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Rodeo FX Creates Treasure Room and Builds Digital London for Jack the Giant Slayer


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The 'Treasure Room,' created by Rodeo FX for Warner Bros.' Jack the Giant Slayer
The ‘Treasure Room,’ created by Rodeo FX for Warner Bros.Jack the Giant Slayer
Visual effects company, Rodeo FX, contributed several complex VFX shots to two sequences featured in Warner Bros.Jack the Giant Slayer, directed by Bryan Singer, released on March 1.

“I think Rodeo FX did a very good job on this film — working in native stereo from the Red camera is no small feat,” said Hoyt Yeatman, visual effects supervisor for Jack the Giant Slayer. “They helped create some really interesting environments — one of which was a huge Treasure Room on which they did an excellent job. Their role kept expanding as the storyline from the film evolved.”

“The sequence depicts the Jack character walking through a Treasure Room where he is surrounded by gold booty collected by the giants over a thousand years. Rodeo FX created this large cavernous interior that was gilded in gold.”

For the Treasure Room sequence, Rodeo FX used particle simulations to drop and place all of the golden treasure depicted in the sequence. The company also created VFX for a massive environment shot, digitally recreating London, in a sequence that appears at the end of the movie. This virtual London environmental is a big pull-out shot from the Tower of London, which then zips under the London Tower Bridge, and ends in the sky.

The shot was based on close to 3,000 pictures from a photo survey Rodeo FX conducted in London. The company sent its live-action VFX unit on location to gather the photos in order to accurately replicate the environment digitally. In concert with the production team, Rodeo FX then created a pre-visualization for the shoot, creating a motion path for a helicopter to capture the required data to recreate London with extreme accuracy. Filming from this helicopter recreated the camera movement planned during pre-vis. Rodeo FX was even able to shut down London Bridge for 20 minutes.

“Rodeo FX created, through a virtual camera, a scene in which we first see the crown inside the Tower of London, then the POV goes through the window, over the bridge and the river, and looks down at the city of London itself,” Yeatman said. “As we couldn’t shoot this sequence with live action in a helicopter, Rodeo FX, through advanced photo and aerial techniques and geometry, digitally built the Tower of London, the bridge and the city of London itself, as well as people and the river. This was a completely real looking shot – something they created from whole cloth. They truly did a beautiful job. It looks fantastic.”

Other VFX services provided for Jack the Giant Slayer included matte paintings, full CG environments, compositing and digitally enhanced camera movement.

“Rodeo FX is a great creative resource for us, and has always been a company we can count on to deliver quality work,” said Mark Brown, SVP, visual effects, Warner Bros. Studios. “What I like about them is that they are very proactive in concept design, gathering their own source imagery, and then taking it all the way through to final completion. Their work on Jack not only gave us a glimpse of Jack’s journey into the giants’ world, but also a photorealistic digital London environment, with a camera move we could never have achieved practically for the final shot of the movie.”

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