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Rodeo FX's 'Jack the Giant Slayer' work

March 5, 2013
Rodeo FX's 'Jack the Giant Slayer' work
MONTREAL — Rodeo FX contributed a number of complex visual effects shots to two sequences that are featured within the new Warner Bros. film, Jack the Giant Slayer. The film was directed by Bryan Singer, and the studio’s work can be seen in the “Treasure Room” sequence, where the lead character, Jack, discovers a mural that gives him insight into a giant’s point of view. Rodeo FX used particle simulations to drop and place all of the golden treasure that’s depicted in the sequence.

The studio also created visual effects for a massive environment shot that appears at the end of the film. The virtual London environment begins with a pull-out from the Tower of London, and then zips under Tower Bridge, before heading to the sky. The shot was based on a photo survey Rodeo FX conducted in London. 



The studio sent its live action VFX unit on location, where they gathered close to 3,000 pictures. In concert with the production team, Rodeo FX then created a pre-visualization for the shoot, designing a  motion path for a helicopter to capture the required data to recreate London with extreme accuracy. Filming from this helicopter recreated the camera movement planned during pre-vis. The sequence involved shutting down London Bridge for a full 20 minutes.
 
In addition to the gold and London scenes, Rodeo FX contributed  matte paintings, full CG environments, compositing, and digitally enhanced camera movement to the film, which was shot natively in Stereo 3D.
 
Hoyt Yeatman, VFX supervisor for the feature, says, “I think Rodeo FX did a very good job on this film — working in native stereo from the Red camera is no small feat. They helped create some really interesting environments — one of which was a huge Treasure Room, on which they did an excellent job. Their role kept expanding as the storyline from the film evolved. The most impressive work Rodeo FX did was the last shot in the movie,” he adds, “during which time, a magical gold crown is being stored at the Tower of London.”



Through a virtual camera, Rodeo FX created a scene in which viewers first see the crown inside the Tower of London. The POV then goes through the window, over the bridge and the river, and looks down at the city of London itself. 

“As we couldn’t shoot this sequence with live action in a helicopter, Rodeo FX, through advanced photo and aerial techniques and geometry, digitally built the Tower of London, the bridge and the city of London itself, as well as people and the river,” says Yeatman. “This was a completely real looking shot — something they created from whole cloth. They truly did a beautiful job — it looks fantastic.”