Rodeo FX Creates Sequences for 'Jack the Giant Slayer'
March 12, 2013

Rodeo FX Creates Sequences for 'Jack the Giant Slayer'

Rodeo FX, a premiere visual effects company, has contributed a number of complex VFX shots to two sequences that are featured within “Jack the Giant Slayer,” from director Bryan Singer. The film was released by Warner Bros. on March 1.

Rodeo FX created shots for the Treasure Room sequence featured within the film in which Jack, the lead character, discovers a mural that gives him insight into the point of view of the Giants. Rodeo FX used particle simulations to drop and place all of the golden treasure depicted in the sequence.

Additionally, Rodeo FX also created VFX for a massive environment shot, digitally recreating London, in a sequence that appears at the end of the movie. This virtual London environmental is a big pull-out shot from the Tower of London, which then zips under the London Tower Bridge, and ends in the sky.

Rodeo FX

The shot was based on a photo survey Rodeo FX conducted in London. Rodeo FX sent its Live Action VFX Unit on location, where the company gathered close to 3,000 pictures for photo survey purposes in order to accurately replicate the environment digitally. In concert with the production team, Rodeo FX then created a pre-visualization for the shoot, creating a motion path for a helicopter to capture the required data to re-create London with extreme accuracy. Filming from this helicopter recreated the camera movement planned during pre-vis. Rodeo FX was even able to shut down London Bridge for a full 20 minutes.

Other VFX services provided for "Jack the Giant Slayer" by Rodeo FX include matte paintings, full CG environments, compositing, and digitally enhanced camera movement.

Hoyt Yeatman, Visual Effects Supervisor for "Jack the Giant Slayer," said, "I think Rodeo FX did a very good job on this film-working in native stereo from the Red Camera is no small feat. They helped create some really interesting environments-one of which was a huge Treasure Room on which they did an excellent job. Their role kept expanding as the storyline from the film evolved."

The sequence depicts the Jack character walking through a Treasure Room where he is surrounded by gold booty collected by the Giants over a thousand years. Rodeo FX created this large cavernous interior that was gilded in gold.

Jack Treasure room

Yeatman adds, "The most impressive work Rodeo FX did was the last shot in the movie, during which time, a magical gold crown is being stored at theTower of London. Rodeo FX created, through a virtual camera, a scene in which we first see the crown inside the Tower of London, then the POV goes through the window, over the bridge and the river, and looks down at the city of London itself. As we couldn't shoot this sequence with live action in a helicopter, Rodeo FX, through advanced photo and aerial techniques and geometry, digitally built the Tower of London, the bridge and the city of London itself, as well as people and the river. This was a completely real looking shot-something they created from whole cloth. They truly did a beautiful job-it looks fantastic."

"This was the first time I had the pleasure of working with Rodeo FX," Yeatman concludes. "They were on-time, on schedule, and very professional. I'm looking forward to working with them again."

Adds Visual Effects Producer Arthur Windus, "Rodeo FX has a great reel for environment work, and they were on my list of vendors to work with. Initially on 'Jack the Giant Slayer,' all of the VFX were more or less going to be tied into scenes with the Giants. As the show developed, however, a couple of sequences became stand alone and Rodeo FX was the perfect fit for those. 'Jack' was a demanding show, and Rodeo FX maintained a great attitude throughout the entire process-they are a talented and creative team, at a competitive price."

Mark Brown, SVP, Visual Effects, Warner Bros. Studios, said, "Rodeo FX is a great creative resource for us, and has always been a company we can count on to deliver quality work. What I like about them is that they are very proactive in concept design, gathering their own source imagery, and then taking it all the way through to final completion. Their work on 'Jack' not only gave us a glimpse of Jack's journey into the Giants' world, but also a photorealistic digital London environment, with a camera move we could never have achieved practically for the final shot of the movie."

Rodeo FX's Sébastien Moreau, adds, "We are particularly proud of our creative contributions to this extraordinary film. Not only did we get to work for the first time with Bryan Singer and Hoyt Yeatman, but we even had the opportunity to create an enormous room filled with golden treasures. Our digital artistry on 'Jack the Giant Slayer' was intense and pushed our creativity to new levels. Our entire team is extremely pleased with the end results."