NEW YORK — Creative content company Alkemy X (www.alkemy-x.com) provided visual effects services for Universal Pictures’ new film Split, from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. The studio worked on 74 shots for horror/drama, which centers around three young girls who are kidnapped by a man with multiple personalities.
Alkemy X provided on-set VFX supervision and post services. The studio’s work included subtle visual effects throughout the film, such as character work, TV/computer screen graphics and replacements, muzzle flashes and squib hits for gun fire. Additional CG work and paint cleanup was also performed.
Alkemy X was also tasked with physically embellishing the pivotal 24th personality inside the film’s villain. “Enhancing James’ incredible performance was definitely the most creative aspect of this project for our team,” recalls Edwardo Mendez, Alkemy X senior VFX supervisor. “It required intensive motion tracking on-set, and several different techniques: 3D object tracking, camera tracking, planar tracking, and Nuke's smart vector tracking. Ultimately, achieving the resulting
life-like look was a concerted effort across several VFX departments, including look development, 3D modeling and texture, 2D paint, and a lot of comp love to ensure our effects seamlessly lived in this world.”
Shyamalan has deep Pennsylvania roots and many of his films are shot or set there. Split marks Alkemy X’s fourth feature-film collaboration with the director and his Philly-based production company, Blinding Edge Pictures. Alkemy X most recently served as the exclusive VFX company for Shyamalan’s The Visit (2015).
The studio worked on the film over the course of six months, meeting several VFX deliveries. “A lot of the work upfront was look development and temp, which helped Night visualize how Alkemy X could help bring his brilliantly intriguing script to life,” notes Mendez. “To see it all culminate in a film that has captivated audiences has been a rewarding experience.”