Wanted. movie.
25.04.2008

Download SD HD
Credits:

Director:
Timur Bekmambetov

Studio:
Universal Pictures

ULITKA:

VFX supervisors:
Evgeny Barulin

VFX producer:
Angela Petrosyan

Producer assistants:
Andrei Deych
Andrei Emelyanov

Digital compositers:
Renat Gabdrakhmanov
Alexandr Prigorny
Nikolay Malyshev
Dmitry Shumkin
Vladimir Sofronov
Vitaliy Treboganov
Vladimir Kasian
Elena Karpunkina
Maria Filatova

Animators:
Tatyana Kuznetsova
Denis Alymov
Karen Asatryan

3D artists:
Eugene Gittsigrat
Alexander Sknarin
Georgy Arevshatov
Artem Voinskiy
Vsevolod Verbitsky
Ilya Vostrov
Dmitry Robustov
Evgeniy Melkov
Yuriy Rudakov
Egor Borisko
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Interview with Evgeny Barulin to RENDER.RU

Original article(Russian)

RENDER.RU: Tell, please, a little about the studio: From where idea of it’s creation came? What was the process of development? Thanks to what have you reached present heights?
Evgeny Barulin: Ulitka was formed in 2003. We (Angela Petrosyan and I) wanted to organize a small «boutique» (though I do not like this word) postproduction studio, that would produce outstanding technological and creative works. But when the cinema market began to develop vastly, and it was necessary for us to dive into the abyss of film production. And that’s how we evolved and ended up participating in Wanted.
RENDER.RU: Your studio worked on the creation of VFX in Timur Bekmambetov’s film "Wanted". What effects were developed by your studio exactly?
Evgeny Barulin: We had some difficult/huge sequences and set of small effects and tests, some of which then have gone to production, and some aren’t present. The sequence with the crowds of exploding rats was the biggest in preparation and production. We spent over half a year on it. It was a particularly complex piece of work. Problems were strewed in abundance. We had to write own software for management of crowds of rats – in some shots there was about 1000 of them. The mechanism has been also developed for other sequence: pouring rats out from the truck – they should behave as a herring in a butt – to fall out by gravity and some directed push, without crossing each other, simultaneously stirring pads and a tail and thus to aspire with a muzzle forward.

Video: Pouring rats out

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For animation of rats several levels of abstraction were developed – from completely accessible to the animator management for all parameters to completely automatic control – when animation cycles (run, a step, jumps etc) were automatically substituted depending on a trajectory and speed of a base transform. There were also some intermediate levels – when the animation part became the automatic, and something was corrected by animators. Also heavy calculations have been taken out from 3D animation package - that was an inverse kinematics and a binding to a skeleton – they were made directly ahead of rendering or even in its process. As a result it was possible to animate big quantity of rats in one scene and not to spoil health smoking in expectation of program response. Same allowed rats to run automatically on any random surface and to place pads precisely on it – universal cycles were automatically arranged under surface with help of IK.

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Visualization process was the once more problem – on each rat was about 3 millions of hairs. It is clear that at quantity of rats in 1000 ones, as for example, in a truck body, their total number would be more 3 billion. Any algorithm of rendering wouldn’t pull that. We had to go several ways. The most important was in dynamic optimization of quantity of hair depending on distance to a rat and its visibility. When the visible part of a rat was less than 50 square pixels, we switched off hair on it. Also we automatically dynamically changed quantity of hair on a rat at removal – in some shots on rats no more than 200 of hairs.

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There was also large quantity of additional tools – somehow: complex presets for the options, adjusted casual distributions of parameters – the artist could choose shader or object parameters could change from a rat to a rat, well and many other things.

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From the point of view of production, "e;meat preparation"e; from weavers by protagonist in weaving mill – right after explosion was the longest and volume sequence. Technically there were not enough complexities, but the majority of shots gathered from a large quantity of pieces – both two-dimensional, and three-dimensional. We added 3D falling stones and a dust practically in every shot. In several shots, Wesley has been replaced with himself, but filmed in chromakey pavilion - it was infernal 2D/rotoscoping work. All weapons, muzzle flashes and blood were added on compose too. There were several seconds plans which were created literally from 2 – 3 initial frames. That is it was practically animation by methods of transposition, drawing an throwing dust in eyes. Part of 3D epopee was scenes with Repairman – the person who was raked in an eye with a pistol. The shot with the person was one of the most difficult – as the idea of similar installation has come close by the end of end of work on the project and wasn’t specially filmed material nor time for serious 3D - this plan consists from 3D face, 2D morph, compositing, smokes, sparks etc. Further in movie Wesley being covered with Repairman runs and shoots through it. Actually on a set he held a doll without hands and legs. Therefore we had to make 3D model of Repairman – so-called Digital Double to cover filmed doll.

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On this project we very densely worked with Bazelevs. For example, in some shots where James Makavoy’s doubler runs, guys from Bazelevs did face replacement. Also they did a part of compositing and blood simulations.

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video: Race over the train

Other things – together with Post_production and Pixel Art we made factory building views from above. Also there were tests for final fight between Wesley and Sloan - it was flight between floors, in a web of ropes. It was the big piece too with decent development, but further the scenario final has been changed and this piece hasn’t entered into a film. Final flight of a bullet in the end of a film (also Bazelevs, EyeScream, MainRoadPost was engaged in bullet flights, and N3 too). Explosion can and dynamics of a liquid in one of shots of flight of a bullet was ours too. Fox and Wesley jog on train roofs – there where wide shots that have been completely made by Digital Double because it was impossible to shoot it on set. Also we made some shots of flight of Mr. Х of the beginning of movie – but they have been made specially for trailers, and in a film they were altered in Bazelevs. Also we did a part of work for Bazelevs – from compositing to animation – all any more I could not remember.

Video: Shooting through can

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Bonus video: