Allan McKay – Live Action Series – Term 2

Author Alex
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Allan McKay – Live Action Series – Term 2

Allan McKay – Live Action Series – Term 2

FX Term 2 – Armageddon Los Angeles

Trailing on from an intense Term 1, we continue our journey now focusing on new areas as we continue the theme of building destruction but now looking at multiple shots, and sometimes multiple buildings being destroyed in the same shots. The focus is on continuity between these shots and thinking ahead on how to pull these shots off quickly and efficiently through better planning and application.

This visual effects sequence we see massive large scale asteroids raining down over LA destroying many buildings and creating major impacts and destruction. Some of the buildings they’re hitting are over 470 feet tall and so retain their shape but show inner areas destroyed, while other buildings have total collapse from the disastrous impact from these asteroids. This is definitely themed around what you would see if Armageddon was created with todays technology and abilities, to be able to create feature film disaster film quality movie effects.

Starting out we review our edit of the sequence, and shot codes and assignment. We look at the effects needed and begin to break down each of the shots requirements while doing paint overs of each of the shots to get a better idea before we move ahead.

Our first challenge is designing the look development of our asteroid, creating the fluid simulations of the entire effect and the FX asset in a way that we can easily bring this into any shot easily, with maximum detail and ease of implementation. We identify a hero shot which we make the sole focus for creating our initial effects, a critical shot to do our R&D in (Always better to develop our effects in an actual shot in the right context than isolating our work). We focus entirely on creating our effects for our hero shot first, but keeping in mind we will need to roll out these effects into multiple shots later.

Once the first shot is created – with multiple asteroids tearing through one of the largest buildings in Los Angeles the Century Plaza Towers, we begin to roll the effects out into many shots with many other buildings being destroyed. Simulating massive buildings collapsing down into the ground on fire, others partially destroyed – we do basic matte paintings and projections, element tracking, utilizing many other methods to build up an epic sequence of shots, fire and total carnage. No building is left safe, including Die Hard’s Nakatomi Plaza (aka Fox Tower) which we destroy over a series of shots having it crash down in a ball of firey dust and debris.

The process involved in these shots is big but we learn to share assets and think ahead, and render things efficiently. Probably one of the most critical take-aways from this term will be how to render and create our effects so they aren’t heavy and are easy to push through our render pipeline. We also look at many comp tricks and ways to get our shots through to final without wasting time – and many paint techniques and texturing techniques to really push the quality of our output ten fold.

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  1. Krishna Gavarkar2020 May 15 21:58
    Are the project files included?
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