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March 2013

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The Third Floor was the sole previs studio on the new film Jack the Giant Slayer. The Third Floor also served as a virtual asset department, building CG assets that would be used during the virtual production shoot. Singer could look at a monitor during the shoot and see how the VFX would integrate with the live action. "Digital assets act as the beginning of the pipeline for VFX," explains Carney. The team worked with Giant and Digital Domain to figure out how assets would be built so that they could move on in the workflow to each studio for fur ther refinement. Most of The Third Floor's work is created using Autodesk's Maya and Motion Builder. "Previs is a lot like producing virtual production assets," Carney notes. "We already have that skillset. It's lower geometry, with less detail and texture. You have to figure out how to create the illusion for radiosity lighting and ambient occlusion. There are a lot of tricks for glows and fire." In general, The Third Floor hands over all of its previs Maya files so the studios working on the VFX and animation can integrated them into their pipelines.The studio has Xsens' inertial motion capture suits for animating sequences without the need for a dedicated volume. This allows the team to work in a range of settings. THE GRAPHIC FILM COMPANY The Graphic Film Company, GFC, (http://thegraphicfilmcompany. com) in Los Angeles got its start in 2010. The company has a partnership with Simon West Productions, which is located in the same building, and they will often provide visual effects services to Westled projects. GFC also works on its own feature projects, which include Night of the Living Dead and Thunder Run, both of which are in production. "We did all of the previs for that," says GFC systems development/R&D head, Anthony Hoit, of Thunder Run. The entirely-CG film is based on a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent David Zucchino. It details the untold story of the dangerous and bloody capture of Baghdad by American forces. Actors Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey all lend their voices to the film as well as facial performance that's being recorded via motion capture. Hoit says previs plays a number of roles, depending on whether a project relies on live action or CG to tell a story. "Assuming we are doing previs for live action, it's strictly to see a scene play out," he explains. A set may already be built, but previs can help plan a shot so that the crew doesn't end up shooting different takes over and over. Post0313_022-24,26-previsRAV5finalread.indd 23 Post • March 2013 23 3/4/13 3:54 PM

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