June 28, 2007

Visual Effects from Digital Dimension Is To Die (Hard) For

Burbank, Calif. - Digital Dimension has completed nearly 200 visual effects shots, including a number of the movie's most action-packed sequences, for the forthcoming Twentieth Century Fox release Live Free or Die Hard
Directed by Len Wiseman, the film is the fourth installment of the Die Hard franchise starring Bruce Willis as tough cop John McClane. 
Digital Dimension was awarded standout sequences such as the destruction of a helicopter by a police car in mid-air and an elaborate car crash in a darkened tunnel, as well as a wave of blackouts, fender-benders, and evacuations of government buildings.
Live Free or Die Hard hit theaters June 27. In Live Free or Die Hard, McClane (Willis) is called in to action when a group of cyber-terrorists led by Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) take over the computer grid supporting the entire country's infrastructure, including the economic, governmental, and other computer systems running the country. When McClane foils their plans, McClane's daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is kidnapped. With help from a young hacker named Matt Farrell (Justin Long), McClane must use hits, wits, and brawn to save the country and the people he loves from disaster, yet again.
Digital Dimension's 2D and 3D teams worked on several action scenes, including two shots featured prominently in the film's trailer. One involved McClane and Farrell narrowly avoiding being crushed when a car bounces off two other vehicles just over their heads.  Digital Dimension composited the actors into footage of a practicalcar crash, adding CG glass and interactive lighting for added realism. 
In another, McClane launches his cop car up a ramp to destroy a helicopter. The shot involved combining plates of a stunt man jumping out of a helicopter with McClane's cop car plowing through the chopper, and creating CG rotor blades and a tail rotor that both split into a thousand pieces upon impact with the police car.
Other scenes on which Digital Dimension worked included building a 250-foot digital tunnel extension in Autodesk's 3ds Max to make an underpass look like a mile-long freeway during a harrowing car chase and crash, adding CG rubble to a pivotal explosion. The company also used the artificial intelligence-driven Massive software to create 1000 digital people to match groups of extras that appear in live-action shots spilling out from the U.S. Capitol Building and Treasury. Digital Dimension also did extensive rig and stuntman removal and added CG cars, smoke effects, and Washington, DC-style background plates to the movie, which was partially shot in Los Angeles.
The company used a software tool kit including Autodesk's 3ds Max and Maya, and Massive Software's Massive. 

Digital Dimension Project Credits:  Live Free or Die Hard

CEO - Benoit Girard
Executive Producer - Daniel Lombardo
VFX Producer - Chris Del Conte
VFX Production Manager - Joseph Bell

Composite Supervisor - Erik Bruhwiler
2D Coordinating Supervisor - Tammy Sutton
Lead Compositor - Ryan Smolarek
Compositor - Tommy Tran
Compositor - Tatjana Bozinovski
Compositor - Ken Stranahan
Compositor - Martin Hilke
Compositor - Wing Kwok
Compositor - Rony Soussan
Compositor - Brian Smallwood
Roto/Paint - Anthony Kramer
Roto/Paint - Jason Bond
Roto/Paint - Justin Jones
Roto/paint - Todd Carson
Roto/Paint - George Gervan Jr.
Roto/Paint - Richard Gervan
Roto/Paint - Dan Walker
Roto/Paint - Chad Ridgeway

Lead CG Supervisor - Andrew Roberts
3D Artist - Justin Mitchell
3D Artist - Phi Tran
3D Artist - Tong Tran
3D Artist - Brian Demetz
3D Artist - Matthew Lee
3D Artist - Steven Hensley
3D Artist - David Espinoza
3D Artist - Val Kharitonashvili

VFX Coordinator - Sarah Mihalec
VFX Production Assistant - Landon Medeiros
Production Intern - Molly Pabian
Production Accountant - Tracey Roulhac

Pipeline Architect - Sean Looper
Systems Administrator - John Brake
Systems Infrastructure - Guillermo Pussetto