Toronto: February 10, 2009 … eyeon Fusion(tm) was used on every visual effects shot in Pink Panther 2, the latest film in the Inspector Clouseau series, starring Steve Martin. Six-time Emmy(R) Award-winner and four-time Visual Effects Society Award-winner Digital Dimension completed all of the 200 shots on the feature. Since opening in 1996, Digital Dimension has done work on over 100 projects, cementing a reputation as a reliable and cost-effective solution for Hollywood productions. Over the same period, eyeon Fusion became the compositing software of choice at the facility.
Much of the work on Pink Panther involved wire removal, approximately half of the total number of shots. Other tasks included green screen shots and matte painting, for example in the crowd scenes at the Vatican. In one of several balcony gags in the film, Inspector Clouseau dangles two boys by their feet while hectoring the pair. “On the set, they built a section of the balcony: the rest was green screen,” explained Julie Cardinal, VFX Producer at Digital Dimension. “For the set extension, we did tracking, rotoscoping, keying and then matte painting, filling in the ground and the rest of the building around the balcony.”
One of the more challenging shots on the project was a scene with a fire hose. The comic effect required significant water enhancement in post. “Most of the scene was actually shot with a regular garden hose,” explained Cardinal, “so we had to change it into a fire hose and then add a lot of water.” The team recreated elements of the background to show the water splashing realistically off various objects. “That was all assembled in the comp. We had to do a lot of tweaking to get it looking right, but in the end our CG water blended in perfectly,” said Cardinal.
Fusion provided a solid solution for Digital Dimension in their work on Pink Panther 2. “This is an excellent node-based compositing system,” explained Vissal Nguon Ong, Lead Compositor at the facility. “Fusion is user-friendly, and we find that new artists learn it quickly.” Favourite features include the tracking system and the 3D environment. “Doing the camera projection in Fusion with FBX is a big help,” explained Ong. “We just load the FBX objects and the camera info into Fusion and sometimes use these as tracked masks, instead of rotoscoping the objects. It makes life a lot easier for us!”
Digital Dimension specializes in high-end visual effects and 3D animation for the film, broadcast, and interactive entertainment industries. Located in Montreal, the company employs a team of 50 artists and programmers. Recent projects completed by Digital Dimension include The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Spirit, Get Smart, and The Legend of Secret Pass, the company’s first feature animation presented at the 2008 American Film Market. Fusion was used on all of these productions.
eyeon Fusion offers a full 2D and 3D compositing environment, including a 3D particle system, comprehensive integration with 3D animation packages, non-destructive floating-point color correction, paint tools, keying, rotoscoping, advanced look-up tables, character generation, and more. Fusion is available from eyeon and eyeon’s international network of resellers. For more information, visit www.eyeonline.com.