July 27, 2013

Decade of VFX 2003-2013 Compositing REEL

Cut together a decade of my wok as a digital compositor on feature films, it's not every project I've worked on, and not nearly every shot, but showcases (all be it breifly) a good sample of it. ~enjoy!

Schnee VFX 2003-2013 Compositing REEL from David Schnee on Vimeo.

Posted by dschnee at 5:18 AM   

March 21, 2013

After Earth

Posted by dschnee at 10:19 PM   

February 27, 2013

The Tipping Point for the VFX Community

Thumbnail image for respectVFX.jpgApologies, but I have migrated the documentation of the VFX coverage to a blog better suited for it and away from my personal site... thx.


Posted by dschnee at 12:18 PM   

June 22, 2012

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Official Trailer

A lot of red eyes around here....

We will be completing work that will become the final glimpses of our wolves in the Twilight Saga later this fall... This is the final chapter to the Stephanie Meyer series and the end is nigh. Status? so far so good cranking away on the large battle sequence, some of which you briefly see in the trailer above. ~enjoy

Posted by dschnee at 10:51 PM   

June 15, 2012

Phil Tippett's "MAD GOD" Only 30 Hours Remain...

To contribute to this experimental, hand-made, animated film, set in a Miltonesque world of monsters, mad scientists, and war pigs.


Posted by dschnee at 9:08 AM   

June 9, 2012

One of these days, BAM!


Apologies for the great distance between updates, although I know not who I'm apologizing to... if no one else, it's for a future me going back to read all this crap before I'm dead. Or maybe it's just so my co-workers can laugh at me, either way I win.

Mirror Mirror has long since wrapped as a painful memory in my VFX career, I'm currently knee deep in Breaking Dawn part 2, the last film containing Tippett's Twilight wolves... this will be my 4th movie now... dear Stephanie Meyer, thank you writing these, and yet, thank you for not having written any more.  Any plans on writing more Twilight lore? Please don't.

I saw  Prometheus last night... and I loved it, such a stunning movie on most all levels equating a magnificent movie going experience.  Hi-Five Mr. Scott, Gieger, Michael Fassbender, and the VFX Houses involved.

One of these days I'll be going back in time and shoveling dirt loads of updates making up for lost time, it will all come at once, BAM!

Only 6 days to go... Phil Tippett's "Mad God" Kickstarter, Get It!

Posted by dschnee at 11:15 PM   

November 19, 2011

Tippett Studio: Immortals Breakdown

Hazard and Ratakonda threw together some sweet break downs for our work on Immortals a few weeks ago, check it out below:

Posted by dschnee at 10:38 PM   

November 18, 2011

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is Released!

in the USA 18 November 2011

visit Breaking Dawn @ imdb.com


Box Office Results November 18-20, 2011

Number:  1
Opening Weekend Gross:  $138,122,261
Theatres: 4,061
Theatre Average: $34,012
Weeks in Release: 1
Total Gross: $ 291,022,261(worldwide)
Budget: $110 Million
Running Time: 1 hrs. 48 min.
Distributor: Summit Entertainment
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre: Romance

While it wasn't quite able to reach the series high mark, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1's outstanding $138.1 million opening indicated that the sexy teen vampires are as popular as ever. What does appear to have lost some of its appeal, however, is dancing penguins: Happy Feet Two struggled to even open to half as much as its popular 2006 predecessor. Overall box office was up around 14 percent to over $221 million, and the weekend currently ranks as the sixth-highest on record.

Breaking Dawn's $138.1 million opening is second-best among Twilight movies behind 2009's New Moon ($142.7 million). That's a small gap, though, and Breaking Dawn still managed to claim fifth place on the all-time opening weekend chart behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 3 and New Moon. As is typical for the Twilight movies, its weekend was incredibly front-loaded with 51.9 percent of the gross coming from Friday showings (including its $30.25 midnight tally).

Posted by dschnee at 12:01 AM   

November 17, 2011

Killer visuals: Tippett's God speed fx for Immortals

I was interviewed by Ian Failes of fxguide.com a couple weeks back, and the article went up today, check it out below:

A stand-out sequence in Tarsem Singh's Immortals takes place near the climax of the film, when King Hyperion frees a group of entombed Titans from their cell using the powerful and magical Epirus Bow. But before the released Titans can escape, the Gods descend from Mount Olympus and work to dispatch them. A bloody close-quarters fight ensues, with Tippett Studio combining live action footage, motion captured performances and CG Titans and effects to create the final shots.

In particular, the battle is punctuated by something known as 'God Speed' to emphasize the otherworldly powers of the Gods and Titans. "When the Titans died," explains Tippett Studio visual effects supervisor Matt Jacobs, "they wanted them to take on a slow motion effect. So when you see them get chopped in two or a head chopped off or smashed by Zeus' chain they wanted it to feel more photosonic - around 500 frames per second - so there was a speed ramp as the Titan dies and then goes into slow motion."

We talk to key members of the Tippett team about how they realized the animation, effects, lighting and compositing for the Gods versus Titans fight.


Although the fight combined live action, motion capture, CG Titans and effects, the compositing, according to compositing supervisor David Schnee, remained within reason. "We had your typical re-times, plate clean-up and times when we had to make some of the action a little snappier to emphasize certain moves and strikes," he says.

Tiles were shot all around the set to enable room to move the camera and re-compose certain scenes if needed. Tippett's Christopher Paizis was the matchmove lead. The scenes were all comp'd in 2D in Nuke, and elements later broken out to allow for the stereo conversion. An initial effort to give the Titans and Gods a vibrating look in order to sell their speed was undertaken, but the approach changed to the photosonic feel. Additional comp fixes included adding some more transparency and sub-surface feel to the blood where needed and matching some of the live action Titans with their CG counterparts, occasionally fine-tuning markings on helmets or skirt and sandal trims.

"Our biggest challenge though," says Schnee, "was dealing the projections that we needed to help pad all the wounds that would occur when the Titans were severed and heads lobbed off. They built some nice wound artwork on all the caps for that stuff but there wasn't enough time to go in and do a lot of interesting dressing of paintwork that would have blood splattered onto skin and dripping down the contours of their body and on clothing. So we came up with a pretty cool projection set-up gizmo in Nuke to handle that."

The projection technique began with a key pose of a Titan, fully dressed and mocked up, with a camera target and locator to project onto. "We could then easily place our splatter or drips onto him," says Schnee. "That would get un-UV'd and applied to the animated GTOs for the shot."

In one hero shot, a chain goes through the chest and impales a Titan. "For that there was a little bit of dressing on the Titan for the wound," notes Schnee. "But then he also ends up dropping and stepping towards the chain towards camera. The CG blood that is blasted off from the impact bursts out in front of him and then he steps into it. So the artist on the shot animated certain timings of the projection to time with the CG blood, which we had as a number of effects passes."

The final shot

Tippett's overall shot count on Immortals came to 96, made up also of a CG hyena-like 'mongrel' that replaced a live action German Shepherd for a couple of shots, and CG Titans added to the film's final complicated 'Sistine Chapel' pull-out, which was shared with RedFX in Montreal.

"That shot had been done originally for a teaser trailer," says Matt Jacobs. "It was filmed in photosonic stereo for everything in the foreground and then in the background the characters were on a multi-planes and multi-directions - all these Gods and Titans fighting at the same time. It was literally hundreds of takes on greenscreen that went into the shot. Tarsem wanted to gore it up so we added CG Titans, blood simulations and parts flying in slow motion, taking some cues from the death effects we had done already. We also inherited a massive Nuke script from RedFX and there was a lot of co-ordination with them to get all the assets. Then we integrated our work into it, and passed it back to them to do some finishing."

All images and clips copyright © 2011 Relativity Media.

Continue reading "Killer visuals: Tippett's God speed fx for Immortals"

Posted by dschnee at 8:15 AM   

November 11, 2011

Immortals is Released!

in the USA 11 November 2011 (11-11-11)

visit Immortals @ imdb.com

Box Office Results November 11-13, 2011

Number:  1
Opening Weekend Gross:  $~32 Million
Theatres: 3,112 (70% offering it in 3D)
Theatre Average: $10,283
Weeks in Release: 1
Total Gross: $68 Million (worldwide)
Budget: $75 Million
Running Time: 1 hrs. 50 min.
Distributor: Relativity
MPAA Rating: R
Genre: Fantasy Drama

Immortals debuted to an estimated $32 million, which is less than half of 300's $70.9 million and also way off from Clash of the Titans's $61.2 million. While those are both very similar movies, it's a slightly unfair comparison given the marketing dominance exercised by their distributor Warner Bros. In its own right, Immortals was actually very impressive. It is distributor Relativity Media's best opening ever by a long shot (Limitless was the previous high with $18.9 million), and it's also the top opening for a movie not released by a big six studio since Lionsgate's The Expendables debuted to $34.8 million last August. Finally, it's the second-highest opening for an R-rated 3D movie ever behind Jackass 3-D's $50.4 million, with 3D showings accounting for a substantial 66 percent of the weekend gross. The movie's audience was 60 percent male, 75 percent under the age of 35, and 35 percent Hispanic. Immortals received a "B" CinemaScore, and a "B+" from the under-25 crowd.

"Immortals": Simply put, I've never seen anything like the violence in "Immortals." It's easy to say that the slow-motion style is just a "300" ripoff, but it's not. In that film, characters moving slowly was a stylistic choice. In "Immortals," the time-disorienting motion is inherent to the nature of Gods and Titans, resulting in one of the single most breathtaking battle scenes I've ever seen committed to film, ever. Again, I have never seen anything like those final 20 minutes of "Immortals." It's some of the most beautiful violence I've ever witnessed on the big screen. ('Immortals' Versus '300': Pound For Pound via mtv.com

Posted by dschnee at 9:50 PM