Ausfilm recently headed to Australia’s Parliament House to screen the latest instalment of The Divergent Series, Allegiant. Ausfilm hosts two screenings a year for Australian Government Ministers, Members of Parliament and government staffers to showcase work by Australian VFX, post-production or production service businesses involved in international productions. Last month’s screening featured a showcase of the VFX work of Ausfilm members Animal Logic and Luma on this film. Our thanks to Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate and eOne for their support.
Established in 1991, Animal Logic is one of the world’s most highly respected digital production studios, producing award-winning design, animation and visual effects for the film and television industries.
Animal Logic’s film credits include The Lego® Movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Great Gatsby, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, 300, Happy Feet and Insurgent, part of the Divergent trilogy. Having designed some key sequences and effects for Insurgent, Animal Logic was entrusted with over 250 shots for Allegiant.
Working closely with visual effects supervisor Stefan Fangmeier and visual effects producer, Erika McKee, Animal Logic produced ‘The Fringe’ – the toxic wasteland environment our heroes find when they venture over the wall surrounding futuristic Chicago.
Led by Animal Logic’s visual effects supervisor, Paul Butterworth and executive producer Jason Bath, Animal Logic artists developed a 360-degree fully CG (computer generated) environment that could be added to the background of each shot as per the varying lighting and weather conditions from the shoot. The team developed software that enabled the landscape to be populated with CG withered trees, grass and toxic cloud formations as per Director Robert Schwentke’s vision. Decayed remains of buildings litter the surrounds, the result of expert matte painters. Finally, extensive colour grading across entire scenes achieved the desired look and feel for The Fringe landscape.
As well as the extensive CG environment work, the Animal Logic team also produced an action-packed airborne chase scene, where our heroes steal a space craft from their captors and are chased across the barren landscape before being shot down in an explosive confrontation with Government forces. This sequence included the creation of CG aircrafts, explosion effects and the design and animation of futuristic holographic flight graphics.
Luma Pictures is a leading visual effects studio that offers best in class services for features, commercials and new media. Our credit list includes blockbuster films such as Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Prometheus; Academy Award-winning films including Crash, True Grit and No Country for Old Men; and numerous commercials such as A Mini Marvel for Coke which aired during Super Bowl 50. Luma’s talented global teams share a proprietary pipeline of industry leading tools and techniques that nurture groundbreaking, and artistically exceptional work.
Soon after completion of VFX work on Insurgent, Luma was invited back to create VFX on 160 shots for Allegiant. The team was excited to embark on another journey with director Robert Schwentke, as well as VFX producer Erika McKee. The project also saw Luma working with VFX supervisor Stefen Fangmeier for the first time.
Led by VFX supervisor Vince Cirelli and sequence supervisor, Brendan Seals, Luma worked predominantly on the Factionless environment across several scenes throughout the film. The Factionless environment entailed foreground building set extensions for the Factionless HQ, with multiple layers of computer generated (CG) buildings in mid-ground areas, ending up with a fully CG destroyed Chicago cityscape in the background.
Quite a few of Luma’s Factionless HQ shots involved building and extending the train/boxcars. Tthe train tracks in various Factionless shots were CG add-ins – this what is referred to as ‘hidden’ VFX.
As well as the Factionless exterior, Luma worked on a collection of interior Factionless shots, which entailed ceiling set extensions and smoke/atmosphere addition – again, more ‘hidden’ VFX.
Finally, Luma worked on a number of shots known as the ‘tarmac view’ within the airport decay sequence. For these shots the team was supplied reference of another vendor’s exterior tarmac design. The team used this reference as well as drawing from the real Chicago O’Hare International Airport to build a custom matte painting ‘at magic hour’, which was composited into windows looking out from inside the abandoned airport.