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SolidAnim’s SolidTrack Helps Deliver ‘Warcraft’ Feature

On-set virtual tracking equipment and visualization software utilized for previs and tracking on Universal’s ‘Warcraft’ feature directed by Duncan Jones.

PARIS -- SolidAnim, a leader in the development of on-set virtual tracking equipment and visualization software, announced its SolidTrack system was utilized for previs and tracking on the film Warcraft by its Canadian partner, Animatrik Film Design Inc.

Warcraft is an epic fantasy film directed by Duncan Jones and written by Jones, Charles Leavitt and Chris Metzen. It is based on the Warcraft video game series and novels set in the world of Azeroth. The film stars Travis Filmmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky and Daniel Wu. The film portrays the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs and takes place in a variety of locations established in the video game series. The film was released by Universal Pictures internationally in 25 countries starting May 25, 2016 and in the United States on June 10, 2016.

Principal photograph began on January 13, 2014 and lasted for four months. Filming took place primarily in Vancouver among other locations. Post-production lasted twenty months. Regarding the use of computer-generated imagery, Jones said, “It’s a tool like any other. It can be done well and it can be done shit. The best CGI has you forgetting [that] it’s CGI, and accepting the visual as whatever it is supposed to be -- like props. No one has an issue with props in film, do they?”

“Solid Track is a great addition for us,” states Brett Ineson, President of Animatrik, who goes on to say, “It’s a perfect complement to our range of performance capture solutions we have developed for shooting on location and outdoors.”

A huge virtual production effort for Animatrik, Warcraft required a massive investment in motion capture technology to bring the concept from the video game world onto the silver screen.

The Animatrik team worked on huge sets in Vancouver -- with some up to 300 feet long -- while also dealing with interference from the fire and rain effects that sometimes affected the technology.

Animatrik also had to switch production across the eight different stages that were in rotation. The team had to set up and take down the motion capture cameras with each set change -- sometimes every couple of days.

Nevertheless, by deploying some 120 motion capture cameras to the different stages, Animatrik was able to successfully perform camera tracking of each character’s motions, as well as track the facial performances of various orcs and trolls, ensuring they retained the likeness of the original actor.

The result was an action-packed video game adaptation, and the biggest virtual production the Animatrik team has ever worked on.

SolidTrack is a real time camera tracking solution for recording camera moves and data logging of camera moves on the virtual set. This simple yet versatile markerless camera tracking system for the film and broadcast industries addresses virtual production needs. SolidTrack’s flexibility allows filmmakers to shoot both indoors and outdoors with the same high quality results.

SolidTrack brings a revolutionary approach providing a more ergonomic and intuitive solution dedicated to camera tracking and visualization of complex VFX shots, dealing with green screen compositing, 3D rendering, and complex camera moves. Producers achieve greater control of VFX budgets and timescales, minimizing wastage and ensuring efficient delivery from previs to the final movie or television show. Compared to traditional shooting methods producers save approximately 30 percent time on a film or television show utilizing SolidTrack.

SolidAnim also has motion capture systems that meet the highest demands in terms of capture (body, face, both combined in performance capture, real-time, multi characters up to 10 actors simultaneously), based on innovative technology and years of team experience with mocap. SolidAnim has also developed its eye tracking solution to give virtual characters more realism.

SolidAnim can combine its real-time camera tracking system with its motion capture system, the only company in the industry to do so to date. The motion capture can be integrated with SolidTrack plus virtual landscapes and ICG.

SolidAnim’s SolidTrack system was utilized on Robert Zemekis’ critically acclaimed film, The Walk, Emmy-nominated and Visual Effects Society winner Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Gods of Egypt, Disney’s Alice Through The Looking Glass, and Ghostbusters 3, and has been selected by Lightstorm and Weta Digital for the next two Avatar sequels.

Source: SolidAnim

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.