Piedmont, QC — Hybride, a division of Ubisoft, takes audiences to the heart of the action in White House Down with the production of several of the film’s highly realistic VFX shots.
Hybride's team of VFX specialists, working under the supervision of the film's visual effects supervisors Volker Engel and Marc Weigert, was mandated to create full high-resolution CG shots for a scene featuring US Black Hawk helicopters heading towards the White House. The studio's main challenge was recreating a vibrant, realistic virtual city environment down to the smallest detail. The complexity of shots allowed Hybride to raise the bar on its technical expertise, taking teams of experienced VFX artists to new levels of creativity.
Several innovative techniques developed for the project enabled Hybride's artists and programmers to produce extremely complex scenes. The team developed innovative tools that facilitated the creation of an entirely virtual city-traffic lights, street lamps, bicycle racks, road signage and advertising panels were automatically generated to maximize production time. Hybride artists also developed special tools to create and populate scene elements including vegetation and vehicles, as well as a cutting-edge tool to populate trees and simulate their movement.
Due to the high level of shot complexity, Hybride artists used deep image compositing techniques to manage the sequence and maintain quality without compromising the level of detail desired.
"This new procedure helped us overcome machine limitations experienced in the past, allowing us to incorporate an unlimited number of elements," said Pierre Raymond, Hybride President. "We're extremely proud of our work and the results of our research will enable Hybride to take on increasingly complex projects, laying the foundation for a very promising future."
In White House Down, Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation's government falling into chaos and time running out, it's up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country. The film directed by Roland Emmerich, written by James Vanderbilt, produced by Bradley J. Fischer, Harald Kloser, James Vanderbilt, Larry Franco, and Laeta Kalogridis was released in theatres June 28, 2013.