Method Studios takes the VFX lead on "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"
June 25, 2012 | 8:45 pm or 7:45 pm GMT
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Method Vancouver and sister company Stereo D collaborate on this high profile stereo feature.
Vancouver, B.C. – June 25, 2012 – Method Studios, a Deluxe Entertainment Services Group company, has completed 223 shots on Twentieth Century Fox’s recently released “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” The intriguing plot explores the secret life of America’s famous president and the untold history of the bloody battle between Lincoln and a horde of evil vampires. Method Studios’ Vancouver team created many complex visual effects sequences including the trestle bridge fire scene, an Abraham Lincoln digital double, digital crowds, a CG Civil War era train and fully digital environments including the Washington Capitol. The stereo conversion on the film was completed by sister company, Stereo D. Michael Owens was the production visual effects supervisor. Leading the Method crew were visual effects supervisor Randy Goux and visual effects producer Jinnie Pak.
“I was totally impressed with the Method team,” states Michael Owens. “Randy and Jinnie were very solution driven but never without great creative and design suggestions and ideas. The film’s director, Timur Bekmambetov, and the filmmakers were extremely pleased with their work. Over several years and quite a few projects, I’ve enjoyed working with Method Vancouver. It’s handy to have the confidence that they’ll always find a way to meet challenges, deadlines and budgets with work that very much pleases the filmmakers’ expectations.”
Randy Goux comments, “Timur wanted to see various visual styles from us which resulted in a very intense look/development phase at the start of this project. Our main sequence involved the collapse of a burning bridge which also featured Abe Lincoln and Will Johnson involved in hand-to-hand combat with a group of vampires. To make it more complicated, all of this action is happening on top of a moving train at night.
Goux continues, “The actors were shot on two static box car tops against green screen - the rest of the surrounding environment and effects were all CG with half of the shots needing to be rendered in stereo while the other half were converted by Stereo D. The director’s filmmaking style included the use of extreme slow motion so we had to develop a flexible system for creating complex volumetric smoke effects. Speed ramps in the action were in constant flux editorially, so at the very least we had to create all of our effects at 250fps in order to be able to keep up with editorial changes and the fine attention to detail needed for such slow moving effects.”
The fact that this action occurs at night presented specific challenges to the 3D artists and compositors and believable lighting was of key importance. The CG tree branches and leaves needed to cast moonlit shadows onto the actors and train and Method also added shadows of the actors into the CG smoke. Not only does the smoke give the sequence a sense of speed, it also adds a great deal of suspense as the vampires appear in and out of the darkness.
Sean Lewkiw, Method’s DFX supervisor, adds, “This film was a big technical challenge in terms of the pyro and rigid body destruction effects required and we developed many new tools to cope with this task. One additional aspect of the film that was challenging was producing many of the shots in full stereo which is particularly daunting for semi-transparent elements like fire and smoke. Doing traditional 2D tricks would destroy the stereoscopic effect so we took our time and produced many layers with incredible detail which were expertly composited under the watchful eye of our compositing supervisor Abel Milanes.”
Dan Glass, Method’s EVP and Senior VFX Supervisor concludes, “Every show we work on presents new creative challenges and we’re proud of our efforts and innovative problem solving on ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.’ Working with Stereo D for the conversion -- sharing assets and project manageability -- provided our clients with continuity and ease that’s important when everyone is under the time and budget constraints of completing a film.”
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX Presents, A BURTON/BEKMAMBETOV/LEMLEY Production, A TIMUR BEKMAMBETOV Film, "ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER,” directed by Timur Bekmambetov from a screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith and Simon Kinberg, based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith; produced by Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov and Jim Lemley; and starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Feature visual effects work currently in production across the Method locations includes “Argo,” “Cloud Atlas,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Seven Psychopaths.” Recent work includes “Wrath of the Titans,” “Men in Black,” “Dark Shadows” and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”
About Method Studios
Method Studios is an award-winning international visual effects group with facilities in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, London and Australia. As an artist-driven company known for its creativity, the company services high-end feature film, commercial, television and motion graphics clients in the global marketplace. Built around an exceptional team of visual effects professionals, Method’s international facilities provide a full range of visual effects services including conceptual design, look development, on-set supervision, 3D animation/CGI, matte painting, finishing and full stereoscopic workflow. With its global reach accented by its boutique accessibility, the company has the capacity to service its clientele wherever production is situated. Method Studios is wholly-owned by Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. www.methodstudios.com
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., is the leading provider of a broad range of entertainment industry services and technologies to the worldwide entertainment industry including the Hollywood studios, broadcast/cable/satellite providers, digital distribution, gaming as well as content owners and creators. Services for content creation in features, television and commercials are offered in production, post-production, digital distribution, marketing services and asset management. They include EFILM® and Company 3® digital intermediates; post-production and subtitling services; titles design and digital VFX; Blu-ray and DVD compression, encoding and authoring; advertising distribution and syndication services; digital cinema services, and 2D to 3D conversions. Deluxe has facilities in North America, Europe, India, Australia, and Hong Kong. Deluxe www.bydeluxe.com
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