Post Magazine

July 2018

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Page 11 of 43 10 POST JULY 2018 PREVIS o help director Ron Howard and ILM plan the 2,000-plus visual effects shots required for Disney's Solo: A Star Wars Story, VFX supervisor Rob Bredow relied on the previs/postvis tal- ents of The Third Floor. Soon after wrapping up its work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Third Floor did some early visualization for Solo: A Star Wars Story as the film started pre-production in LA. "I worked alongside several talented storyboard artists, helping flesh out some of the sequences they were illustrating and then later assisted ILM visual effects supervisor Rob Bredow with early look development for the 'Kessel' sequence, and techvis for the 'train heist,'" says Barry Howell, visualization supervisor at The Third Floor. "When production moved to England, previs work continued at The Third Floor's London office, with teams led by Albert Cheng and Faraz Hameed. I rejoined the project when we began visu- alizing Act Three and then segued into postvis on the Disney lot once principal photography finished." Some of the key scenes they helped plan included the opening sequence, the 'car chase' and the 'train heist.' The Third Floor worked on the film in several phases — the first was early idea and look development with the directors and visual effects supervisor in LA. They worked with storyboard artists to evolve sequences by prevising out select mo- ments. "We created walkthroughs of the Falcon interiors for reference and built assets for reference," says Howell. "We also helped with early look dev for the 'Kessel maelstrom,' created techvis and schematics for the train sequences and produced camera study guides from the original trilogy." Once in London, work continued at The Third Floor London, with the team beginning to previsualize sequences. This phase involved quite a lot of previs, as well as techvis. According to Hameed, visualization supervisor, "In building the previs, we were encouraged to create shots with a look and style faithful to the original movies. A 1980s feel was definitely a goal. A common phase we would ask ourselves when composing previs shots and cameras was: 'How would someone shoot it in the 80s?' "Some of the most iconic scenes have to be the sequences with the Millennium Falcon taking some pretty crazy flights through space." At Bredow's request, Howell went through the original Star Wars movie tril- ogy and documented all of the camera angles used inside the Millennium Falcon. After logging every Falcon interior scene, he replicated the camera in Maya so they could visually see where each camera placement might have been. They then worked to identify potential angles that would be new but looked familiar. The teams worked on all of the action sequences, as well as some non-action sequences, which included the car chase, train heist, Kessel scenes and even the end cameo. In postvis, The Third Floor helped Howard finalize his vision of the opening sequence. They also worked on connective tissue between the action scenes to help establish new environ- ments or transition between locations. "We spent a lot of time postvisu- alizing the train heist in addition to developing new previs shots during post," explains Howell. "Other postvis work covered arriving in Vandor, Kessel cockpit shots, the Kessel mine battle, Han at the spaceport, the Enfys end fight, the opening scenes and the big closing cameo. As we were working on Kessel action, Rob asked us to combine a few shots into a master scene file and create a 360-degree spherical render. This they played on a large rear-projec- tion screen on-set in front of the Falcon as a surprise to the actors with the idea being to have their reactions feel quite real while filming those takes." "In London we collaborated with the filmmakers as we got into detailed previs," adds Cheng, visualization supervisor. "One sequence I worked on, end-to-end, was the train heist, which would be one of the first things to be filmed with the anticipa- tion of snowfall at our key location." In addition to previs, the London team handled a massive amount of techvis, creating PDFs or moving schematics for every train shot and car chase shot, with PREVIS/POSTVIS - SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY BY LINDA ROMANELLO THE THIRD FLOOR TAKES ON A MULTI-PHASE CHALLENGE T View from the Millennium Falcon The Train Heist

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