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January 2013

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Bits & Pieces Dredd 's฀big฀VFX฀worklow ONDON — The British sci-fi film Dredd, directed by Peter Travis, was an enormous challenge for production company DNA Films and visual effects house Prime Focus, especially given that the film — written by Alex Garland (28 Days Later) and shot by acclaimed DP Anthony Dod Mantle (who shot some scenes on the high-speed Phantom in 3D) — L was made on a reported budget of just $45 million, and filmed in 3D. Dredd was shot entirely in South Africa, and Berlinbased Post Republic set up a Digilab at Cape Town Studios. All the 3D footage was processed there, and Jon Thum, the VFX supervisor for Prime Focus and the film, also went there and set up shop. The plan? To turn over early VFX shots, to follow on with the early previs work, and once filming was complete, the Digilab was shipped back to Berlin, so they had a continuity of technicians. The temporary 3D Avid cutting room in Cape Town was also shipped back to London, and the production was serviced from Berlin. All the visual effects were done in London — most of them at Prime, which worked with the filmmakers all the way through concept design and preproduction. Post Republic supplied the raw data to Prime Focus, where Thum ultimately oversaw some 650 visual effects shots, "a huge number and a big challenge," he says, "especially as although we delivered final shots by the end of 2011, there was an additional pick-up shoot done over Christmas, so we then had an extra 80 shots to deliver by February. We also ended up subbing out about 50 shots to The Mill and another dozen to Baseblack." The team used Maya for modelling, layout and animation; Massive for crowd and traffic; and Houdini for effects. "We used Nuke for compositing and Photoshop for matte painting, and Guerilla for rendering," he says. "Guerilla's fairly new, and it worked out great. It was a joint collaboration with the people writing the code, so we had a couple of guys from the Guerilla team actually sitting with us here, so we helped them test it on a big project and gave them feedback, and vice versa." The team also dealt with a lot of effects and destruction scenes. "Obviously a different workflow that went through Houdini and then was integrated in comp with stereo and 2D elements shot on greenscreen." Digital double work went through the animation pipeline. Thum notes that stereo VFX are "considerably more complicated, and we had a lot of issues dealing with the stereo cameras." In addition, the team converted some shots to stereo, as aerial shots had to be filmed mono. Prime Focus has a conversion department for 2D-to-3D called ViewD, "so it was easy for us to work closely on the finish," he adds. By Iain Blair What Post Readers Are Up To: right now APPS: "I've been a big fan of the Waze traffic app lately. Not a surprise given that I live in LA. Any app that promises to improve efficiency I'm game to at least try out. Waze actually delivers, with the occasional glitch of recommending left turns that would be difficult to make even on off-peak hours. "Another app in the efficiency space I've been a fan of is Asana. Asana was the creation of Dustin Moskovitz, formerly of Facebook. [It's] an easy-to-use project management tool. It has most of the bells and whistles you'd expect from a project management tool, but in a much cleaner, simpler interface. "I also like healthy living when it comes to both food and exercise. The life-tracking tools like Nike's Fuel and Jawbone's UP look pretty interesting to manage activity, sleep and food intake. I haven't quite made the plunge yet, but I'm close." Sterling Hawkins Oishii Creative, LA Pulse฀creates฀Tiny Tortures music฀video L ONDON — Pulse Films' ( David Lewandowski directed a new music video for Flying Lotus that visualizes its Tiny Tortures track. The video centers around a recent amputee, played by Elijah Wood, who is either dreaming, or hallucinating from his medication, that his room's contents are coming together to form a new bionic arm. When he wakes, his condition is changed, proving that something happened during his altered state. The track is off the band's "Until the Quiet Comes" release. Lewandowski says the concept was inspired by the idea of shooting a live-action version of Akira. The video was shot on Red Epic and offlined in Final Cut Pro. It was later revised inside After Effects. 3D matchmoving/tracking was performed in PFtrack. Roto was performed in After Effects, with the help of the 2D tracking in Mocha. Elements were modeled, rigged and animated in Cinema 4D. Fracturing was accomplished with Xplode. The damaged arm was designed using a DSLR and Agisoft Photoscan software. It was then retopoligized inside of 3dCoa. Chris Hoyle was DIT on the project. The animation team included technical supervision/animation by Patrick Goski; animation/modeling/lighting via artist Alexander Lehnert; animation by David Estis; and character TD by Bret Bays. Additional animation/simulation/matchmoving was performed by Josh Johnson. William Mendoza provided additional animation and illustration. Jake Portman also illustrated. 6 Post฀•฀January฀2013฀ Post0113_004,6,8-BitsRAV5FINALREADwithFIX.indd 6 12/21/12 2:24 PM

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