- Warner Bros
- Richard LaGravenese
- VFX Supervisor (Method Studios)
- Oliver Dumont
- Method Studios
- Los Angeles
is a romantic fantasy film based upon the novel of the same name. When newcomer
Lena Duchannes arrives in the small town of Gatlin, she quickly captures the
attention of Ethan Wate, who only wants to escape what he views as a boring and
dead-end town. He quickly gets more than he bargained for, as Lena possesses
strange powers that have long kept her at a distance from others in her life.
Method was called upon to help visualize a host of supernatural sequences and
Olivier Dumont stepped in as VFX Supervisor.
AUTUMN ROOM ENVIRONMENT
In this sequence the artists made the main
entrance room appear as if it was placed in the middle of an endless tree
filled forest. The work consisted of rotoscoping the actors and furniture
and replacing the walls behind them with digital matte paintings for the
distant woodland. CG trees were created and rendered for the close and mid
ground shots and any walls that were not replaced with the forest effect were
color corrected to give a rich red autumnal hue.
A Disorderly Dinner
In this particularly VFX-heavy sequence, two
of the Casters (witches) have a family argument during which they create a
magical vortex that spins the dining room table and the various utensils and
plates around the room. The table and the room were built on a giant gimbal
which allowed production to shoot plates of the table and actresses spinning independently of
each other. Because the two girls and the floor were meant
to be spinning in the opposite direction of the table, the entire floor had to
be replaced digitally. Method created the swirling vortex and also CG
dinnerware debris which orbited around the table with the girls. Lastly, when
one of the witches is blown out the open door, the team created a CG glass door
with dinnerware debris smashing up against it and also replaced the stunt
actress’ performance with a fully CG double.
In this scene, Sarafine possesses Mrs. Lincoln and tries to enter Ethan's house. However, her entry to the house is blocked by a force-field spell cast by Lena to protect Ethan from harm. As Mrs. Lincoln pushes up against the force-field she reveals the shape of the field and her true form is displayed through the generation of black tendrils which eventually make a hole in the force-field. A combination of CG and composited 2D effects were used to bring the director’s vision of this scenario to life.
A Stormy Reunion
This sequence takes place during the final reunion between Lena and her mother Sarafine as she tries to lure her daughter to the dark side of magic, but Lena, upset after the death of her uncle, summons a category six magical storm.
For the storm, Method artists created complex FX for the super cell and tornados. Most of the trees, a monument, fences and tents were all replaced using CG elements in order to properly show the violence of the wind. The team also created small CG characters that were sucked in or hit by lightning and also added explosions when lightning bolts hit the ground. The goal was to convey the progression of the storm as it becomes more and more violent and takes over the field.
Dumont summarizes, “This was a complex sequence as it required heavy volumetric systems to make it look realistic. We had to represent a super cell that was approximately 1 mile wide and was also generating three smaller tornados in its center during the most violent part of the sequence. Our biggest challenge was the tight schedule. We had only five weeks which also included the look development and the FX R&D phase. But we loved it!”