Rising Sun Pictures including Adam Paschke Adam Potter Alana Aranki Alex Meddick Andrew Palmer Anto Bond Ben Dickson Ben Paschke Dan Wills Daniel Thompson David Cattermole Dennis Jones Gemma James Jared Embley Jason Madigan Jesse Balodis Kenny Yong Marc Purnell Mark Evans Mark Story Matt Shaw Nick Pill Paris Downes Paul Kirwan Prema Paetsch Richard Thwaites Ryan Grobins Sam Hancock Sam Hodge Simon Herden Thomas Cant Thomas Price Tim Crosbie Timmy Lundin Victor Glushchenko.
Rising Sun Pictures designed a sequence that centres on Quicksilver, a mutant with hyper-speed capabilities, demonstrating his ability to perceptively bring the world to a virtual standstill. The slow motion sequence is a blend of live action, computer-generated objects and visual effects of astonishing complexity. The filmmaker's vision was delivered through the design of a sequence grounded in realism, finding a balance between an exciting, magical event that also looks photoreal.
The process from previsualisation through to the shoot was an extensive collaboration between all departments, to ensure that the key moments of the story could be captured on a variety of formats to pass on to post-production. In concert with VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers and Director Bryan Singer, RSP realised the creative vision of the sequence, using the production of scores of CG props, including frying pans, knives, pots of boiling soup, carrots and bullets, as well as the omnipresent cascades of water droplets. Each of these elements needed to be rendered in near microscopic detail, placed precisely within the geometry of the kitchen and choreographed to move and react realistically to lighting, other objects and characters. RSP also aided in integrating the speedy Quicksilver into the near frozen environment. That illusion was accomplished through a combination of live action, a stunt double, green screen photography, a partial CG body replacement and a shimmering “rain tunnel” that forms around Quicksilver (caused by his swift passage through the near motionless falling water). All of this had to work properly in 2D and stereo 3D—and, of course, dazzle the eye. It was something that had never been done before, and garnered RSP's VFX Supervisor, Tim Crosbie, an Academy Award™ nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Effects.
We knew that the design solution would take a lot of detailed planning. Because the stereo cameras are moving through a world that is primarily going to be populated with computer-generated objects - as a result the camera tracking, character match moving and shot layout had to be perfect, because even the slightest error becomes very obvious very quickly. Once this foundation was in place, the rest of the sequence became an exercise in making things look great, rather than fixing things that weren’t quite right. The development of 'Effects' techniques for water droplets, muzzle flashes and bullet vortices, combined with the look development to ensure props looked photorealistic was an ongoing process of refinement to the final product. One of our first tasks was using the LIDAR scan of the set to recreate the kitchen environment in the computer, and we then used the High Dynamic Range Image (HDRI) photographic reference from production to texture the geometry to aid in set extension, and rebuild the kitchen as a default lighting setup with the correct energy levels for assets to live within. This was used to help our Effects team during reasearch and development for placing their simulations in a real world environment, with the Compositing team balancing all elements for the final product as seen in the cinema.
The project contributed to the yearly turnover of the company, which in turn provided economic value creation through the team of more than 90 artists & technicians who worked on the sequence. The award nominations and
experience of the sequence by members of the public & visual effects community engendered a reputation around Rising Sun Pictures, opening new doors for projects, and a continuing relationship with the Studio and the Quicksilver character across film & television commercials. The complexity and pipeline that was created to support the sequence contributed to the company infrastructure that allowed for more complex and innovative projects to be won and delivered at RSP.