Leading visualization studio Halon Entertainment, a NEP virtual studio company, shared with AWN a breakdown of their work on 20e Century Studio’s sci-fi comedy, free guy.
Directed by Shawn Levy, the film stars Ryan Reynolds as Guy, a bank teller who discovers he’s actually a non-player character in an open-world video game. After becoming the hero of the story, he tries to save his friends from being deleted by the game’s creator. The film also stars Jodie Comer; Joe Keery; Lil Rel Howery; Utkarsh Ambudkar; and Taika Waititi.
Halon’s team, led by Senior Supervisor Ryan McCoy, provided previs, techvis, and postvis for some of the key action sequences involving the unique gameplay mechanics of free guythe virtual world of. Halon started the five-month project by providing previews in Los Angeles, working closely with Levy, VFX supervisor Swen Gillberg, and the artists in the painting. After moving with production to Boston, they completed the final preview footage on location; Additionally, Halon worked closely with Gillberg and DP George Richmond, assisting in the search for virtual locations for pre-measurements, sun tracking technology, as well as determining the long shots of the arm of the the robotic camera.
According to Grant Olin, on-set preview supervisor, “In LA, we mostly worked with Shawn and Swen. When I went to Boston for the shoot, I ended up working closely with many departments, from producing traditional previews, to spending half a day with the getting started, talking about helping it. to plan the types of equipment he needed to shoot. on different plates of the opening plan. The whole crew had pretty much one door open; whenever someone from any department had something to show, we would just stop by our desks and work together. It was certainly one of the most extensive and collaborative previs / techvis collaboration processes I have ever been involved in.
The team at previs has also created many benchmark reels of crazy stunts that players perform in different games, as well as weird glitches and other visual inspirations to help the filmmakers think and build the action and them. gags.
For postvis, Halon was put in charge of the opening of the film, combining multiple plates into a continuous action sequence to introduce the character of Reynolds.
“We started out with previews for all the footage we worked on, building the narrative first, then coming up with gags,” Olin explains. “After that, we moved our footage into very detailed techvis, especially for the aperture, glasses and site footage.
Noting that their work became the shots for these scenes, Olin reveals, “In the opening sequence, we had to break down the predictions with VFX / Camera / Locations / Stunts to determine which parts could be shot and where. From there, we had to reconstruct the shot into something filmable, going back and forth with all of the aforementioned departments to make sure the forecast was as close as possible to what would be filmed. Likewise for Glasses On, specifically the robotic arm shot, the previs really became a bible and was partly used to drive the robotic arm itself.
“The construction site was not without particular challenges,” he continues. “Once we had a sequence that everyone felt really good about, we had to break it down into as few shoot setups as possible, so the art department could build little pieces of sets in four bays of the set. ‘green screen and we were sure that every shot in the preview could be pulled out in those boxes.
Dan Sarto is publisher and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.