ABE-VFX-Breakdown

vfx breakdown of a short film

 

Motion capture is the process of recording the movement of objects or people. It is used in military, entertainment, sports, and medical applications, and for validation of computer vision and robotics. In filmmaking and video game development, it refers to recording actions of human actors, and using that information to animate digital character models in 2D or 3D computer animation. When it includes face and fingers or captures subtle expressions, it is often referred to asperformance capture. In many fields, motion capture is sometimes called motion tracking, but in filmmaking and games, motion tracking usually refers more tomatch moving.

In motion capture sessions, movements of one or more actors are sampled many times per second. Whereas early techniques used images from multiple cameras to calculate 3D positions, often the purpose of motion capture is to record only the movements of the actor, not his or her visual appearance. This animation data is mapped to a 3D model so that the model performs the same actions as the actor. This process may be contrasted to the older technique of rotoscope, such as theRalph Bakshi 1978 The Lord of the Rings and 1981 American Pop animated films where the motion of an actor was filmed, then the film used as a guide for the frame-by-frame motion of a hand-drawn animated character.

Camera movements can also be motion captured so that a virtual camera in the scene will pan, tilt, or dolly around the stage driven by a camera operator while the actor is performing, and the motion capture system can capture the camera and props as well as the actor’s performance. This allows the computer-generated characters, images and sets to have the same perspective as the video images from the camera. A computer processes the data and displays the movements of the actor, providing the desired camera positions in terms of objects in the set. Retroactively obtaining camera movement data from the captured footage is known as match moving or camera tracking

ABE-VFX-Breakdown

Behind the visual effects of 'IRON MAN 2'

COFFEE TABLE INTERFACE
Tony Stark’s “smart glass” coffee table was a particularly fascinating element to work with, not only as a cool technical gadget, but as an element that provides context for a new character and an outlet for Tony’s personality. In this sequence, Tony Stark is utilizing the table to conduct a sort of “background check” during an interview with Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johanson).

The Perception team started by focusing on the general layout of the interface, which allowed them to conceptualize ways for Tony to perform something as simple as a Google search. It was important to Jon Favreau and the team at Marvel Studios that the coffee table interface be legible and logical, while still appearing to be several generations beyond the typical user experience.

Perception presented two versions of each of six concepts. One with the graphics flat in the frame as if a “screenshot” so that Favreau and his team at Marvel could inspect every detail, and a version with the interfaces temporarily compositied into the scene to provide an accurate view of how the interfaces would work in the context of the final shot.

Behind the visual effects of ‘IRON MAN 2’

Behind the visual effects of 'IRON MAN 2'

PITCHING CONCEPTS
Upon Successfully delivering all of the elements, Perception moved their attention to something they were fascinated with. While presenting concepts for the presentation, the client noted that one design in particular (see lower left panel of Expo Frames) reminded them of Tony Stark’s phone, a prop seen throughout the film. The moment the people at Marvel mentioned a “it’s like an iPhone, but transparent glass” the team at Perception all knew that whether requested or not, they had to mock up a test of the “Stark-Phone” in action. Since Perception initiated this test without a client brief or context for where it would appear in the film, they used it as a way of exploring several different concepts within a handheld interface, and even shot the scene in their studio.

Perception was given an opportunity to pitch an elaborate series of sequences taking place within Tony Stark’s hologram filled garage workshop. On a brisk 4-day turnaround, they completed this test showing how this holographic environment could exist around Tony, as well as some additional style frames.

Behind the visual effects of ‘IRON MAN 2’

Captain America The Winter soldier

D.C. and works for the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. while adjusting to contemporary society. Rogers, along with the agency’s S.T.R.I.K.E. team and agent Natasha Romanoff, is sent to free hostages aboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel from pirates led by mercenary Georges Batroc. Mid-mission, Rogers discovers Romanoff has another agenda: to extract data from the ship’s computers for S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury. Rogers returns to the Triskelion, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s headquarters, to confront Fury and is briefed about Operation Insight: three Helicarriers linked to spy satellites, designed to preemptively eliminate threats. Fury, unable to decrypt Romanoff’s recovered data, becomes suspicious about Insight.

On his way to rendezvous with Maria Hill, Fury is ambushed by assailants led by a mysterious assassin called the Winter Soldier. Fury escapes to Rogers’s apartment, and warns him that S.H.I.E.L.D. is compromised. After handing Rogers a flash drive containing data from the ship, Fury is gunned down by the Winter Soldier. Fury dies in surgery, and Hill recovers the body. The next day, senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce summons Rogers to the Triskelion. When Rogers withholds Fury’s information, Pierce brands him a fugitive. Hunted by the agency, Rogers meets with Romanoff. Using data in the flash drive they discover a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. bunker in New Jersey, where they activate a supercomputer containing the preserved consciousness of Arnim Zola. Zola reveals that since S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded after World War II, HYDRA has secretly operated within its ranks, sowing global chaos in the hope that humanity would willingly surrender its freedom in exchange for security. The pair narrowly escape death when a S.H.I.E.L.D. missile destroys the bunker.

Rogers and Romanoff enlist the help of Sam Wilson, a former military pararescueman whom Rogers befriended, and acquire his powered “Falcon” wingpack. Deducing S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell is a HYDRA mole, they force him to divulge that Zola developed a data-mining algorithm that can identify individuals who might become future threats to HYDRA’s plans. The Insight Helicarriers will sweep the globe, using satellite-guided guns to eliminate these individuals. En route to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, Rogers, Romanoff, and Wilson are ambushed by the Winter Soldier and Sitwell is thrown into oncoming traffic. During the fight, Rogers recognizes the Winter Soldier as Bucky Barnes, his World War II comrade, before being captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. Hill rescues them and leads them to a safehouse where Fury, who had faked his death, is waiting with plans to sabotage the Helicarriers by replacing their controller chips.

After members of the World Security Council arrive for the Helicarriers’ launch, Rogers reveals HYDRA’s plot to everyone at the Triskelion. Romanoff, disguised as one of the Council members, disarms Pierce. Fury arrives and forces Pierce to unlock access to S.H.I.E.L.D’s database so Romanoff can expose HYDRA by leaking classified information. After a struggle, Fury shoots Pierce dead. Meanwhile, Rogers and Wilson storm two Helicarriers and replace the controllers, but the Winter Soldier destroys Wilson’s suit and fights Rogers on the third. Rogers fends him off and replaces the final chip, allowing Hill to take control and have the vessels shoot down each other. Rogers falls from the Helicarrier as it crashes into the Triskelion, where Wilson fights HYDRA infiltrator Rumlow, the S.T.R.I.K.E. team’s leader. Rogers lands in the Potomac River and is rescued by the Winter Soldier, who then disappears. With S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray, Fury, under the cover of his apparent death, heads to Eastern Europe in pursuit of HYDRA’s remaining cells as Romanoff appears before a Senate subcommittee. Rogers and Wilson decide to track down the Winter Soldier with information from Romanoff on the Winter Soldier program.

In a mid-credits scene, Baron von Strucker, at a HYDRA lab, proclaims the “age of miracles” has begun as scientists examine an energy-filled scepter and two prisoners: one with superhuman speed, the other with telekinetic powers. In a post-credits scene, the Winter Soldier visits a Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

Captain America The Winter soldier