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December 2009 48 n n n n Visual Effects dio's proprietary Flood: Surf tool for the fluid surfaces, rendered in FinalRender, and Flood for the fluid interaction of the wakes and the shots of performers diving overboard. Another proprietary 3ds Max plug-in, Fume, was used for the giant plumes of smoke as well as for some of the flame interactions. Compositing was done with Eyeon's Fusion. Hayes notes that Kerner Optical did some "critical work" related to burning ship ele- ments. "ey built a number of 'bucks,' min- iature-ship steel skeletons that were plumbed with gas lines and rigged for explosions and such," he says. "We photographed these bucks from every necessary angle in many passes, and then had an extensive library of fire that could be comp'd onto either photographic- plate ships or CG ships." Indeed, the film's visual effects were expansive and challenging. Yet, other difficulties plagued the set and crew, as well. Some of the mishaps that marked the production seem nearly unbe- lievable in retrospect. One of the practical vil- l ages built for the shoot was set on fire … and then became a real, out-of-control conflagra- tion. ere was a typhoon. A crane toppled. "e effects really came together because of Craig's [Hayes] ingenuity and resourcefulness," says Colcord. "And the vendors did an amazing job stitching together all sorts of different ele- ments into some unique and cool shots." "It was a daunting task," admits Hayes. "It was the best, and it was the worse. And I wouldn't have missed it for anything. At the end of the day, not only am I proud of the ac- complishment, but John [Woo] and Terence [Chang] are such nice people and such gra- cious hosts, that everyone put their all into it for them." n Debra Kaufman is a freelance writer for numerous entertainment industry publications. She also writes about content for She can be reached at Previs helped determine how to set up this complex battle formation. CafeFX enhanced the shot digitally. High�Performance CameraTracking Use SynthEyes for animated critter insertion,»xing shaky shots, virtual set extensions, making 3D movies, architectural previews, accident reconstruction, virtual product placement, face and body capture, and more. 32-bitonly�$399 Windows-32�/Windows-64�/�OSX-32/OS�X-64 See the website for details of the latest version!

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