De-compiling the VFX of Source Code
April 7, 2011 | 4:30 pm or 3:30 pm GMT
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Ian Failes from fxguide made an interesting article about the movie Source Code.
from the article:
For Source Code, director Duncan Jones looked to visual effects supervisor Louis Morin to help realize 850 shots of trains, explosions, virtual transitions and other crucial sequences in the film. We focus on some of the key effects work from Modus FX, MPC, Rodeo FX, Oblique FX and Fly Studio.
Source Code tells the story of Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), a soldier who finds himself in the body of another man on a Chicago commuter train. But after eight minutes the train explodes and Colter is revealed to be inside a mysterious pod, being directed by U.S. Army officials. They convince him to return to the train – eleven times – and investigate the bombing. With only eight minutes to thwart the bomber before the bomb explodes, Colter soon realizes something much larger is at stake.
This unusually structured plot drew visual effects supervisor Louis Morin into the world of Source Code, ultimately delivering several hundred effects shots to depict the multiple train explosions and other sometimes otherworldly scenes. “I like film structures that are a little bit different than the classic American movie,” recalls Morin. “It had a nice twist too and a great beginning – basically Colter finds himself on a train and has no clue who he is. There’s a girl in front of him, Christina (Michelle Monaghan) who knows him, but he doesn’t know her. He looks at himself in the bathroom and sees another guy, and then – kaboom! – after eight minutes the whole train explodes and we’re off.”
Trains and stations
Exterior views of the Chicago commuter train were realised in many shots – including extreme close-ups – as an entirely digital creation, based on reference of a real Chicago train. “We were chasing trains in a helicopter for a full day,” says Morin. “Plus I had a six camera set-up of a train coming into a station.” Modus FX, under visual effects supervisor Eloi Brunelle, modeled and built the CG commuter train and tanker in Softimage, paying particular attention to the metallic surfaces and reflections. The train was incorporated into shots of it stopping at the station.
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