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Method Creates Epic VFX for 'Cloud Atlas'

Method Studios, the main visual effects vendor on the current Warner Bros. release, “Cloud Atlas,” announces the completion of 398 shots for the film.

Los Angeles, CA – Method Studios announced that three of their locations – Los Angeles, Vancouver and London – completed a total of 398 shots and was the main visual effects vendor on the current Warner Bros. release Cloud Atlas. Directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski, the film is an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future. Dan Glass, Method’s Chief Creative Officer and Method’s London based Stephane Ceretti were the overall visual effects supervisors for the production. Fully ensconced in the film since its conception, together Glass and Ceretti oversaw 11 vendors in addition to the Method Studios crews.

Ceretti states, “We made the most of Method’s international network and shared shots across our three locations which were split up by key sequences. Method Studios in London contributed concept design work for the movie's art department as well as finished matte paintings for several environments including the ‘destroyed city’ scenes within the film. The Los Angeles and Vancouver locations created numerous environmental sequences, and their CG models and motion graphics assets were shared internally and also passed on to other vendors such as ILM and Scanline.”

Method’s Los Angeles team was responsible for creating the fully CG establishing shots of the futuristic city Neo Seoul along with dynamic fight and escape sequences. They also created various CG vehicles and the digital facial makeup re-touching work on Chang – played by Jim Sturgess who is made to look Asian for part of the film.

Matt Dessero, Method’s VFX Supervisor in LA notes, “The city environment establishing scenes were key shots for our artists in terms of scope and artistic involvement. We were given some concept art at the beginning of the project but were able to contribute to the creative direction in terms of designing the skiffs, gunships, ray gun blasts, water-like energy field of the transway and the architecture itself which is a believable development based on modern cities in the world today.”

Geoffrey Hancock and Olivier Dumont supervised the VFX work that passed through Vancouver which included the creation of over 100 3D buildings referencing Asian architectural styles for the Neo Seoul vistas. These elements were shared amongst the Method Studios network and appear in a number of scenes including the telescoping plank sequence and the iconic shot of Somni as she crouches in front of the gunship with the sunset in the background.

Adding to Method’s overall involvement in the film, Method Design created the animated main title typography along with a number of motion graphics elements used throughout the film including the heads-up displays for the vehicles and weaponry plus the touch-controlled Orison displays.

Dan Glass summarizes, “This was a hugely intricate film and our Method crews created beautiful work while collaborating seamlessly together over three countries. The project was unique from the outset and while drawn to it creatively, the complexity of fitting the pieces of the story together went well beyond the narrative structure. It proved to be a worthy challenge for all involved and we couldn’t have pulled it off without the great talent of our own Method team and that of all our vendors across the globe.”

Cloud Atlas will be distributed in North America, the UK, France, Spain, Australia and Japan by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.  It will be released in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland by X Verleih; in China by Dreams of the Dragon Pictures; in Hong Kong by Media Asia Group; in Singapore and Malaysia by Ascension Pictures; in Korea by Bloomage Company; in Taiwan by Long Shong Group; in Russia and Eastern Europe by A Company; and in other territories through Focus Features International.

Source: Method Studios

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.