In this breakdown reel, Rodeo FX highlights some of the 240 stunning visual effects shots it created for Unbroken. Angelina Jolie and her DP, Roger Deakins, were intent on a visual styling that was authentic to the time period with invisible VFX that did not distract the viewer from the powerful human drama.
“Our biggest challenge was to make our work imperceptible so the viewers would be carried away by the action and the emotions,’” said Sébastien Moreau, VFX executive producer at Rodeo FX. “Everything we did had to be a slave to the story. We wanted to be historically accurate in the details and give the whole film a hyper-real look.”
This photorealistic imagery can be seen in the 154-shot sequence depicting a bombing sortie of B24s. Rodeo FX created almost every element in this sequence as CG imagery, including the fleet of B24s, the Zero fighter planes, the airstrip, most of the sky and the bullets and tracer fire. Rodeo FX built realistic digital models of the B24 using blueprints and historical photos as references. The cockpit interiors were filmed using a partial model set on a gimbal, surrounded by a whitescreen to provide more natural light. Rodeo FX added reflections in the glass, as well as compositing scratches, dirt and textures.
A landing sequence has an island, airstrip, soldiers running around, buildings and foliage, all of which were made of digital elements created by Rodeo FX. This environment started as a plate that Rodeo FX extended with matte painting, flak explosions, bullet tracers, bullet hits and textures.