fxguide delves into the virtual production behind Jack the Giant Slayer, Bryan Singer’s re-telling of the classic fairytale in which farmboy Jack (Nicholas Hoult) finds himself in a very different world and charged with recusing princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) of the Kingdom of Cloister. Digital giants, CG beanstalks and entire new worlds were overseen by visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman, with several houses including Digital Domain, Giant Studios, The Third Floor, MPC, Soho VFX, Rodeo FX and Hatch Productions contributing.
"...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..' "
"...A major sequence takes place on a helicopter pad situated atop the Aesir building. Since no suitable location was found, the actors were filmed on a simple helipad set surrounded by a green-screen. Soho VFX then extended the set, connected it to the CG Aesir building, and added an entirely CG/matte painted New York City environment around it. "
"...Toronto's soho vfx provided everything from effects, CG props and an entirely CG helicopter crash for this locally shot big green moneymaker. But you can't get much bigger - or greener - than providing fully digital characters of the Hulk and the villain Abomination, as soho did in two sequences. "
"...Soho VFX's crew of approximately 100 artists created 150 shots, with most taking place during the nighttime battle between Hulk and Abomination on Harlem rooftops that extends for nearly two minutes of screen time. For those shots, Soho VFX built highly detailed CG rooftops and streets seen below. 'We had to be able to shoot everything close up,' Magled says. 'Every water tank, ledge, and brick. The pre-vis kept changing; we had to be prepared for anything.' "
"Our business is built on technology and our IT infrastructure has to support the storage of large amounts of data, high processing speeds and high security," says Allan Magled, partner at Soho vfx. "Dell's data center solutions have held us in good stead over the last six years and enabled us to deliver high-end visual effects for The Incredible Hulk. "
"...After acquiring the visual effects division from a studio in Toronto, where all the owners previously worked, the new company and its staff of four set up shop in a decommissioned elevator shaft. Now the team works in a hip loft-type studio, which is large enough to accommodate the additional freelancers and contractors during heavy workloads. "
"...Founded by Allan Magled, Michael Mombourquette, and Berj Bannayan, the studio's recent credits include The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Final Destination 3, and Fantastic Four. So how did the Soho VFX crew get their business off the ground? ... The reality is that the three entrepreneurs bought the visual effects division from a studio in Toronto, where they all previously worked. "The opportunity came along and we took it," explains Magled. "
"..The effects and R & D wizards at Soho VFX stretched their skills to create the elastic superhero, Mr. Fantastic. "We started envisioning how we'd build this character last summer," says Soho VFX's Berj Bannayan. "Every part of his body can stretch and change shape in some way. We had to build a rigging and modelling pipeline in Maya so that any time an animator wanted, Mr. Fantastic could stretch across the room."