VFX studio
reunites with Director James Mangold for dark and intense “Wolverine” finale.
Adelaide, South Australia— Reprising its role on The Wolverine, Rising Sun Pictures joined Director James Mangold’s
team for Logan, the third and final
installment in 20th Century Fox/Marvel’s “Wolverine” saga. Working
under Production VFX Supervisor Chas Jarrett and Co-Producer Kurt Williams, RSP
contributed some 230 shots to the dark, visceral tale, with the work ranging
from animating the title character’s trademark claws to producing
finely-detailed matte paintings of locations in Mexico, Texas and elsewhere.
Logan is a departure from other X-Men
movies in tone and style. Set in 2029, it reveals a declining population of
X-Men and a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) with diminishing powers. His attempt to
hide from the world, and shelter an aging Professor X, is foiled by the arrival
of a young mutant.

RSP’s work
included the movie’s opening scene near the U.S.-Mexico border. Working as a
limo driver, Logan is confronted by a gang of thugs. Although his skills are
rusty and his adamantium claws don’t work quite the way they should, he
dispatches his assailants in a swift, violent flurry, stabbing one through the
arm and skewering another straight through his head. Visual effects elements
included not only the animated CG claws, but also blood, gore, wounds and body
part replacements. 
RSP had created a number of claw effects for The Wolverine, the speed and complexity of the fight proved
challenging. “The story and performance beats were well articulated through
bash comps from Chas and editorial mock-ups,” notes RSP VFX Supervisor Dennis
Jones. “Still, there was a lot to work out about the mechanical functioning of
the claws and how they related to the actors and individual body parts, and we
were given considerable license to solve the action in creative ways.”
“It went
beyond tight match-moving and claw integration. For some of the really specific
penetration moments, we had to remove, stabilize and reposition Logan’s arms, fists
and claws to suit the composition and timing of the shot.”
The action
was considerably more graphic than in the past, in some instances, shockingly
so. “On the earlier films, we worked within PG-13 guidelines, but Logan’s R-rating was confirmed from the
start,” Jones explains. “That introduced another dynamic to play with. We could
work with less restraint regarding things like blood and claw penetration.”
RSP’s most
visually arresting sequence involved Professor X’s application of a “psionic
blast,” a huge pulse of energy that affects the mind rather than the body. In
the movie, it takes the form of a vortex of violent energy, through which Logan
fights his way while fending off “cybernetic “ criminals known as
“reavers.” “The blast was the most challenging effect creatively,” says Jones.
sequence was shot natively with camera shake and so there were no clean
takes.  Initially, we explored effects
and treatments designed to add tunnel vision vignetting, as well as applying
blur and over exposure, but weren’t satisfied with the results.”
the team chose to start over and stabilize the production footage. “We
found that shots with high contrast content and aggressive high frequency shake
produced ideal results without too much modification,” says co-VFX Supervisor
Anthony Smith. “We developed techniques to augment the blur artifacts with
custom-animated kernels applied through the FFT (fast Fourier Transform) method.
That produced sharp and controllable results.”
challenges posed by the digital matte paintings were more aesthetic than
technical. RSP was charged with replicating several environments so that
audiences would accept them as real. They included a border crossing between El
Paso and Juarez that featured a bridge, traffic and guard structures integrated
with footage shot on location in Juarez. “We were also asked to make a building
operated by Transigen (a government program designed to turn mutants into
killing machines) look more ominous and secure,” notes Jones. “We did that by
dressing a live action plate with full CG props such as cameras, gatehouses and
security fencing. Lighting and integration was key in these supporting effects
says it was exciting for the RSP team to contribute to the conclusion of a
story they helped begin. “We were really pleased to work on the limo fight as
it sets the tone for the brutality of Logan,” he concludes. “We were also very
happy with how well the psionic blast turned out and the reaction it is getting
from audiences…the audio adds a lot to the tense, high pressure visuals. We
really enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to the film and revisit the Logan
About Rising Sun Pictures:
At Rising Sun
Pictures (RSP) we create inspirational visual effects for major studios
worldwide. Creating outstanding images is at the core of our existence. At the
heart of our talented team, there is a diverse knowledge and skill-set,
enabling a collaborative core where we can work together to solve problems and
deliver great visuals to our clients. We have achieved some truly amazing
visual effects work by providing innovative solutions to technically
challenging work. We have the capacity and talent pool to scale to suit the
needs of our clients. 

Our extensive filmography includes over 100 projects, including Logan, X-Men:
Apocalypse, Game of Thrones Season 6, The Legend of Tarzan, Gods of Egypt, Pan,
X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Hunger Games franchise, the Harry Potter
franchise, Gravity, The Wolverine, Prometheus and The Great Gatsby. 

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