The global MPC team, led by VFX Supervisor Ben Jones and VFX Producer Sarah Moussaif, provided a host of services: from pre and postvis production – to final VFX delivery of over 920 striking visual effects shots.
Over the course of two years, around 1200 MPC crew members worked on this reimagining of the animated classic that tells the story of a wooden boy brought to life through the power of magic. Working closely with director Robert Zemekis, the team developed all sequences throughout the movie, with our animation team (lead by Animation Supervisor Christophe Paradis) being heavily involved in previz, virtual production, and the final VFX to guide and develop each character’s individual performance closely.
Read more on our work on our project page here. And check out befores & afters latest podcast, where Ian Failes chats to Ben about the VP to VFX workflow in the film, especially in relation to Geppetto’s workshop, where Pinocchio first comes to life here.
POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU
As lead VFX studio, MPC Film completed 860 shots for Detective Pikachu. This included a wide range of VFX work from character modeling and animation, to CG set extensions and full CG environments to complex FX simulations.
MPC created 30 characters for the movie including the film’s star Detective Pikachu himself. Find out more about our work here.
MPC worked on both Maleficent and its sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
For Maleficent, MPC VFX Supervisors Adam Valdez and Seth Maury MPC completed 875 shots for Disney’s Maleficent. Working closely with director Rob Stromberg and Production VFX Supervisor Carey Villegas, the team created a host of animated creatures and fairy world environments.
Find more about our work here.
For Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Director Joachim Rønning’s vision for the visual effects was to keep the stylized look and feel of the first Maleficent movie, but add more stunning and fantastical effects using the latest technology and techniques. Rønning worked very closely with MPC’s team, discussing his vision and the possibilities of how to create the Fey world. MPC’s VFX Supervisors Jessica Norman, Damien Stumpf, and Bryan Litson worked with Production VFX Supervisor Gary Brozenich to deliver 2,165 shots.
The movie required a huge amount of CG work including magical characters, full CG environments, set extensions, and FX simulations. There was also a large amount of ﬂying work that involved the principal cast, as well as the 40-some actors portraying the dark fey. MPC created the wings for Maleﬁcent—who had three diﬀerent looks—as well as for the dark fey.
Find out more in this excellent FX Guide interview here.
MAN OF STEEL
Led by Academy Award-winning VFX Supervisor Guillaume Rocheron, MPC completed more than 400 shots for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. MPC’s main areas of work included Superman emerging from the Fortress of Solitude, his first flight from earth through space, the climactic Smallville Battle, full-frame digital doubles of Superman (and stylized digital cape), Zod, Faora, and the 8ft tall Kryptonian warrior Namek, CG helmets and body armor, Kryptonian spacecraft and Superman surrendering to the military and the Kryptonians, the Lois Escape Pod rescue, the discovery of the Kryptonian Scoutship into the icecap various large scale digital environments.
Using the visual style set out by the production art department, MPC’s art department worked on concept designs for the Kryptonian helmets, earth armor, and spaceships; while MPC’s asset department built the Scoutship, Dropship, Escape pod, and the Fortress of Solitude from concept to detailed assets.
The Man of Steel’s first flight sequence reveals Clark Kent as Superman, as he emerges from the Fortress of Solitude. MPC created a fully digital Arctic environment and CG Kryptonian spacecraft. In this scene, Superman is either entirely digital or has a CG body and cape. Inspired by comic book artist Alex Ross’ illustrations, Superman’s cape was digitally added to many of the shots to maintain its iconic silhouette and flow. The implementation of a ‘pose and keyframe’ driven cloth system, allowed MPC’s artists to treat the cape as an integral part of Superman’s character. As the Man of Steel takes flight, cloud interaction, the upper atmosphere and stratosphere, Utah Canyons and African Savannah were all digitally created, making it possible for the audience to follow Superman as he flies at supersonic speed.
Find out more about our work in the Art of VFX interview here.
MPC has worked on 3 movies in the Godzilla franchise. Take a look at our VFX breakdowns below to see more!
For Godzilla vs. Kong. Production VFX Supervisor John “D.J.” Des Jardin, MPC VFX Supervisor Pier Lefebvre and MPC Animation Supervisor Michael Langford led MPC Film’s VFX team to craft 177 shots for the “Downtown Battle” sequence in Godzilla Vs. Kong.
VFX artists from MPC Film’s Montreal, Bangalore, and London studios worked together to achieve the epic clash between the two titans in Downtown Hong Kong.
MPC Visualization, based at the Culver City studio, Los Angeles, worked on all fronts of the visualization process for the Hong Kong sequence, from previsualization through to postvisualization. The team worked closely with the Director while traveling from Vancouver, on location in Hawaii, Australia and back to the studio in Los Angeles. Previsualization Supervisor, Kyle Robinson, lead the charge with his team of asset builders and sequence artists, stating that “with the guidance and leadership of VFX Supervisor DJ Desjardin the MPC team and I were able to help bring this film to exciting building smashing life”.
In the preliminary stages, MPC were delivered concept art of King Kong and Godzilla towering amongst the pink, cyan and orange city lights of Hong Kong, saturated in a blue haze. Famous for its vibrant night-time scenes of neon signage, laser shows and enormous LED screens, it was important to encompass an authentic representation of Hong Kong’s cityscape.
Find out more about our work over on our project page here and catch our second part of the series here.