PRIME FOCUS VFX CREATES SEA BATTLE FOR 'RED CLIFF'
Red Cliff is said to be the most expensive Chinese-language picture ever made, and is a collaborative production between China Film Group, South Korea’s Showbox Entertainment, Taiwan’s CMC Entertainment group and Japan’s Avex Entertainment. The film is hitting theatres in the US on November 20th.
Red Cliff is based on historic battles and other events that took place towards the end of the Han Dynasty and immediately prior to the period of the Three Kingdoms in ancient China. In Asia, the film premiered in theaters in two parts, clocking in at four and a half hours. Part 1 was released in July 2008, while the second half — on which Prime Focus VFX worked — debuted in Asian theaters in January 2009. In Europe and the US, the two parts were condensed into one two-and-a-half hour film.
The studio had an important role in the main battle sequences of the second film, and was challenged with creating the entire environment that surrounds a sea battle sequence with 2,500 boats. The CG sequence is also populated with roughly 70,000 soldiers who needed to perform on the ships. Fire and smoke elements, CG explosions and boat damage from impacts add to the details.
Prime Focus had eight weeks to complete the scene. CG models were imported from Autodesk Maya into Autodesk 3DS Max, in which the bulk of the 3D work was done. Compositing was done with Eyeon Fusion. Plug-ins included Cebas Thinking Particles, Final Render and FumeFX. Prime Focus also used Massive Software and SynthEyes from Andersson Technologies. In addition, Prime Focus utilized several propriety tools, including Flood: Surf for the fluid surfaces rendered in Final Render, and Flood for the fluid dynamic interaction of wakes and the shots of crew members diving overboard.