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Friday, December 30, 2011

Making | Green Lantern | Parallax & suit | VFX

Making, Green Lantern, Parallax, suit, vfx, Sony Pictures Imagework, photos, videos


In the recent Warner Bros. film based on the DC Comics character, visual effects artists at Sony Pictures Imageworks created an entirely computer-generated suit for main character Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a test pilot given sudden superpowers from a magical Green Lantern ring.

“You might see this great suit and think it’s all done through some kind of technical magic where you push a button and it all happens,” says Imageworks animation supervisor David Schaub, “but we had an amazing team of animators diving into this incredible task of making the suit come alive.”

On set, director Martin Campbell filmed Ryan Reynolds in a motion capture gray suit. Digital artists then carefully tracked the actor’s movements and, after animation, blended his real head and neck with a CG body.
Making, Green Lantern, Parallax, suit, vfx, Sony Pictures Imagework, photos, videos
The final stage was to create the suit’s pulsating green energy and a number of ‘constructs’ emanating from the suit, such as a semi-transparent Gatling gun, which was built up in many layers in compositing.

And Green Lantern wouldn’t be a real superhero movie without a villain. That came in the form of Parallax, an evil mass of captured skeletal souls also realized by Imageworks.

Animators first created Parallax’s general motion through ‘goo pods’ and tendrils, filling them with skeletons and souls using a crowd-simulation tool called Massive.

Complete with added CG smoke, cloth and fluid simulations, Parallax required some serious hardware to compute.

“Some of the renders took up to 80 hours per frame,” says digital effects supervisor Peter Nofz. “We had a massive renderfarm at our disposal — up to 18,000 cores to make this character go through the pipe.”