Computercafe Makes Mega Effects For Megiddo
Created 09/26/2001 - 23:00
Computercafe has produced more than 30 visual effects shots for the feature film MEGIDDO: OMEGA CODE 2. The visual effects and animation studio provided 3D animation, visual effects production and compositing services, including modeling and animating precise computer graphic models of a variety of modern warplanes and helicopters. The studio created the opening shot of the film's climactic battle sequence, in which a squadron of F-15 fighter jets swoop out of the sky on a bombing run. Many of the shots that Computercafe created involved air combat. In each case, that meant producing finely detailed computer models of real aircraft, such as American F-15s and Russian MIGs, animating them and compositing them with background environments. For shots involving actual combat, Computercafe artists also produced computer generated bombs, bomb blasts, missiles and other ordinance and pyrotechnics. In many cases the background environments that these elements were composited with were not intended for visual effects use and therefore there was no camera data available. For those shots, the animated elements had to be tracked with the backgrounds by hand. The most challenging task involved the aerial shot that leads into the battle that fills the film's last half-hour. The background plate was filmed from a camera harnessed to an experimental aircraft capable of speeds up to Mach 1. "The shot begins with the plane rocketing along at 10,000 feet. It then swoops down to near ground level and skims along the desert floor," explained digital effects supervisor David Ebner. "To that essentially blank plate we added a war with a dogfight, land explosions, dust and debris, airplanes flying by camera, and something that looks like a nuclear explosion in the distance. The shot is more than 30-seconds long and filled with activity." Additionally, Computercafe was asked to produce a plague of hornets that escapes from the mouth of the film's villain and exits the window of his castle. They are later seen, in an enormous mass, rushing over the Great Wall of China and then attacking Beijing. Computercafe's team created the hornet sequence using Dynamic Realities' Napalm, a newly released particle generation plug-in for Lightwave 3D.