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Visual XFX Company


Aug 16, 2005
Reaction score
A quality visual effects team is one more thing that'll make this film jump out and grab the public!
Confirmation on their official site:
Wolverine - 20th Century Fox

Rising Sun are providing previsualisation services for 20th Century Fox's Wolverine, which stars Hugh Jackman, and is being shot at Fox Studios in Sydney.

and an aussie magazine posted this (you'll need to pay to read the full article).
Busy RSP on the recruitment drive (6-Feb-2008)

Adelaide and Sydney-based VFX house Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) has made numerous staffing additions in the midst of a busy spell which sees it working on shots for a host of features including the Fox pictures Wolverine and Australia.
Details on one of the other visual effects companies (Luma Pictures) work on this movie.

Luma Helps Bring Wolverine to a Thrilling Close

Friday May 1, 2009

Luma Pictures, the Venice, CA visual effects studio, created 125 visual effects shots for X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, the lion's share of which appear in the concluding "Aftermath" sequence. Luma created the CG environment where the scene takes place-a destroyed nuclear reactor and its environs-as well as the huge assortment of dust, debris and other atmospherics that accompanies the mayhem. Most significantly, its team of animators produced photo-real CG doubles for several of the film's mutant cast, including Victor Creed (Sabretooth), as well as Wolverine's adamantium claws.

In creating the 3D environment representing the smashed nuclear facility, Luma went to great lengths to make the scene look real. "We flew a crew to Sacramento to photograph decommissioned cooling towers and industrial complexes as reference for our 3D replicas," recalls Luma VFX supervisor Vince Cirelli. "We also analyzed reference material of large structures that had been demolished to better understand how certain building materials fracture under stress. Those elements helped us to create a believable, post-apocalyptic environment that provides the stage for the final minutes of the film."

Luma Pictures has a stellar reputation for CG characters and doubles, through its work on such films as UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION, CITY OF EMBER and PRIMEVAL, but the short deadline for Wolverine posed a unique challenge. While Luma usually produces CG characters in a modular manner to provide maximum flexibility for lighting and environmental conditions, that simply wasn't possible in this case.

"As we had just five weeks to finalize photo-real humans, we decided to build the characters for the shots," explains Cirelli. "The lighting was developed for the shots and texture artists worked inside of the lighter's scene files to tweak shaders and balance textures so that they could be exported as the hero asset and rendered. This method allowed us to render photo-real humanoids that held up close to camera in just a few weeks."

For the Aftermath sequence actors were shot on green screen and were then integrated into multiple 3D environments. Luma artists had to make subtle adjustments to the lighting, shading and color tones of the real actors to ensure they reflected the light from the digital environments.

"It required articulate rotoscoping and various keying techniques to skew the tonal range-a delicate balance that, if not handled correctly, could have made the actors look processed or compy," Cirelli notes. "As a further complication, the 3D environment into which the actors were being comped was going through continual refinement through the very end."

The complexity of the shots, with their multitude of live and digital elements, made it difficult to maintain visual continuity. Luma produced a number of "tent-pole" composites to provide a reference for color, lighting and shading values, but as the sequence was constantly evolving, there was a repeated need to refine the look. "We were frequently required to apply significant changes across the entire sequence of 100-plus shots for the purpose of studio screenings," observes digital effects supervisor Justin Johnson.

"We met the challenge by relying heavily on Assimilate's Scratch playback and color grading system for real time adjustments during client review sessions," adds VFX producer Steve Griffith.

While the deadline pressure was daunting, Luma has developed its pipeline (which employs a mix of off-the-shelf and proprietary technology) to process extremely complex work with great efficiency. Additionally, the studio's staff was turned on by the opportunity to contribute to a critical sequence in a film that is sure to command a huge, worldwide audience. "Our entire staff rallied together," says senior VFX producer Steven Swanson. "Their grace under pressure-and the quality of the resulting work-is a testament to the incredible talent and work ethic of our artists and managers."

Luma was accorded high marks by the production team for its ability to deliver under pressure. "It was a great experience for me working with the crew at Luma," said Craig Lyn, an additional visual effects supervisor on the film. "They're a talented and professional group who always strove to deliver what was asked...then busted their asses to do more."

Luma Pictures executive VFX supervisor Payam Shohadai was pleased by the effort put in by his team. "We garnered a lot of compliments for our workflow and for the work itself," Shohadai recalls. "The studio's appreciation of our flexibility and responsiveness has led to award of additional complex creature work for an upcoming Fox film." Luma is currently working on three more film projects, including the new Coen Brothers film A SERIOUS MAN (Paramount Vantage).
Source Link:http://www.vfxworld.com/index.php?atype=news&id=27522
And here's screenshots they've already posted on their official site!











a lot of times they whait before they start showing their work. after the theatrical realese. this is not smart.
Looking at the past comments in this thread is quite funny now.
The effects were great. Especially in the final battle. :up:
because it looks more cool he he
Maybe it could be explained that in movieverse when Cyclops first discovers his power that emits heat but as time progresses it starts to change to what we've become accustomed to?:huh:
those are in the reel.

Thanks dark. I'll check it out.

This site has posted some of the screenshots without watermark incl this beautiful new one.


Here's a new article on the visual effects courtesy of VFX WORLD.

Wolverine Gets Indestructible in X-Men Origins
The origin of Logan becoming Wolverine required a myriad of vfx by 17 vendors, and here are the highlights.
By Alain Bielik
[ Posted on May 04, 2009 ]

Originally, he was just one part of a major ensemble cast, but the character made such a strong impression on viewers in the first X-Men movie (2000) that he is now getting his very own feature film. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine (from Twentieth Century Fox), director Gavin Hood explores the troubled past of rebellious mutant Logan, his complex relationship with former team partner Victor Creed, his encounters with a series of outcast mutants and his conflict with Colonel Stryker, the man who ultimately turned him into a war machine known as Wolverine.

Fox enlisted Overall Visual Effects Supervisor Pat McClung and VFX Producer Greg Baxter to manage the ambitious vfx effort. When the shot count reached unexpected heights, just under the 1,000 mark, Additional VFX Supervisor Craig Lyn joined the team in January. Due to the late addition of extra shots, X-Men Origins: Wolverine ended up with a whopping 17 vendors. Hydraulx and Soho were lead vendors, Luma Pictures, Method Studios and Rising Sun Pictures worked on key sequences, while additional vfx were created at Matte World Digital, Frantic Films, Fuel, Lola, Hatch FX, Café FX, Cinesite, Cosa and Image Asylum. Cinedev, Persistence of Vision and Frantic provided previs services.

Lyn says that there was a tremendous amount of work that needed to get done in a very short space of time. "Also, some houses were better suited for specific types of work then others. In addition, there's always limited capacity in every house at any given time. So, that explains how the work was spread among so many different facilities."


Seventeen vfx houses completed work on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, including this carnival shot from Rising Sun Pictures.

X-Men Vets
Some 386 shots were assigned to Hydraulx, the only vfx company that had significantly contributed to all four X-Men movies. "Our main task was to recreate the Three Mile Island nuclear plant for the end sequence -- and then to partially destroy it," says in-house VFX Supervisor Erik Liles. "Initially, we received 3D geometries from another vendor, as the nuclear plant appears in three sequences that were assigned to different vendors. During the course of production, our sequence grew, and Hydraulx became the main vendor for that specific model, so we eventually became the driving force of how the model would work. We built the whole power generating plant, the island it is built on, and used matte paintings for the surrounding landscape and the sky. We couldn't actually get to the real location. So, we used photographs of the plant that we found on the internet, and also reference photographs of other facilities. What we ended up with was an amalgamation of multiple places. We also had to modify the environment and make the island much shorter -- one mile instead of three."

The nuclear plant environment plays a major role in the climax of the movie, when Wolverine confronts archenemies Sabretooth and Deadpool on top of one of the cooling towers. "For the hero close-up work, we used greenscreen elements of the actors performing the scene on a narrow 30-foot section of the cooling tower top in front of a greenscreen," Liles explains. "We then extended the practical set digitally and added the environment. For long shots, we used computer-generated doubles that were 100% hand-animated using Maya. Production gave us 3D scans of the actors, and we used that data to model the characters in extremely high resolution. The hair and costume were simulated using Maya."

The climactic confrontation ends with the disintegration of the cooling tower. In order to create a realistic collapse, Liles and his team (including Lead Dynamics Animator Josh Hatton) built a breakable tower that could be destroyed via a combination of techniques. "After watching several videos of cooling tower demolitions, we noticed two main things they had in common when they fell. It should be noted that we also looked extensively at building demolition, which was quite different, and used a lot of what we saw to augment the effect. First, these cooling towers had a very unique destructive behavior, folding in on itself rather than shattering. It was very reminiscent of a Styrofoam cup with some weight on it. Secondly, the overall collapse wasn't very interesting, with the whole tower basically 'falling' to the ground straight down as if the floor wasn't even there. There is also a large dust cloud at the base that essentially covers up all the cool stuff. We had been given direction not to 'cover up' the tower as it collapses, and we needed to come up with our version of what happens down under all that dust and smoke."

During the R&D phase of the sequence, Hydraulx investigated different off the shelf software packages that specialize in procedural destruction of 3D geometry, as well as Maya's native rigid bodies and nCloth. While they showed promise and produced some interesting effects, Liles says their limitations became present early and forced to abandon them for the most part. "We then tried to extrapolate the methods we liked about these programs and implemented them within our current Maya pipeline with some custom plug-ins and Mel scripts. The most successful method was to use Maya's nCloth to simulate a semi-rigid mesh tear and fold like the reference videos. This provided gross movement that felt right, but produced less-than-ideal geometry 'shards'. We then took procedurally shattered geometry and parented them to this cloth simulation."

The results of this approach were very encouraging, but very hard to modify in case the director requested adjustments. Eventually, the team modeled the pieces by hand, and animated them by hand as well, using the nCloth simulations as reference, in addition to tower and building collapse videos. This allowed for real compositions of the shots that didn't rely on time-consuming simulations that may not be entirely successful.

The dust and smoke effects were mainly particle effects using a combination of instanced geometry, points and sprite particles, and custom volumetric mental ray shaders. Maya fluid simulations were used as secondary elements and for motion reference. Secondary 'hero' debris animation was created via rigid body simulations. Finally, RayFire was employed to break up the larger chunks of debris in specific shots, such as when Deadpool blasts the tower with his laser eye beams. The various elements were then assembled on Flame workstations.

Hydraulx also handled another mutant, called Gambit, for a brutal fight with Wolverine and Sabretooth in an alleyway. Gambit has the capacity to charge any object with a tremendous amount of energy, which he uses to dispose of his enemies. "We animated CG cards to show his powers, and also created all the mayhem that he generates in the alleyway with his energy-charged staff weapon. We used a mixture of simulations and practical elements to complement the practical effects that had been filmed on set. On all these mutant effects, we had to find a delicate balance between trying to make it look cool, but also keeping it based in the X-Men universe."


Rising Sun Pictures delivered 37 shots that included the infamous adamantium injection sequence.

Slicing and Dicing VFX
Some other sequences featuring Wolverine were tackled by Rising Sun Pictures. The Australia-based facility delivered 37 shots that included the infamous adamantium (a high-tech indestructible metal) injection sequence. During the operation, Logan is suspended in a surgical theatre on a metal rack that is lowered into the water. There's a rig around him with metal injection guns. The needles are super-heated, so the water boils as they hit it, and they start spinning like drills before plunging in to his body.

Due to safety reasons, the guns and needles were not on the practical rig. "There were a few practical needles in there, but these were mostly removed in 2D," notes in-house VFX Supervisor Tom Proctor. "There was also a lot of object tracking that was required to track the needles to Logan's body. Since the needles were done in CG, they were being matched to reference. We built our model to match a practical gun model that was provided as a reference. As we needed to articulate the movement to match Logan's thrashing, we embellished the joints and built in extra hoses to accentuate that. In some shots, the entire rig was replaced with our CG model. Additionally, there were some practical bubbles rising in the tank in the foreground. We needed to remove these bubbles, add the CG rigs, then add the bubbles back over the top. There was a lot of 2D layering over the rendered guns, needles and bubbles."

Once Logan is injected with adamantium, he escapes by using his new claws to slash his way out. The claws are seen punching through an external door, then tear out a highly symbolic 'X'. CG Supervisor Dan Bethell and his team had to create a door rig that would in effect 'unzip' between being a completely healed clean door and a door with a very pronounced slash and ripped metal. "We modeled up a slashed pronounced edge door, and then rigged together a door that would unzip in time with the claw animation and do a reveal. That was then rendered out as series of passes which were all brought together in 2D. To help bed the claws in the shots, the reflections of the environment were crucial to get the level of realism that was required. For all of the shots, we were provided lighting reference (gray ball, chrome ball, etc), but there were also practical models of the adamantium claws that were turned around on set to give us an idea of lighting and reflections."

Rising Sun created a different set of claws for the dramatic scene in which they first appear on young Logan. Most of the plates were shot with the actor wearing practical bone claws built by Amalgamated Dynamics. "The intention was originally to keep the practical claws in-shot, but the design was changed throughout, and there eventually became continuity issues that needed to be resolved through CG. We were provided with assets and turntables from other vendors to assist in this process, in addition to receiving the prosthetic for reference. The main thing was to ensure that the look was correct with regards to the continuity of the film, and the other vendors. Although we ended up removing the prosthetic claws, they did provide a perfect reference for tracking, animation and placement."

The appearance of the juvenile bone claws on Young Logan required a specific interactive effect. As the blades slowly emerge, the skin on the back of the hand starts rising and moving. The team rendered a series of 3D passes and applied the warp in 2D. "We also went through some iterations where the skin would peel back as the blades come out, but that was deemed to 'gory' for the rating," Proctor says. "In the end, you can see the bones traveling under the skin, but it's fairly clean for the exit of the blades. We don't see any blood. The ratings really drove that look -- it needed to be creepy, but not gruesome."

The majority of work was created using a Maya/3Delight/Nuke or Shake software pipeline, with additional work being carried out in Houdini associated with Mantra.


Cinesite created this plane sequence completely from scratch… without the help of adamantium claws.

Mutant and Airplanes
Other mutant effects were handled by Soho VFX, Toronto, where Allan Magled served as vfx supervisor and Keith Sellers as digital FX supervisor. A crew of 50, including artists and support, spent over 16,000 hours on the project, working on more than 230 shots. Part of the work focused on Wolverine's claws (bone and adamantium), but the team also provided CG augmentations and/or effects for Creed, Deadpool, Gambit and Wade.

Meanwhile, Cinesite, London, was involved in creating a series of shots featuring an entirely CG plane, clouds, ground and sky. VFX Supervisor Jon Neill and VFX Producer Ken Dailey oversaw the project that was completed in just five weeks. The plane was modeled from scratch using Maya, and included navigation lights, landing lights (with interactive glow to the surrounding clouds), vapor trails engine glow, and heat haze. The surfaces were rendered via standard in house metal shaders rendered through RenderMan.

The clouds were generated by designing geometry in Maya, and then running it through a custom Houdini volumetric cloud system, which was rendered through Mantra. "The clouds were shaped as volumes filled with metaballs in Houdini," Neill notes. "Each metaball has a density attribute to control the opacity, and so get a nice wispy layer above the clouds. These metaballs were rendered in Mantra with a volumetric shader and a 3D fractal displacement shader to add noise and details. The volumetric shader makes a nice fade when going through the clouds."

For the spectacular "Powers of 10" shot that ends the film, production turned to Matte World Digital. President and VFX Supervisor Craig Barron took inspiration from the famous Powers of 10 short from Charles & Ray Eames. "Starting on Logan, the camera rises up thousands of feet revealing all of the Three Mile Island aftermath, and finally into the clouds. Matte Painter Eric Hamel made five 3D matte paintings to create the illusion of a continuous pullback. The biggest matte painting was being 16k wide for the terrain elements. Luis Hernandez, Morgan Trotter and Glenn Cotter made additional 3D elements, including arriving fire engines, military vehicles and police cars. To complete the shot, Geeta Basantani composited in many drifting smoke and fires elements that were tracked into the shot including a digital double for Wolverine."

Last Minute Challenges
In some ways, the whole Wolverine production process was a slight learning curve for Hood as to what was possible in terms of the visual effects. "It's commonplace to both underestimate as well as overestimate the challenges involved, as well as the scope of the work for any given shot," Lyn concludes. "Just about every director in the world asks for the moon, and it's the job of vfx to try to deliver. On this movie, the main challenge probably was establishing the look of specific sequences very late in the project cycle. That was particularly true for the cooling tower fight, as well as the post tower collapse. These were two very extensive greenscreen shoots -- and the two scenes were the last in the schedule to complete."

Alain Bielik is the founder and editor of renowned effects magazine S.F.X, published in France since 1991. He also contributes to various French publications, both print and online, and occasionally to Cinefex. In 2004, he organized a major special effects exhibition at the Musée International de la Miniature in Lyon, France.
they had 3 years to make this movie. and then i read this

''Luma completed all this work in just seven weeks.''.
So that's the company we blame for the crappy 90's special effects?
they had 3 years to make this movie. and then i read this

''Luma completed all this work in just seven weeks.''.

Well that explains everything.:csad:

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