from the fxguide article:
With A Game of Shadows, director Guy Ritchie follows up on his first Sherlock Holmes adventure with even more impressive special and visual effects artistry. Overall VFX supervisor Chas Jarrett returned to oversee sequences completed by Framestore, MPC and BlueBolt. We dive into just some of the major shots, including the waterfall plunge, the train battle, digital environments and the escape through the woods.
Robot arms and waterfalls
Framestore’s most significant, and complicated, contribution to A Game of Shadows came in the form of the climactic plunge from the fortress balcony by Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his arch nemesis Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) into the Reichenbach Falls. The camera follows the fighting duo from below as they plummet towards the water, switching to slow-motion and ramping up again for a 29-second shot. In the end, Framestore composed the scenes from high-speed greenscreen footage of the actors strapped onto robotic arms, live action waterfall plates, digital extensions and CG fluid sims.
To orchestrate filming of Downey Jr. and Harris for the waterfall scene, Framestore began with a previs. “Guy was very particular about how we came into and out of that slow motion moment,” says Framestore visual effects supervisor Sirio Quintavalle. “It had to feel natural and properly reveal the faces in the right order. You see Moriarty first with that sense of panic and then it comes around to Holmes who has a sense of calm, so there’s a hint that Holmes has some other plan in mind.”
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