Angels & Demons

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Inserting Extras And Laser Track Outside At Night


Angels And Demons

The Pantheon

When Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) visits Rome searching for clues to the Illuminati’s next victim, his path leads him to the two thousand year old building in the heart of the city.

Unable to film on Vatican property the production built a partial set of the Pantheon interior that consisted of just two chapels and one altar surrounded by green screen. The Senate were then tasked with recreating the remainder of this iconic structure which stretches 140 feet in diameter and 140 feet in height and comprises a further five chapels, seven altars, intricate marble flooring and the great domed ceiling with its nine metre hole at the apex, the oculus.

In addition to the intensely detailed structural architecture of the church, the team also had to build the many intricate objects that adorn the Pantheon. Using 3D modelling software Modo and Mudbox, they faithfully recreated items such as elaborate ten foot tall statues and ornate grand altars which then sit seamlessly in the environment. The tourists actors were first shot at Sony Studios LA using a 50 foot Technocrane, however on review it was decided that there were not enough extras filling up the scene.

The Senate Match Moved the Technocrane plate and handed the derived 3D camera path over to Take4D.  We developed a new Multi-Actor Insertion system then allowed us to recreate the camera move many time over on a smaller scale whilst maintaining the correct perspective to the original plate.  We then solved each additional actor insertion pass to run a Wotan Motion Control rig from Motion Control Cameras Ltd. and shot the new extras at Twickenham Film studios, London.

 Take4D Motion Control Solving For Multi-Actor Insertion

Take4D - Angels & Demons - Single Insertion

Take4D – Angels & Demons – Single Insertion

Take4D - Angels & Demons - Single Insertion - Final Comp

Take4D – Angels & Demons – Single Insertion – Final Comp

The Vatican Square

The Vatican refused permission to the production to shoot inside the Vatican Square, so a partial replica was build on a back-lot in LA California.  To reduce the size and cost of the construction, many of the buildings were CG models and large green screens were erected for key insertion later.

Richard Widgery was asked to do some experimental research on real time tracking of a steady-cam for this 50m x 50m space.  The goal was to be able to knock out the green screen and replace it with the CG building back into the plate – live on-set so that the director could position the actors into stand in the correct door way of the “virtual” St. Peter’s Cathedral rather than stand in the middle of a column by accident.

Take4D - Angels & Demons - Vatican Square 1

Take4D – Angels & Demons – Vatican Square 1

Take4D - Angels & Demons - Vatican Square 2

Take4D – Angels & Demons – Vatican Square 2

 

Angus Bickerton

Angus Bickerton

Take4D Angels & Demons St Peters Cathedral Real Time Virtual Setudio Comp

Take4D Angels & Demons St Peters Cathedral Real Time Virtual Setudio Comp

Angus Bickerton – VFX Supervisor – Arri 435 Scaled Test – Take4D in Real Time

 

Take4D Laser Tracking v1

Take4D Laser Tracking v1

Take4D Angels & Demons - St Peters Cathedral Virtual Studio Comp 2

Take4D Angels & Demons – St Peters Cathedral Virtual Studio Comp 2

The size of the area within which the camera needed to be tracked was the primary concern.  No standard off the shelf system was available at the time that would track with the accuracy at the distance that the production demanded.  Environmental effects were also a consideration since any system needed to be kept in-situ for the duration of the project.  Many different tracking solutions were tested, and none where suitable for the shot and Production decided that it was not critical to utilise tracking on-set for this scene.

Richard has continued this research privately and now DOES have a solution – see the “Real Time Virtual Studio”.

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