Australian VFX studio delivers
more than 25 minutes for the latest edition to Fox’s “X-Men” franchise.

Adelaide, South Australia—Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) created
more than 260 visual effects shots for The Wolverine, the new action film from Director
James Mangold and Twentieth Century Fox. RSP helped to recreate the World War
II atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki, Japan. It also produced digital environments
for a number of sequences, including a scene set in a snow-covered Japanese
village, and combat effects such as digital copies of Wolverine’s iconic claws
for use in numerous scenes involving challenging stunts.
The work was conducted under the supervision of the production’s
VFX Supervisor Philip Brennan, and VFX Producer Jamie Stevenson. RSP’s team was
led by VFX Supervisor Tim Crosbie.

“RSP was one of the primary vendors on The Wolverine and they brought a great deal to the table both
creatively and technically,” says Stevenson. “Having worked with them in
the past, we knew they would be a great fit for much of the claw work, but we
also felt that they were the right vendor to take on several of the key
sequences that required extensive environment work as well as challenging
simulations and particle effects.”
For the atomic bomb attack, which occurs in an early flashback
sequence, RSP artists worked from archival footage to produce a CG model of
Nagasaki and the towering mushroom cloud produced by the bomb. They also created
radioactive shockwaves, pyroclastic waves and debris elements for shots showing
the destruction of the prisoner of war camp where Wolverine is being held.
“The view of Nagasaki, seen from across a harbor, required an
extensive digital matte painting,” notes Crosbie. “We started by modelling the
bomb after photographs of the actual blast but James Mangold wanted something
unique and so pushed the blast into something never before seen. We were able
to leverage research we had done for previous destruction effects to make an
event that is much, much bigger and more immersive.  It’s exciting stuff.”

RSP built a detailed 3D model of the prisoner of war camp based on
location in Sydney, and then blew it apart as the radioactive shockwaves roll
through. One of those waves carries Wolverine through the air. He lands in a
stone well where he uses his body as a shield in saving the life of a Japanese
soldier. “Components of the huts and wood that fly past the camera required a
fair amount of choreography and numerous iterations to get the action beats
just right,” recalls Crosbie. “Equally challenging was the pyroclastic
cloud—the leading edge of the explosion—which sweeps across city and the water
and through the camp ripping up buildings, guard towers and everything else in
its path. Our team did well.”
The Japanese Village scene, where Wolverine is attacked by an army
of Ninjas, also required extensive visual effects enhancement. Live action was
shot on a partial set built in a Sydney car park. RSP extended the set
considerably with CG buildings, mountain ranges, and a digital version of a
lab, and sprinkled it with snow. High, wide-angle views of the village are
fully CG. Artists also created the torrent of arrows with ropes that are fired
by ninjas at Wolverine in order to subdue and bind him. “The process involved
identifying each of the ninjas and determining when each would fire,” Crosbie
explains. “We match-moved a detailed CG model of Wolverine and used that to
drive the arrows, rope dynamics and choreography of the scene. Once we knew
where the arrows were coming from and going to, it was straightforward for the
animators to work out the timing and hit their marks.”
Digital replacements for Wolverine’s claws were used in place of
practical claws for scenes involving dangerous stunts. In those instances,
actor Hugh Jackman wore stubs or tracking markers that served as guides for match-moving
the digital claw assets. “Philip Brennan provided us with a full HDRI set for
every shot requiring visual effects, so we knew exactly what lighting was
required,” Crosbie notes. “That worked extremely well. Each claw was rendered
out with an option of blood stained or cleaned, so at a moments notice we could
make a scene gory or safe.”
Other items on RSP’s task list included adding wounds to Wolverine
during some of his many fights, filling a bucket with a murky liquid that one
of Wolverine’s adversaries uses to create poison arrows, massive set extensions
replacing iconic Sydney landmarks with iconic Japanese structures. Artists also
created a matte painting and environmental elements for a scene set in Canada’s
Yukon as well as all shots of the Yashida lab.
 “Technically, everything
went very well, and we hit all of the creative marks,” Crosbie says. “Our crew
did a fantastic job and working with the team on The Wolverine was a wonderful collaborative experience.”
“We really appreciated how efficiently RSP
handled the workflow for the show overall,” adds Stevenson. “No matter what we
threw at them, we never ruffled their feathers. Even last minute adds and
changes were all accommodated with a positive attitude.”

About Rising Sun Pictures:

Sun Pictures is a passionate team of artists, producers and technicians, known
for providing complex visual effects and CG character work to feature film and
television clients over the past 18 years. With the infrastructure to deliver a
full spectrum of services from Design through to Digital Intermediate, RSP
boasts a filmography of 100 films, with such titles as Prometheus, The Hunger Games,
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the
Harry Potter series, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,
Gravity, The Great Gatsby, The Seventh
and The Wolverine. More Info

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :