Prime Focus VFX, a division of the India based post production house Prime Focus, has announced that it has contributed 124 visual effects shots for the Stephen Sommers-directed movie G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra from Paramount Pictures. Prime Focus’ Los Angeles, Winnipeg and Vancouver visual effects studios
most notably provided expertise in previz, digital environments, fluid simulation and high-volume particle rendering for the movie’s action-packed finale sequence involving a complicated aerial scene.
Prime Focus operates nine facilities in India, four in the UK and four in North America, with a talent pool of over 600 visual effects artists.
Prime Focus contributed roughly 70 visual effects shots for the finale’s aerial sequence, which features a plane being eaten away by Nanomites, a U.S. developed bio-weapon usurped by evil forces that disintegrates metal on contact. Said Chris Bond, senior visual effects supervisor and president of Prime Focus VFX, ”This sequence
was particularly challenging because we weren’t relying on any aerial photography, which would be nearly impossible to shoot at these speeds, but instead created nearly everything digitally – the plane, sky, clouds and the destructive Nanomites that eat away the plane.”
In addition to developing a custom toolset to generate 3D cloud and sky environments, Prime Focus built a Nanomite animation pipeline and a hybrid matte painting, environment and 3D animation pipeline. The company also dedicated extensive R&D to improving its in-house scene collaboration system that allowed its LA and Vancouver
offices to work seamlessly together.
”We created a system whereby no single shot lives as a whole, but rather as a collection of project, sequence or shot assets,” explained Chris Harvey, visual effects supervisor for Prime Focus VFX in Vancouver. ”Assets could range from models, shaders, animations, scripts, light rigs and anything in-between. These assets would then
be assembled on the fly based on the specific requirements. This facilitated a number of important aspects to our pipeline – artists would always have the latest approved assets regardless of their global location, and we could make changes en masse and have them propagate through various levels of the show, shot, sequence and even across the entire project.”