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Education n n n n Recent graduates have a hand in this summer's VFX-driven superhero movies By Barbara Robertson Images courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures. GREEN Party Green Lantern, one of six movies based on comic books that fought for audience share in movie theaters this summer, landed in the unenviable calendar slot between X-Men: First Class (June 3) and Disney/Pixar's Cars 2 (June 24). The question was: Could Hal Jordon, the first human recruited into the elite Green Lantern Corps, power people into a ticket line? That might depend on actor Ryan Reynolds, who plays Jordon—or, at least, his head does when he's wearing his superpower-granting green ring. His body becomes a special energized suit, and that suit is digital; the suit is, in effect, a character. To move it, a team of animators at Sony Pictures Imageworks matched and extended Reynolds' performance; a team of visual effects artists fastened the CG suit to footage of Reynolds' head. "The suit is digital because of the internal illumination and external energy that licks off the surface," says David Schaub, animation supervisor. "The suit also has a semi-translucent quality that is similar to the material properties found in the rocks and buildings on the planet Oa. That unique and otherworldly quality was best achieved by making the suit all- CG. The suit itself was designed by costume designer Ngila Dickson, with all the muscles sculpted specifically in the right places." Further, by animating a digital suit, the postproduc- tion crew could push Reynolds' live-action performance into superhero territory. Sony Pictures Imageworks directs a crew of 80 animators, including a few feature- film novices who create CG characters and hybrids for Green Lantern August/September 2011 23

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