| X-Men Origins: Wolverine
ends with a dramtic fight that destroys a cooling tower at a nuclear
power station. For the final shot, the director wanted a continuous
pullback showing the characters amid the debris.
The camera starts close on the actors, filmed
on a stage with a section of dirt and rocks on the floor. The
camera starts craning up, and we create a 3D match-move that allows
us to attach our imagery. That camera could only ascend about 20
feet, so a virtual camera is also created. Initially, these
match exactly, but the virtual camera quickly takes over.
Once the view starts getting wider, everything in the original photography
gets replaced. The ground and the actress are replaced by a
matte painting. Wolverine is modified to turn and run at the
right moment for the modified camera move. After he takes a
few steps, he runs out of the original frame, so he is replaced
by a digital version running across the landscape.
As the camera accelerates upward, more of the
matte painting is revealed. The larger chunks of debris were modelled
in 3D to allow parallax shifts as the camera flies past. Emergency
vehicles are also 3D. The choreography of the fire trucks and police
cars was carefully considered to allow Wolverine a clean escape!
of the debris had to match specific arrangements established in the
preceding scenes, so this was modeled and placed accordingly.
Additional debris was painted using reference from a plaster, cloth, and wire miniature that we built and broke into peices.
We built torches and shot fire elements from the Matte World Digital
roof to insert into the shot. Smoke elements came from our reference
Place your mouse over this image to
see "before and after" versions of the shot:
The remains of the tower itself is a 3D model
with textures based on our plaster miniature and photographs of
real cooling towers. Our fire elements help add definition to the
The character of Gambit is established as arriving
by seaplane, and here we see that plane taxiing away. The plane
is a 3D model with a 2D animated wake.
Aerial photography provided reference for the
surrounding buildings, parking lots, and shoreline. The dust cloud
was painted as several variations, with animated distortion added
in composite to show it drifting slowly downwind.
Before the camera disappears into the clouds,
we reveal that the power plant is on an island in a large river.
Traffic streams across a single bridge, responding to the disaster.