Who doesn’t like to watch superheroes flying around or saving the planet? Or the magnanimous city of Mahishmati in all its glory. In India, we have our own superheroes like Krrish and Ra.One, saving humanity. Thanks to Visual Effects (VFX), films have never been more exciting than they are now. We are now lesser handicapped by the shortcomings of practicality. Our imaginations are free to soar and capture the wildest possibilities through movies.
Visual Effects is the present and the future of film-making. However, making a VFX movie is not an easy feat. We spoke to the experts in this field to understand the process of making a movie with special effects.
Celebrating their bagful of awards including a National Award for Ra.One , 4 Filmfares and 4 FICCI BAF Awards for Visual Effects in a Motion Picture, Red Chillies Vfx is equally excited about their newly opened state of the art Goregaon facility and additionally,two new verticals viz: International Vfx Department and Red Chillies.Color. In the midst of this, they were generous enough to give an insight into how a visual effects movie is made.
Here are the stages of moviemaking where VFX plays a huge part:
Just like any other field, a film goes through a pre-production, production and post- production process.
Once the script is finalised, the VFX studio gets the script, and is then broken down into Vfx & Non-Vfx shots. The Vfx supervisor along with the Director try to visualize where and how the shot will be captured. The VFX supervisor goes for recce with the DoP and the Director to understand the challenges of the location.
On The Sets of FAN
Once they have gathered/visualized the data, the artists start working on the storyboards or pre-visualization where everything is simulated on the computer. The scenes are animated shot wise roughly. Once that is done, it is shown to the director, DOP and the set production teams.
Pre-production Story Board of Iron Man
The VFX team works with the Art Directors to decide what portion of the set is to be built and what portion is chroma for set extensions to be done in post using Vfx.
On the sets of the final sequence in FAN
The VFX Supervisor and his team are present during the shooting of the sequences when the Vfx portion of the shoot is in process.
Once the shoot is completed, the director/editor edits the film and sends it to the VFX studio. Following which, an entire matrix comes into place.
There is a method to this madness! There are almost over 3000 shots that have to be worked upon a full-fledged special effects film like Ra.One. These shots consist of more than 30,000 tasks.
Did you know: Pete Draper and his team magically created the stunning 1500 feet waterfall where Prabhas the protagonist climbs the mountain? The scene was actually shot at Athirappilly Falls in Kerala and every single was converted into a spectacular event with the help of computer graphics by Makuta.
A strong production team is a backbone
At a given point there are multiple studios, thousands of artists, working on the film simultaneously. Many a times, some tasks have to be sent to some specialized studios. These can be anywhere across the world. The quality has to be constantly kept in check to see if it is at par with the studio’s expectations. The production team is at the center, managing this entire matrix.
This team consists of the visual effects producer, operations manager, senior line producers, associate line producers, and coordinators; who are aware of each and every task. The VFX production team at any given time is expected to know each and every task and its status.
Once the ready shots are shown to the client and approved, the shots are then taken to the editing department for matching. For the movie trailers and songs, the shots are done in advance as they are released prior to the movie release.
Did You Know: Makuta was able to paint larger than life pictures of Baahubali which consisted of 90% computer generated imagery and graphics, along with around 5000 VFX shots.
Setting up client reviews is an integral part of the VFX production department. Sometimes, multiple tasks are interlinked with multiple studios. Getting these tasks together properly, and in time for the client to review, is a major accomplishment in itself.
Did You Know: Apart from Makuta another Hyderabad-based studio Firefly Creative Studio digitally created war sequence with huge armies and animals. The bison in the fight with Bhallaldeva was created by Kuala Lumpur-based Tau Films using CGI.
Mr. Keitan Yadav, COO, Red Chillies VFX says, “The VFX production department is one of the most neglected areas as far as training goes. I don’t think anybody even teaches this, but one of the reason for quality of big projects delivered on time is the role played by the production team. These guys actually sit in the background, co-ordinate, make everything possible and control the flow of the project.”
VFX is taking the world to places that we were scared to even imagine before. The lines between virtual and real are slowly blending. The possibilities are endless and now is the time for the mind to catch up to technology. Science is advancing at a tremendous rate. And very soon we might even be looking at an entertainment world where human beings become redundant.
Information Source – Red Chillies VFX
Picture Credits – Red Chillies VFX.