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n n n n CG Water Te children in Te Chronicles of Narnia: Te Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third film based on the popular series of books by CS Lewis, did not always have fair winds and calm seas. But, the visual effects crews creating the Narnian alternate reality discovered that working on this film was rel- atively smooth sailing, even though the work was challenging. Te story takes place during a quest that two children from the previous film and a cousin take aboard the ship “Dawn Treader,” which sails from island to island. Michael Apted directed the Twentieth Century Fox/Walden Media film, with Angus Bickerton supervising the visual effects. “Te director was efficient,” says Barrie Hemsley, visual effects pro- ducer. “We didn’t have overtime. We shot everything in Australia, so we didn’t have huge moves from country to country. Te only time we did remote photography was with a small second unit, and that kept things practical and straightforward. We finished on schedule, and we did more than expected. Visual effects started in December 2009, and were full force in January 2010, with five companies in London turning shots over. It was a well-oiled machine.” Te effects included CG water, character animation, and environ- ments—the islands the ship encounters and a huge storm at sea. Te Moving Picture Company (MPC), which handled the majority of shots (close to 770 of the 1400 total), created most of the CG water, the storm, the ship, a dragon, a sea serpent, an older and wiser Reepicheep (the beloved mouse who returns to star in approximately 250 shots), plus various fauns and Minotaurs. Framestore re-created Aslan the lion and the humorous, one-legged Dufflepuds, brought paintings of seascapes alive, and built a dramatic standing wave. Te Senate constructed Cam- bridge during wartime and built a weird and wonderful map inside a map room on a magical island, as well as other environments. Cinesite, too, created environments, plus the studio animated a green witch. And the Mill lifted a CG water creature from digital water. (See the online feature “Magical Menagerie” for a look at the non-water work.) “Although we don’t have the huge crowd and battle scenes of the previous films, this film has a lot of complex work,” Hemsley says. “We have CG characters, an awful lot of CG water, and some huge effects sequences. We created the illusion of sailing at sea, and we never shot anything on water. Our film is consistently complex under the hood.” Setting Sail In fact, much of the film takes place on the “Dawn Treader” Artists at The Mill created the watery Naiad and blended her into a CG and live-action ocean. Use your smart- phone to read related feature Images ©2010 Twentieth Century Fox and Walden Media LLC. 36 January/February 2011

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