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How Centropolis FX Creates Visual Effects

Example 3
One frame of the original shot
One frame of the original shot

This example shows how the film's director can look at a scene and decide to completely change it using computer generated effects. In this case, the film crew shot a scene on a street in Charleston, SC.

This video shows the shot as filmed. The actors were dressed in period clothing, and the street was covered with a layer of dirt to hide the asphalt and take it back in time. Compare it to this video of the final shot as it appears in the movie -- the transformation is amazing!

The director made a decision to transform the end of this shot into something completely different -- instead of buildings down the left side of the street, what the director wanted is a dock, like this:

The final look of the shot
The final look of the shot

To create this effect, CFX did the following. First, using rotoscoping, the actors and the wall were lifted out of the frame of the original shot:

A new sky was added in to form the backdrop for the new scene:

Models of the docked boats were filmed against a green screen, rotoscoped and then added into the shot, and several buildings (both real and CG models) were added on the right:

Various crates and barrels were added to the dock to break it up, and there's even a new cloud in the sky if you look above the buildings:

CG flags were created and added to the ships:

All of this creates the final image:

These videos are interesting:

A scene transformation like this shows just how far a director can go in getting the right look and mood for a shot. About 90% of the scene is different from what was originally filmed. The magic of CFX is that the team can work together with the director to create completely new realities that look totally believable and convincing on the screen. The amount of effort it takes to work at this level is enormous, but as you can see in a film like "The Patriot," the final results are spectacular!

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