September 20, 2004


SANTA MONICA, CA - Luma Pictures ( recently completed some 150 visual effects shots for the new Paramount Pictures release "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," the largest 3D visual effects package contracted by the studio to an outside vendor. Luma's work included the film's underwater battle scene where a squadron of amphibious planes engage in combat with giant robots at the bottom of the ocean.

Luma's work on the film marked the studio's biggest project to date, spanning six months and involving the efforts of more than 40 animators and visual effects artists. The undersea battle sequence occupies nearly six minutes of screen time and consists almost entirely of 3D elements. The sequence involved a squadron of planes led by Captain Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie) who are attempting to reach an island via a route that takes them deep below the surface of the ocean. The planes dive into the water where they are met by a group of giant crab-like robots and an enormous battle ensues.

The film's producers provided style sheets and models for the planes and robots to Luma, who in turn modified, added texture detail, lit and animated them into the elaborate effects filled sequences, which they created. Additionally, the studio built the sprawling underwater environment.

For Luma's effects team, one of the chief challenges of the project lay in emulating the film's unique "retro-futuristic" look. The effects team was also challenged to create a scene that occurs entirely underwater.

Luma Pictures completed its work on "Sky Captain" while undergoing significant expansion. The studio had just moved into its Santa Monica location as well as just made the transition from an all PC facility to an all Macintosh facility. Its staff doubled to handle the production.

For more on "Sky Captain," see our story in the September issue of "Post."