/News 09.04.18


Method Studios’ Melbourne team crafted full-throttle visual effects for Hollywood’s latest take on Tomb Raider

Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM’s action-packed saga Tomb Raider follows a young Lara Croft (Academy Award-winner Alicia Vikander), the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer on a perilous high-stakes endeavor in search of her father and a fabled tomb. Enlisted to apply its creative expertise to key story points, Method Studios’ award-winning Melbourne team (formerly Iloura) delivered a range of breath-taking visual effects for the film, including large CG set pieces, vast digital environments and deadly virus FX.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM.

Provided with general concepts, Method artists, guided by VFX Supervisor Glenn Melenhorst and Comp Lead Matt Omond, were able to stretch their skills creatively. Method amplified the design of a massive underground pagoda, developed the look of the mummy virus and sculpted interesting cliff faces based on real geography, among other contributions.

“We had a ton of available data to pull from in assembling the rock formations, including our own reference photography and an internal library of models, so we could quickly place pieces together like Lego bricks and show the client different iterations. Once the shape was approved, we go into heavy textures and details,” Melenhorst explained.

For a sequence in the tomb where characters open the sarcophagus of a mummified queen and are infected with deadly spores, Method played with a number of FX in honing a look that would be impactful and iconic but with a PG-13 gore level. FX Lead Daniel Hourigan did much of the heavy lifting on the FX design, ultimately landing on a withering effect of the infected person.

Method’s VFX sequences include Lara propelling herself down into a tomb, navigating a spikey log trap and crossing a ravine of skulls on a ladder. In designing the underground pagoda, artists increased the initial scale and infused it with Japanese iconography and traditional elements such as sloping rooflines and bells, then reduced their work to a pile of rubble with massive CG explosions.

Home to exceptional artists and technologists, Method Studios is an award-winning global VFX company with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Pune, Chicago and Atlanta. The Melbourne team has recently worked on globally acclaimed projects including Game of Thrones Season 7 ‘The Spoils of War,’ Jumanji: Welcome to the JungleBlack Panther, and A Wrinkle in Time.

Tomb Raider was supported through Film Victoria’s Production Incentive Attraction Fund – Post Production, Digital and Visual Effects.

For more information on Victoria’s filming locations and production incentives contact:

Joe Brinkmann
Manager – Incentives and Investments
[email protected]