Entity FX Contributes to Stereoscopic 3D The Final Destination
November 2, 2009

Entity FX Contributes to Stereoscopic 3D The Final Destination

The Final Destination franchise has always featured a wide variety of bad things happening to people, and the new film, The Final Destination, is no exception, except that now everything happens in stereoscopic 3D. Entity FX contributed the coda of the film in which the fates of the main characters are resolved. Entity's work also involved inserting projected footage for a 3D movie within the movie.
The final sequence begins with real characters in a practical set, and then transforms into a virtual space with a graphic X-ray look reminiscent of the opening titles. The imagery had to be scary but stylized. Time was also manipulated, continually shifting between normal speed and hyper slow motion. Entity FX used Maya to create and animate x-ray humans who tracked initially to real actors.

Some character movement info was taken from a previs from The Third Floor; most of it was provided by key frame animation.

The set and a vehicle were also modeled and replaced. The x-ray world emphasized some features and let others go to black - while retaining enough geography and particulars of characters that viewers could keep track of what happened to whom. Some elements (glass, blood, etc.) were given special color and/or opacity treatment to add interest and 3D impact,. The inter-ocular distance and conversion initially matched the live action, but then were tweaked; the goal was to be conservative in stereo impact, with a few selected "tear your eyeballs out" moments of objects extending into the audience.

Another challenge was the tight schedule; work had to be completed in less than a month while story and style elements were still being fine tuned.

For the theater scene, the task was to recreate, in 3D stereo, the POV of a character who was watching another 3D stereo movie, but had taken her glasses off. So the screen image had to track in 3D space, but have the weird 2D double image look of 3D-without-the-glasses.

Rendering was done on Mental Ray running on a Linux render farm using Entity's custom render manager. Shot compositing was done in Nuke. For viewing, Entity FX used RealD active glasses synched with a 65-inch stereo-ready monitor fed from a custom-built playback system running RV software.

Entity FX was helped greatly by Eric Brevig, Craig Perry, Sheila Hanahan, Mark Helfrich, and Steve Kaminsky, who were always available with answers, guidance and feedback that allowed the job to get done on time.