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Phosphene contributes VFX to 'The Fault in Our Stars'

June 9, 2014
Phosphene contributes VFX to 'The Fault in Our Stars'
NEW YORK — The Phosphene (www.phosphenefx.com) visual effects team recently completed effects work and adapted the 20th Century Fox logo for The Fault in Our Stars, a romantic comedy-drama that stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Nat Wolff, and Willem Dafoe. The film was directed by Josh Boone ( Stuck in Love) and is based on John Green’s #1 best selling novel of the same name.

The Fault in Our Stars centers on Hazel and Gus, two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that takes them on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.
 
At several key points in the film Hazel lies in the grass and stares up at the starry night sky, created by Phosphene. The very first time the audience sees the night sky is during the 20th Century Fox logo animation. Phosphene was assigned the task of tying the iconic logo with the theme of the film. 



Creative director/VFX supervisor John Bair and executive producer Vivian Connolly led the Phosphene team, whose work included the compositing of a prosthetic leg and stump on Gus. Lead digital artist Aaron Raff explains the process: “In order to replace the leg, we used camera projections and proxy geometry in Nuke X to project the shape and textures of an amputee body double's leg into the plate of Gus’s limb. Using this method, we were able to show Gus's amputation in shots with dynamic camera moves, as well as in shots where the actor moved freely, shifting his position.”
 
“It was an incredible opportunity to be a part of translating this beautiful book into film,” adds Phosphene effects producer, Ariela Rotenberg. “Throughout the process, we took extreme care to remain true to the thematic and emotional tone of the story, particularly for our work on Gus's leg, which is such an important plot point. We were very lucky that Josh Boone and his team came to us with such a specific and grounded vision, which allowed us to really focus on helping tell the story of these incredibly vivid characters.”

In addition to Bair, Connolly, Rotenberg and Raff, the Phosphene creative team included VFX producer Rebecca Dunn, compositing supervisor Scott Winston, and digital artists Tonya Smay, Luciano DiGeronimo, Tim van Horn and Tim Bowman.

Phosphene used Nuke X and PCs running Windows 7 64-bit in the execution of this project. Technicolor-PostWorks was responsible for the digital intermediate and lab processing.

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