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Various VFX & Post-Production Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 10, 2010 2:10 pm
by icarus
#1: The Dragon VFX by MPC

Found a fairly interesting bit of information about the VFX work being done on the dragon for Voyage of the Dawn Treader which i thought was worth sharing.

According to the website of Adam Walker who works as a Modeller and Texture Artist for the Moving Picture Company (MPC), he details his present work on VDT as follows:

Responsible for 2/3rds of the textures and displacement of the Dragon character. The dragon is amongst the most hero characters MPC has ever created, and is scheduled to be featured in around 200 shots of the movie.

So he says the Dragon is scheduled to be featured in around 200 shots of the movie. Apparently the last movie had between 1600 and 1800 VFX shots, whilst the first movie had between 1500 and 1600 VFX shots, depending on which interview you read (see here and here)

If we were to assume the total number of VFX shots for VDT will be around about the same as PC (1600 -1800) then that would mean the Dragon would be in 1/8th to 1/9th of all VFX shots in the movie. If we were then to assume the runtime of the movie were also to stay the same as PC (150 mins) then we could perhaps translate 1/8th to 1/9th of VFX shots into 18 to 16 mins of screentime for the Dragon?

Its probably a bit of a massive stretch of logic to make any such precise calculation from such a small piece of information, but given that in interviews for the last movie they said that pretty much every shot in the movie required VFX work, it does perhaps give you a rough idea of what "200 shots" equals in real terms.

note - in the quote above, when he says the Dragon is the most "hero" character they've ever created i'd imagine he means "hero" in the movie-making sense, such as the way a "hero" prop is one designed to a high standard and with a large amount of detail in order to be featured prominently in the movie (compared to say a regular prop which would just be designed to be seen in the background.)

#2: Aslan VFX by Framestore

I think i posted this small piece of information before somewhere, but i can't remember where it was, so i'll add it here as well.

This is from the website of Ian Comley, who describes some of his present VFX work at Framestore as follows:

I'm currently in working at Framestore in London as Look Development Lead on Aslan, in the upcoming film 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader'.

The Aslan VFX in Prince Caspian was also done by Framestore, so that perhaps should not come as a surprise, though on the first film he was done by Rhythm and Hues, so it is possible for these things to move from one VFX house to another.

#3 Reepicheep VFX by MPC

Again, just a small bit of information to confirm that Reepicheep is being worked on by the same VFX house that did him in Prince Caspian. From the LinkedIn profile of Fabien Yorgandjian who works as a CG Modeler and Texturer at MPC:

CG Modeler - MPC

Narnia 3, Invisible Army
Eustace DD

(i'd assume "Eustace DD" refers to the Dragon, which i already mentioned was also being worked on by MPC.) ... clnk&gl=au
Narnia 3, Invisible Army
character and creature modeling and texturing

#4: Water VFX by Cinesite

I think Cinesite are one of the lead VFX houses on VDT, so they are probably doing lots of stuff, but the most i could find out about what specific work they were doing was on the LinkedIn profile of Julien Depredurand who is an "Effects Technical Director" at Cinesite and mentions that his present work on VDT involves the use of a program called Houdini to do some Fluids animation - i would assume in a movie like VDT that would equate to water.

Effects Technical Director - Cinesite

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) :
Houdini Effects ( Fluids )

#5: Dufflepuds CGI by The Senate?

I'm sure you all saw on the news page the interview with Roy Billing where he mentions that the Dufflepuds will indeed be digitally shrunk in post production (which can be discussed over in this topic). Well using a bit of assumption i'd make an educated guess that the CGI work on the Dufflpuds is being done by a company called The Senate.

Their website is below where they mention that they are "currently working on Michael Apted's The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the 3rd installment of the highly successful Narnia stories".

The Senate are a VFX company based at Twickenham Studios in the UK where it was previously reported that a Green Screen VFX test was carried out for the Dufflepuds under the direction of visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton, who seems to have had a hand in quite a few of the other movie projects worked on by The Senate. Would perhaps seem likely therefore that they will be doing to bulk of the CGI work on the Dufflepuds.

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 10, 2010 3:49 pm
by fantasia
Wow icarus. Lots of interesting tidbits here. (To me anyways ;)) ) I particularly liked your breakdown of the dragon. ;)) Seems to support the theory that Eustace will be in dragon form for longer than in the book. I might have to dig out my BBC VDT and see how long they spent on Eustace dragon in that series.

I feel sorry for Cinesite being named the head FX house for VDT and they get stuck with water. ;))

I also find it interesting something that's NOT mentioned here.... Reepicheep. MPC did Reep for PC, and yet they state that their biggest hero character is a dragon. So does that mean Eustace in dragon form is bigger than Reep? Does that mean Reep was given to a different company? Or perhaps his statement "amongst" includes Reep and I'm reading too much into it? At any rate, I find the lack of mention of Reep interesting.

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 10, 2010 3:52 pm
by icarus
fantasia_kitty wrote: I also find it interesting something that's NOT mentioned here.... Reepicheep. MPC did Reep for PC, and yet they state that their biggest hero character is a dragon.

Just found a small bit on Reepicheep - i inserted him in the list at #3, just after Aslan - seems he is still being done by MPC.

You are right though, it does seem odd that they should say the Dragon is one of their biggest "hero" characters if they already did Reepicheep. Can't imagine the Dragon could possibly be featured more prominently in the movie than Reepicheep.

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 10, 2010 4:53 pm
by Gymfan15
Just wanted to make the random observation that I would almost want to say that VdT will have far more VFX shots than PC did simply because they're going to have to add in much of the ocean landscape to nearly every outdoors ship scene. Everything in the tank = VFX.

Maybe I'm confusing VFX with another term for what the digital addition of landscapes would be, but that's just my initial reaction.

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 9:35 am
by icarus
#6 "Malevolent Mist" VFX (?) by Cinesite

Found a bit more information on some of Cinesite's contribution to the VFX work on the website of Christopher Antoniou who is apparently the "Lead Animator and rigger on the Narnia Prequel, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader at Cinesite" (yes, he does actually mean sequel there). Anyway, on his website resume of shot breakdowns he says:

( Cinesite Nov 2009 - Sep 2010 )
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the forth book in the the Narnian series. Working along side Jensen Toms (3D sup) and Matt Kasmir (VFX Sup) I was asked to look after all the animation and rigging for the characters the malevolent Mist was going to be emitted from.

Though to be honest, i pretty much have no idea what he's talking about.... malevolent Mist? (the Dark Island perhaps?) Emitted from Characters? No idea.

Though given that he refers to VDT as a "Narnia prequel" and then the "forth" book in the series, i'm not sure we should read too much into his every word... ... wn/vdt.jpg

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 9:38 am
by wolfloversk
^yes that is odd. What is a malevolent mist and how can the characters emit it. Smoke from the first dragon or the sea serpent I have no idea.
:-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 5:32 pm
by Liberty Hoffman
VotDT fourth book in the series, eh? :-\ hmmm.....

all of this sounds pretty cool!
I just don't know what it means! :D :ymhug: 8-}

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 5:51 pm
by Eustace
Hmm...if it is from the Dark Island maybe scare creatures will come out of the mist?

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 11:50 pm
by AJAiken
"VFX" = all images created, or changed, outside of a camera. So, Gymmie, digital addition of landscapes = VFX.

I don't think VDT will necessarily have more VFX shots than PC, but that doesn't mean that there's less VFX. I imagine almost every shot will need some tinkering, like with PC. However, in Prince Caspian I guess a lot of that was beasts and creatures in the background. As Gymfan said, almost every shot filmed on the Dawn Treader herself is going to need some CGI. So VDT could be more VFX-heavy.

"Malevolent mist" - I imagine this could just be a way of describing what it looks like. What I thought when I read this was that the characters it emits from are dream people, or dream visions, from the Dark Island.

Thank you so much, icarus! You've dug up some fantastic information. :)

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 12, 2010 3:59 am
by coracle
Maybe it's the "forth" book because they are 'going forth' into the unknown? :p

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 12, 2010 11:17 am
by icarus
Paul Martin from NarniaFans offered some interesting insights into some of this information, and was able to expand upon a few of the gaps :)

Paul Martin wrote:icarus mentioned that be believes “Eustace DD” to mean “Dragon,” but I have a feeling that he would have said “Dragon” were that the case. I also wonder where the second D came from. Usually for movies like this a character will need a Digital Double, and that’s what I think he was talking about. This would be a character that can be placed in distant shots that are virtually (no pun intended) indistinguishable from a real actor.

Now that he's said it, i'd definitely have to agree. Makes much more sense. :)

Paul Martin wrote:When it comes to the “Malevolent Mist,” I have some idea of what this might be, but I know it’s not what you think. That is all.

I'm very intrigued now. :) It's not what we think it is... but then what does he think we think it is? :-? More to the point, what do we think he thinks we think? lol.

Much thanks to Paul:

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 13, 2010 6:40 am
by Bother Eustace
So, he thinks he may know what it is, but it's not what we think it is? That adds an extra level of mystery to the already mysterious mist. I was going to start speculating, but now I'm trying to think of what I wouldn't think that it is if i were going to think about what I might think it could be... which just makes my head hurt. 8-}

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 13, 2010 9:02 am
by Lady Galadriel
Well, I had thought it seemed as if Dark Island may have possibly been cut. (That is NOT confirmed, but I thought that was the way the evidence was headed...) *will have to go back and look at the 7 islands consolidated thread*

It seems as if most of the guesses are that it must be from Dark Island, so I think that's what Paul Martin thinks we think. ;)

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 13, 2010 1:04 pm
by wolfloversk
I don't even think I know what I think, much less what he thinks or what he thinks I think. Ohh my head is spinning... 8-} :-\

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: Apr 18, 2010 1:27 am
by icarus
Another brief couple of updates. Does seem odd that so much is coming up for MPC, when i thought they and Framestore would be taking a back seat this time around to Cinesite and Mill Films. Anyway...

#7: Tavros the Minotaur VFX by MPC

Seems to be a word and/or some punctuation in here missing, but essentially it seems he is working on animating the face of Tavros the Minotaur. Whether or not the latter part of the quote relates to Tavros, or to the word that is seemingly missing after the "for the" part, i don't know.

Cesar Eiji of MPC wrote:The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

Hero Minotaur (Tavros) facial replacement High Resolution textures for the including Mudbox Displacement. Also textures and Displacement for the body and clothes

#8: Lighting VFX by Various

I guess all the VFX houses will be doing some form of lighting work on all their shots, but since i found an MPC-specific quote anyway, i felt like i might as well stick it in here:

Chris Elmer of MPC wrote:I am currently working on lighting for Narnia 3: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with The Moving Picture Company.

Joe Cresswell, Lighting TD at Framestore
. I am excited to move to London with my family and get the chance to work on Narnia 3 as a contract job. My title will be Lighting TD. I will be doing lighting and previsualization for shaders and textures in some of the scenes.

Richard A.M. Bell, Lighting Technical Director at Cinesite
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) (post-production) (lighting technical director: Cinesite)

#9: Crowd Simulation VFX by MPC

I would imagine this would be for the Lone Isands - making the crowds of people seem bigger through digital augmentation.

March 2009 – Ongoing
The Moving Picture Company London, UK
Crowd TD – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Crowd creation and simulation using proprietary tools, crowd pipeline setup, python scripting

Plus also on IMDB they have the following credit for MPC on VDT:

Adam Davis - Head of Crowd Sim: MPC

Re: Various VFX Rumours

PostPosted: May 09, 2010 2:43 pm
by icarus
Some stuff about Cinesite's contribution from the CV of Scott Cooper, an Environment TD at Cinesite:

#10: "Rocky Environment" VFX by Cinesite

Narnia - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - Michael Apted (Cinesite)
Environment T.D. (7 months)

Working in a senior position, I took ownership of the creation a full CG rocky environment that features in over 30 shots. I modelled, textured and lit all the 3D elements and worked closely with 2D artists to create addition matt painting elements and compositing. I also adapted geometry elements from Lidar scans and multi camera texture projection using CySlice, Mudbox and Photoshop.
Also helped with smoke simulations, running sims and rendering caches.

I would imagine a "Rocky Environment" would most likely be on Dragon Island (given the book description of the terrain, and based on the likelihood that the White Island location was used for Dragon Island) though i guess conceivably it could be parts of other islands too