BRED FOR TER­ROR : juras­sic world Fallen King­dom

Trevor Hogg gets a guided tour of Juras­sic World: Fallen King­dom cour­tesy of ILM

3D World - - CONTENTS -

ILM re­veal the se­crets be­hind their dino vis­ual ef­fects in the lat­est Juras­sic in­stal­ment, from how they en­sured be­liev­able move­ment by look­ing at real an­i­mal ref­er­ences, to the use of di­nosaur an­i­ma­tron­ics

In the se­quel Juras­sic World: Fallen King­dom di­rected by J.A. Bay­ona ( The Or­phan­age), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dear­ing (Bryce Dal­las Howard) re­turn to Isla Nublar to save the re­main­ing di­nosaurs from an erupt­ing vol­cano; how­ever, their al­tru­is­tic ef­forts are un­der­mined by those who have ne­far­i­ous plans in mind for the pre­his­toric beasts. Just un­der 1,200 vis­ual ef­fects shots were su­per­vised by David Vick­ery with his ILM col­leagues in Lon­don han­dling 550 shots and Van­cou­ver pro­duc­ing around 200. Other con­trib­u­tors in­cluded Im­por­tant Look­ing Pi­rates, El Ran­chito, Im­age En­gine, Scan­line VFX, One of Us and Nviz­ible.

Re­turn­ing to Isla Nublar “We did es­tab­lish­ing shots of Isla Nublar,” states ILM vis­ual ef­fects su­per­vi­sor Alex Wut­tke. “The chal­lenge there was to stay true to all of the var­i­ous de­pic­tions of the ge­og­ra­phy of the is­land that we’ve seen be­fore and put a big vol­cano in the mid­dle of it.” Aerial plate photography was shot of Hawaii with the wider views gen­er­ated in CG. “The open­ing se­quence in­volves an ex­pe­di­tion to go and re­cover the Domi­nus Rex bones to get ge­netic ma­te­rial that fea­tures mer­ce­nar­ies in small sub­mersibles.” Pow­er­ful search­lights on the aquatic ves­sels as­sisted with the il­lu­mi­na­tion of the underwater en­vi­ron­ment. “What­ever falls within the beam gets slightly less falloff than what’s out­side of it. This helps with the

sense of claus­tro­pho­bia be­cause any­thing out­side of the beams you can’t see, while things that fall within re­veal them­selves.”

For the thin­ner smoke, ILM Van­cou­ver used Plume (an in-house ILM tool for sim­u­la­tions) while ILM Lon­don did py­ro­clas­tic flows in Hou­dini. “The vol­cano erup­tion is com­pressed from a re­al­world to a cin­e­matic time­line so things hap­pen quickly,” notes Wut­tke. “We built a big veg­e­ta­tion toolkit which was use­ful for sim­u­la­tions of di­nosaurs knock­ing veg­e­ta­tion aside, but also when we have lava run­ning through tree­lines and the jun­gle. You could cre­ate lit­tle bound­aries around the flow­ing lava of CG veg­e­ta­tion that would catch light and be driven by the ther­mals be­ing kicked out by the lava. A lot of times we were aug­ment­ing the plate with dig­i­tal veg­e­ta­tion to give it that in­ter­ac­tion.” Pre­vis was cre­ated to make sure the lava worked prop­erly, ex­plains ILM an­i­ma­tion su­per­vi­sor Jance Ru­binchik. “My an­i­ma­tion team here at ILM Lon­don worked out with sim­ple ge­om­e­try and de­form­ers in Maya pre­vis for the ef­fects team of how much lava, where the lava was pour­ing, the flows and speed so they could get their sim­u­la­tions go­ing in the di­rec­tion we needed to go.”

Fall­ing Gy­ro­sphere A gy­ro­sphere con­tain­ing Claire and Franklin Webb (Jus­tice Smith) tum­bles into the ocean that leads to a long underwater shot. “Those were big and dif­fi­cult ef­fects sim­u­la­tions that needed to feel be­liev­able

and be read­able on-screen,” states Ru­binchik. “We looked at a lot of ref­er­ences of whales breach­ing and div­ing back down. What we found was when large ob­jects crash into the wa­ter you get tons of bub­bles stream­ing off of it which tends to ob­scure ev­ery­thing. There was a lot of back and forth try­ing to ar­rive at some­thing that feels like you’re underwater but also isn’t hid­ing it too much.” Ev­ery lo­ca­tion was based on real el­e­ments. “In a lot of oc­ca­sions, we cre­ated a dig­i­tal ver­sion of the en­vi­ron­ment that we shot in so to have more flex­i­bil­ity with the cam­era place­ment. We had prac­ti­cal gy­ro­sphere rigs and put on the CG glass to make it move in a way that was needed.”

“Wher­ever pos­si­ble we were try­ing to make use of an­i­ma­tron­ics,” re­veals Wut­tke. “Neal Scan­lan [crea­ture and spe­cial makeup ef­fects cre­ative su­per­vi­sor] and his team had a whole arsenal of dif­fer­ent di­nosaur parts as well as full-builds of a T-rex, for in­stance. There were in­stances of dig­i­tal aug­men­ta­tion to give the an­i­ma­tronic an extra range of mo­tion. When you have long shots and stam­ped­ing di­nosaurs we’re switch­ing to full dig­i­tal ver­sions.” Dig­i­tal files of the crea­tures were cre­ated at ILM and shared with Scan­lan so that there was a vis­ual consistency be­tween the CG and prac­ti­cal ver­sions. “You look at the anatomy of each di­nosaur to fig­ure out what real-life ref­er­ences you can grab to give them a unique move­ment,” re­marks Ru­binchik. “For the Sty­gi­moloch we looked at cas­sowaries and os­triches. It’s a lot of pan­tomime. You have to try to find what types of poses in­di­cate what sort of emo­tion, break those up and make it as clear as pos­si­ble for the au­di­ence. Then you try to work in any per­son­al­ity stuff that you can. The Sty­gi­molochs were al­ways run­ning around smash­ing into things so we did a lot of lit­tle twitches, shud­ders and head­shakes to try to get them to be fun­nier.”

New and Fa­mil­iar “The In­do­rap­tor was our new ad­di­tion to the fam­ily of ge­net­i­cally en­gi­neered di­nosaurs,” re­marks Wut­tke. “There’s a lot of Gothic and Drac­ula in­flu­ence. We spent a lot of time at the be­gin­ning of the show work­ing out an­i­ma­tion cy­cles mak­ing sure that we could achieve the re­quired range of mo­tion with the de­sign. Indo has th­ese long limbs and is quite skele­tal which means he can get into var­i­ous con­torted and iconic poses eas­ily.” J.A. Bay­ona was keen to have the ge­netic hy­brid crea­ture be slightly psy­chotic. “Jance and his team did an amaz­ing job of in­tro­duc­ing all of th­ese lit­tle shakes and un­ex­pected tremors within the In­do­rap­tor.” The black skin of In­do­rap­tor and the night­time set­ting added to the hor­ror and sus­pense. “J. A. liked the idea of not be­ing able to see the di­nosaur at times; he thinks that is scarier. It played in our favour. You get th­ese mem­o­rable mo­ments where you can al­most see noth­ing and get this dark flash that re­verses out of the back­light.”

Mak­ing a reap­pear­ance is Blue, the fe­male Ve­loci­rap­tor raised by Owen Grady. “A higher-res­o­lu­tion ver­sion of Blue was cre­ated with re­ally fine de­tail and face shapes so we could get those ex­treme close-ups that J. A. was af­ter,” re­marks Ru­binchik. “We wanted Blue to feel like the same char­ac­ter from Juras­sic World but also deep­en­ing that re­la­tion­ship be­tween her and Owen. You get to see how Owen raised Blue from a baby. That was fun get­ting to ex­plore how the baby rap­tors would move; they had to feel like a rap­tor but also be fun and play­ful, al­most like pup­pies.” Au­di­ence ex­pec­ta­tions need to be ad­dressed. “We

“It was fun get­ting to ex­plore how the baby rap­tors would move; they had to feel like a rap­tor but also be fun and play­ful, al­most like pup­pies” Jance Ru­binchik, an­i­ma­tion su­per­vi­sor, ILM

have to be care­ful with a char­ac­ter like Blue be­cause she is iconic and recog­nis­able,” notes Wut­tke. Prac­ti­cal Re­al­ism Along with prin­ci­pal photography tak­ing place in Hawaii, sets were built at Pinewood Stu­dios in the UK. “The dio­rama room in Lock­wood Man­sion was a gi­ant set which was great to put Indo in,” re­marks Ru­binchik. “It feels more real. We did have a lot of CG set ex­ten­sions, es­pe­cially of the ex­te­rior of the house. When Indo is on the roof that was all a real set, but there were pieces that we had to aug­ment and re­place such as when Indo is break­ing and fall­ing through the glass domed roof.” An­i­ma­tron­ics were used as much as pos­si­ble to add to the re­al­ism. “When Ken Wheatley [Ted Levine] is in the cage with Indo that was all an­i­ma­tron­ics. The ac­tor was re­ally ap­proach­ing, pok­ing and prod­ding Indo. We aug­mented the an­i­ma­tron­ics. You get a more be­liev­able per­for­mance than hav­ing them act against a green ten­nis ball.”

The fi­nale is a stand-out mo­ment. “Get­ting be­liev­able rain on all of the char­ac­ters who are super close-up to the cam­era was crazy,” states Ru­binchik. “We were get­ting so close to di­nosaurs that we’re see­ing the in­side of their mouths. It was a con­stant back and forth with the mod­el­ling team to give us more con­trol and bet­ter de­for­ma­tion to the level of de­tail that J. A. was af­ter in those ex­treme close-ups.” An in­te­rior set­ting at Lock­wood Man­sion re­quired the cre­ation of 130 assets for a room filled with toys that need to in­ter­act with two bat­tling di­nosaurs. “One of my favourites is the fight be­tween Blue and Indo that hap­pens in Maisie Lock­wood’s [Is­abella Ser­mon] bed­room,” re­marks Wut­tke. “J.A. wanted to make it feel claus­tro­pho­bic. Get­ting a clar­ity of ac­tion and block­ing through that scene was one of the big­gest chal­lenges, but the re­sults were cool.” There are also plenty of in­vis­i­ble ef­fects. When di­nosaurs are plant­ing their feet and you see wet mud lift­ing up and crack­ing, leaves mov­ing, twigs shift­ing and get­ting knocked around,” notes Ru­binchik. “It’s stuff you don’t even regis­ter when watch­ing the shot as an au­di­ence mem­ber, but it doesn’t feel real un­til you have that level of in­ter­ac­tion.”

An­i­ma­tronic di­nosaurs were used as much as pos­si­ble, such as when Ken Wheatley (Ted Levine) meets his demise

Be­low: One of the en­joy­able chal­lenges was fig­ur­ing out how to an­i­mate baby rap­tors for the flash­back scenes fea­tur­ing Blue and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt)

Bot­tom: 130 dig­i­tal assets needed to be cre­ated to en­able all of the toys in the bed­room of Maisie Lock­wood (Is­abella Ser­mon) to in­ter­act with the fight­ing Blue and In­do­rap­tor

Left: High-res­o­lu­tion mod­els had to be cre­ated for the di­nosaurs as J.A. Bay­ona wanted to be able to do ex­treme close-ups

Right be­low: J.A. Bay­ona wanted to have Nos­fer­atu-like shad­owed clawed hands for the In­do­rap­tor Right: Croc­o­diles and snakes were ref­er­enced to de­ter­mine how the skin of the In­do­rap­tor would work un­der dif­fer­ent light­ing con­di­tions

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