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Image Engine Delivers Invisible Effects for ‘Safe House’

Image Engine announced that it has created over 370 photoreal visual effects shots for Universal Pictures’ Safe House.

Press Release from Image Engine:

Vancouver, BC -- Image Engine announced that it has created over 370 photoreal visual effects shots for Universal Pictures’ Safe House.

The company worked with Director Daniel Espinosa (Snabba Cash), Editor Richard Pearson (The Bourne Supremacy, Iron Man 2), and Universal Pictures, as the sole VFX vendor for the production.

Image Engine was tasked with designing all of the show’s visual effects, making recommendations from the script and initial edit to enhance the narrative story-points and dial up the action. “For a visual effects studio, being involved with the initial narrative process is key to doing a great job,” said Steve Garrad, Visual Effects Executive Producer, “Universal gave us the creative freedom and responsibility to really enhance what is a top-notch action-packed thriller.”

The key shots involved augmenting chase sequences with crashes and explosions as well as fully computer generated vehicle collisions. Other work included face replacements, matte painting, digital gore, green screen composites, set extensions, explosions, muzzle flashes and squibs and sparks.

Image Engine was also tasked with populating the empty Green Point stadium in Cape Town with tens of thousands of football fans. This was managed swiftly and successfully in 2D, with a comprehensive tile shoot, which enabled the job to be handled by camera projections in NUKE onto geometry derived from a lidar scan of the stadium. “After looking at various options with the Director, and after mocking up camera moves with a stand-in and testing in NUKE we decided that a 2D approach was going to be the most efficient way of handling these shots,” said Simon Hughes, Visual Effects Supervisor.

The work also represents a growing body of invisible effects work by the company. “Image Engine is known primarily for its specialism in creature work and digital environments, but invisible effects is also a core competency in the studio,” said Jason Dowdeswell, Head of Studio at Image Engine. “Of course, when your work goes unnoticed, that’s when you really know it’s a success,” he added.

Safe House was released in cinemas on February 10, 2012.

About Image Engine

Image Engine provides world-class visual effects for feature films. With over 15 years in the industry and several award wins, the company has accrued feature film credits including the Academy Award®-nominated District 9, 2012, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse & Breaking Dawn, The Thin g and Immortals. Currently in production at the studio is: R.I.P.D. and Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming feature, Elysium. Image Engine is a privately owned and run company, based in Vancouver, BC.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.