May 24, 2014
Played sequence lead first time at Framestore on Jupiter Ascending. Chris Lawrence the VFX sup on Gravity and a few of us from London came out to help start the studio. Jupiter was our second show at the Montreal studio, and was much larger than Robocop.
When I saw this sequence of Cain (Channing Tatum) in space I requested to be a sequence lead. Unlike gravity, where Chris Lawrence and Tim Webber shot Sandra Bulloch standing straight up (more or less) in an attempt to eliminate visible muscle strain, on this film, the studio hired Bot and Dolly to handle flying Channing Tatum all around. There were some heavy rigs and harnesses to paint out…..and since Ender’s game just came out, there was much talk in the community about the flying people in zero-g… I knew we would be going digi-body double in many shots. The studio didn’t think so:( Also there was the ‘continuity’ issue I was concerned about….a free tumbling char in space with no object to ground them….is trouble for story telling, and hard for the audience….
All that being said….mostly I wanted to play sequence lead because I wanted to know how Framestore did the stars on Gravity. Having completed only 3 underwater shots for Gravity…I was itching to do some space work….with Gundams!!! Come on. Super cool right?
Hands down, my favorite part of this show was getting to comp in stereo. We only produced a handful of native stereo shots. I really really enjoy stereoscopic work. There are fewer and fewer shows being produced in native stereo now a days sadly. The two highlights were there gun fire shots in the attack on the large space ship, and when the bird shaped ship goes through the force field. Romain Rico comped that forcefield shot, but I had the pleasure of re-compositing it in 3D. But it wasn’t a total mystery on how it would turn out. Earlier in the production I wrote a quick dimensionalization STMap node that would convert the CG into stereo based on the production stereoscopic cameras. In this way, who ever was interested, was able to construct their comp in full stereo 3D (before the stereoscopic renders got kicked off as a ‘post’ process at the end of the show once all the mono shots finalled). For the peeps who were able to composite this way, ‘converting’ the shot to stereo at the end was almost trivial.
It’s sort of fun to think back on these projects. In that 6 months we build a lot of tech and new workflows at the studio!
Below is a gallery of images corresponding to the various shots I was responsible for. Had a good crew of friends and colleagues on this show. Hugo Gavreau, Ricky Leach, Romain Rico to name a few. Solid artists!