. In this VFX heavy scene, Zeus, played by Liam Neeson, is drained of his powers as fiery lava bleeds from his arms and flows into the surrounding rocks to give Kronos strength. (Watch the making-of video.)
Drew Jones, Method Studios’ Vice President of Features, comments, “Sharing the complex Underworld sequence between the two locations involved a robust team of 110 people. It’s invaluable that our international network allows us this flexibility.”
Nick Davis, visual effects supervisor for the production side of the film, continues, “The Method teams had the creativity and shared infrastructure to accomplish an extraordinary amount of work in a brief time span which was a great relief to me and the production. They delivered on all accounts.”
Method’s sister company, Company 3, completed the DI on the feature with colorist Adam Glasman in London. The interconnectedness of the Deluxe businesses allowed for easy sharing of assets and project manageability.
Feature visual effects work currently in production across the Method locations includes Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Argo, Cloud Atlas, Dark Shadows, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Men in Black 3. Recent work includes Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, J. Edgar, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and This Means War.
A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, in association with Legendary Pictures, a COTT Productions LLC – Furia de Titanes II, A.I.E. Co-production, a Thunder Road Film production, Wrath of the Titans is being distributed in IMAX 3D and RealD 3D and 2D worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.