Client : TRIXTER, MARVEL
Feature : Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 (released 2017)
Trixter was awarded several sequences for the feature film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. One where the Yodu and the Ravengers are staying at a Cyborg Brothel planet called Iron Lotus. This is where Trixter was responsible for creating the set extensions, robotic limbs and body parts for the robot cortasants through to finalizing the sequence.
The second sequence was the crash landing site where the Guardians have crashed the Millano space ship in the ancient Berhert Forrest. Here the Guardians find them selves talking around a campfire and then being hunted by Revengers who later arrive on the scene to capture them. Rocket takes up the responsibility to protect the gang with a spectacular and humorous attack on the unsuspecting Ravangers.
Before the Berhert Forrest action the guardians sit around a campfire and have dinner. This sequence the plates were rather dark with flickering light from the campfire the camera movement was slow and were quick to create camera solves for.
The difficulty with this sequence was working out the positions of the cameras, in relation to the provided lidar scan, as the scan was taken before filming and the set had been completely re-positioned. All the seating arrangements were in different arrnagements and even rockets log was turned upside down and damaged, lining rocket up for his lines and actions was challenging as some times the camera was to high or shot in a way that was not entirely possible for the characters location. This ended up with Rockets performance being made hovering in mid air out side of frame allowing the line up of the set and its extension to work with the horizon line.
Creating the layout for Iron Lotus city board walk was a lengthy process working along side the concept artist and keeping everything up to date with the directors wishes. Testing out how things will work and what didn't. Everything from creating set extensions with positioning bars, residential flats, signs, heaters, food stalls, and brothel rooms.
Further more laying out the set extaion of the ship yard that extended out onto a ice covered lake. Here we had to animate different ship's landing and taking off.
I had to clearly present all of the cameras and what directions they faced in one scene aligned up to the lidar scan of the set from our tracked camera solves.
We then presented this to our VFX and CG supervisors with an overhead view of the set like a map. Clearly showing what should be behind characters for each shot to avoid any confusion when creating the sequence. This showed us which areas needed to be populated and what areas we could leave blank.
We were also required to do our own Comp Prep work removing tracking markers, and keying blue screens ready to present to the client. The actor who played MartinEx had to have his head replaced with a crysral like body. Here we needed to not only do an object track of the actors movemnts but also remove the mans head entirley from the plate. I was also tasked with remodeling the actors lidar scan to a friendly topoligy model that we then used to complete object tracks and where it wasnt possible then complete roto animation of the actors movements.
I was also tasked with modelling some of the assets within this scene such as steps and signs for parts of the set extention. Aaron also assisted in modelling part of first version of the robotic Courtesans, interior arm pieces and body organs.
The Camp Fire Set was more like a crash site and positioned just after a long trail of debris from where the Milano space ship has crash landed. New trees had to be modeled that were snapped in half or broken in away as if the ship ripped through them while tearing through the forest on impact.
During this sequence the character Mantis gets to know Rocket and Drax. Mantis has two antennas that protrude from her forehead and we needed to do roto animation that reflected her acting performance if she became sad or startled.
While the Ravengers make there way to ambush the guardians at the crash site, one man eats a bug off a tree. We used photoscan to recreate a more detailed geometry of the tree bark from reference photos and the tracked camera from 3DE. This was then handed to the Houdini artist who then created the bugs guts splattering on the tree bark into the nooks and crannies of the tree.
When Rocket is surrounded by the Ravengers each shot for layout had to be created with the set forest extension. Close attention was made for continuity between each takes as in some cases the actors who were laying on the floor would be asked to move quite a distance for a better shot to be captured. We needed to make note of this and amend the set extension to support this change and maintain continuity for the set extension.
In addtion to this the number of actors who were beaten up, stood on, or interacted with Rocket and had gone home after takes. A CG double would need to be inserted into the back ground of any shots if they were in view. Rocket also needed to be posed ready for the animators to start there animation for each shot with he made his performance.
Later a request was made by the client to address the set floor to make it appear very old and authentic. Additional clumps of leaves and broken twigs were then place and occupied the entire set ready to be composited in at a later date.
In creating Layout set extensions for the Berhert Forest sequence we were required to extened set tree tops and deepen the forrest further with a variety of alien vegetation. Our work began with Rocket running away from fire over the tree branches, the set extension for this sequence was quite far away. The forest in the distance was rendered out on two cards at different depths in 3D then placed in front of each other for our compers to use. This saved alot of time on overall rendering. For the close up's of the set extentions and added vegetation in front of the plate and actors, we did full 3D renders as the paralax if done on cards would been noticeable.
For the forrest there were many different sizes of trees this cuased some illusions during reviews, when you had giant trees in the distance that appeared small and small trees in the foreground that appeared big. This made you some times question the results in reviews with no lights, shadows or use focus in MM reviews. This is where you needed to be ready to present your shots in maya and explain when some illusions appeared when a camera shows some odd paralax issues of trees. Just becuase with out shadows and objects being out of focus two trees "appear" to be standing next to each other when actually they are far apart and extremely different sizes. This happened in the shot when Nebula (the blue half robot women) stuns Rocket in front of the Ravengers in the forest.
The Berhert Forrest set was surrounded by a blue screen wall and required a full CG set extension to be integrated into the sequence. We had to model and arrange a variety of different trees, shrubs and bushes that surrounded the set. When loading in each of the assets we used a randomize script that moved each asset in translation, rotation and scale in the axis' we pre set. This allowed us to create a patch of forest that we could instance and use in the background for each shot. For shots the featured assets closer to camera we arranged these by hand to compliment the shots.
The film set ground carpeted with fabric as grass and was quite bared of any forest debris. We were tasked with dressing the forest floor with virtual leaves, twigs, broken branches and grass patches.