A Spir­i­tual Up­date

Animation Magazine - - Tv -

Sony and Iloura dig up hints of the past while putting a new twist on the ef­fects be­hind the re­booted By Karen Idel­son.

Ghost­busters Ghost­busters on set and also us­ing the lines of writ­ers writ­ten on the set while shooting in his work, which is great for cap­tur­ing com­edy that feels alive and gen­uine. Vis­ual ef­fects are of­ten planned months in ad­vance, down to the mi­nut­est de­tails. But there was a mid­dle ground.

In or­der to give the ac­tors a deeper ex­pe­ri­ence and the vis­ual-ef­fects crew bet­ter on-set ref­er­ences, Travers and his crew cre­ated a live “Gertrude,” the first ghost seen in the new Ghost­busters, on set. An ac­tress was cast in the role and LED light­ing was sewn into her cos­tume. The pres­ence of a “live” ghost on set changed things for every­one work­ing on the movie. When the lights were turned down just be­fore shooting, it made the ghost on set seem more real, ex­plained Travers.

“We had a lot of ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion when we went back to it in post,” says Travers. “Light­ing, move­ment — and the ac­tors be­have dif­fer­ently when there’s some­one re­ally there on set with them.”

Travers also used a drone cov­ered with LEDs to sim­u­late a ghost hov­er­ing above the ac­tors in the film. It was a new way to get a ref­er­ence for a ghostly pres­ence.

In ad­di­tion to new ver­sions of Slimer and the Stay Puft Marsh­mal­low Man, new char­ac­ters like Mayhem, the ghost from the rock-con­cert scene, also de­manded their own ap­proach. And lloura, one of the vis­ual-ef­fects houses on the new film, took care to make his look fit the film and Feig’s vi­sion for the story.

“Mayhem was de­monic but in a re­ally goofy way,” says Glenn Me­len­horst, VFX su­per­vi­sor at Iloura. “He was painted like a puppy dog but never re­ally threat­en­ing and the per­for­mance for this char­ac­ters was all di­rected that way by Paul.”

Iloura, along with other vis­ual-ef­fects houses, worked on the re­moval of LED light­ing from ac­tors, dig­i­tal re­place­ments and clean­ing plates through­out the film.

While vis­ual-ef­fects tools have come a long way since the first film, Feig stayed fo­cused on the com­edy and cast per­for­mances and wanted the ef­fects to sup­port this take on the film. Ivan Reit­man, who di­rected the first film, was also fo­cused on com­edy but thrilled to see some of the new ap­proaches to his clas­sic char­ac­ters.

“When he saw some of the things we were do­ing he was very ex­cited,” says Travers. “He’d say he wished he could have done some of those same things in the first film or would say he loved what we were do­ing, and that felt good.” [

Vis­ual ef­fects on

Star Trek Be­yond boldly go to new places while pay­ing homage to the fran­chise’s sto­ried past on the 50th an­niver­sary of the orig­i­nal clas­sic TV se­ries. By Bill De­sowitz.

DNeg’s art di­rec­tion team took pro­duc­tion de­signer Tom San­ders’ mas­ter plan with 40 Dubai build­ing struc­tures and mod­eled them with their City En­gine soft­ware. This gen­er­ated a new as­sort­ment of build­ings with mul­ti­ple styles based on those build­ing blocks. Through­out, they were able to use the Dubai plates and ren­der arms into that en­vi­ron­ment.

“When you looked out, there would be other arms sug­gest­ing other worlds,” Chi­ang said. How­ever, when they thought of de­sign­ing Vul­can and Klin­gon arms, it be­came too dif­fi­cult to im­ple­ment their unique cul­tural ref­er­ences. “So we kept the arms more neu­tral,” Chi­ang says.

Yet York­town re­tained the iconic Fed­er­a­tion look with whites and blues. Shooting the live ac­tion in Dubai, the think­ing was if you were on an arm dur­ing the day there was at­mo­spheric haze in the dis­tance to pre­vent claus­tro­pho­bia. And when look­ing out onto a beau­ti­ful star field at night, they ren­dered the at­mo­spher­ics very low.

For the fi­nal G-force bat­tle be­tween Kirk (Chris Pine) and Krall (Idris Elba), they used green­screen and lots of wire­work. The com­bat­ants flipped 180 de­grees and jumped through rooms. How­ever, the set was like an open shell with all glass re­moved so there wouldn’t be any dis­tract­ing re­flec­tions, and the CG en­vi­ron­ment was placed in­side. Bill De­sowitz is crafts ed­i­tor of Indiewire (www.indiewire.com) and the au­thor of James Bond Un­masked (www.james­bon­dun­masked.com).

Ef­fects were de­signed to give ghosts like Gertrude — and Slimer, be­low — the right mix of creepi­ness and com­edy in Ghost­busters.

Op­po­site: The York­town space sta­tion re­tained the look of clas­sic Fed­er­a­tion tech­nol­ogy from pre­vi­ous Star Trek fea­tures. Above: Swarm ships dig into and rip apart the U.S.S. En­ter­prise in Star Trek Be­yond.

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