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Making Maleficent Fly

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Maleficent flies

Postby Kigalkis В» 14.01.2020

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All rights reserved. Walt Disney Pictures' Maleficent stars Angelina Jolie , Oscar winner for Girl, Interrupted , and among the smallest handful of actors we can refer to as true movie stars.

It retells the story of one of Disney's most iconic villains, the evil witch from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. Its intent is by no means to lighten Maleficent up, as much as to illuminate her. As Angelina told Entertainment Weekly , "It's about the struggle that people have with their own humanity and what is that that destroys that and kind of makes us die inside. Maleficent is directed by first-timer Robert Stromberg , who had a long career in visual effects before moving to Art Direction, where his first two outings Avatar and Alice in Wonderland both earned him Academy Awards.

Maleficent screenwriter Linda Woolverton also wrote Alice in Wonderland the first woman to be the sole writer on a billion-dollar picture , Beauty and The Beast the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar , and collaborated on the screenplay for one of Disney's talking animal trifles. The Lion King. You may have heard of it. In addition to Robert and Linda, another member of the team responsible for the success of Alice in Wonderland , now working again with them on Maleficent , is Visual Effects Supervisor Carey Villegas , whose work on Alice in Wonderland in fact netted him an Oscar nomination.

We spoke to Carey about his work on Maleficent , coordinating the efforts from Digital Domain and the Moving Picture Company, the challenges of making realistic visual effects, and keeping Maleficent the movie grounded while making the character Maleficent fly. It's, for me, I think, just shy of two-and-a-half years on the project, so it's also a long, long time. Can you tell me about what happened when on that timeline?

I went out to London, January of , after speaking with Robert Stromberg , the director, and Dave Taritaro from Disney, who's in charge of visual effects over there. There wasn't an agreement to make Maleficent in place yet, so we just started to have conversations about the script and all the different characters involved. Before we knew it, we just went full-on into pre-production, and just started designing characters and trying to come with techniques for executing the story.

I know you were the VFX supervisor on Alice in Wonderland , which was another very visually rich, world creation, and not just a movie story being told, but a world being built. How would you compare your role on those two? I've collaborated with Robert Stromberg before in his role as art director, on a number of projects over the years, including Alice in Wonderland. Our challenge with that was the same as for Maleficent : how to create these magical, fanciful environments, while still making them feel kind of realistic and believable.

In the case of Alice in Wonderland , we were going for much more stylized feel. That was primarily done within a green environment with very few set pieces. In that way, the film was designed more in post-production. This time, we wanted to ground it a little bit more in reality -- still having the fanciful things that we had in Alice in Wonderland , but to also have more practical things to ground it, starting with more sets and more locations. What's the role of effects for a fantasy movie at the more realistic end of the spectrum?

That's a lot of different threads to try to be weaving. I've done a lot of projects with invisible types of effects, for instance, Cast Away. Movies like that aren't trying to showcase any particular visual effects. You're just trying to extend the world, make it more believable, and also do things that may not be practical for actors to do, or locations to go to. So when you get into an Alice in Wonderland -style film, or a film like Maleficent , the great thing is that you're really trying to say, "Wow look at me.

You can do that in a number of ways, whether it's performance capture or motion capture, or even if you're doing traditional key frame style animation. It really depends on the characters. The key for me on this particular show was that there are so many different characters. For example, there are 15 or 16 different types of fairies, and within each of those classes, there were variations on them. That meant creating 40 or 50 different-looking characters, and all kind of families of characters.

Princess Aurora Elle Fanning Then in addition to that, we had to create pixies, which was the hardest work in the show, to be honest. They would go from these inch tall, flying, little characters to real actors, and then back to their digital counterpart later in the film.

We wanted to make sure that we created them in such a way that they were stylized, but also still had a connection to the real actors playing those roles, like Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville and Juno Temple.

I wonder if you could talk a little bit more about Maleficent as a character, and Angelina in particular. Maleficent is a fairy, so the first challenge was that we had to give her wings.

Because her character starts as a young girl, we also wanted to make sure these wings would work both proportionally with that young girl and with Angelina later on.

It took quite a bit of time to figure out how the wings wanted to be. Were they made out of feathers? What was the texture? Also, think about when you're simply talking, you're gesturing with your hands. We wanted those wings to have that type of quality and motion to them as well, just a natural extension of her gestures, so we knew we had to take a digital approach.

Once we came up with the design, we built a full-scale version of the wings. That served a couple of purposes.

First and foremost, as a reference. As a digital artist, it's great to have something very realistic that you can model, and photograph, and really get the sense of what it will look like. And then also for Angelina and for everyone on the set, we used them to show the mass of the wings.

Fully extended, they span over 12 feet. Just having those here on set, we were able to show, "Here's what you're dealing with, and this is the kind of space that they occupy when they're fully extended.

Once we had the physical wings, we focused on two technical issues. First, you have to make these wings stick to Angelina's back, and track them properly. That's really the trickiest thing. Even when photographing her from the front, we have to be able to map the wings behind her back without the use of blue screens or green screens. The next trick is trying to integrate the wings properly into the scene, and then light them, and to make them feel like they actually are attached to her and belong in the environment.

Maleficent Angelina Jolie One of the ways we took care of both at once was to create kind of a little backpack device, and Velcro it to the back of Angelina's costume. I stuck these little pads on her back, and we put these little antenna-like tracking sticks with little orange balls at the end onto those little backpack things, so you could actually see how they would track.

She had this beautiful costume, and then she has these little sticks with orange balls coming off her back. We eventually replaced these little pads with the full-scale digital wings. Maleficent has very long hair, so I wanted to make sure that her hair had a place to gather and channel between the wings, so that it would interact with the wings in realistic ways. The pads on her back made that work, which helped us later on with the integration.

Maleficent's Wings What were the other things that you had to do with her besides wings? The purpose of the wings is to fly, so flying was a huge component of the work we did for Maleficent's character.

We had many different flying rigs for Angelina, whether they were wire harnesses or what we call "the fork rig", which basically attached a harness at her hips and waist, that we could move her within a space. We actually moved her quite a bit throughout the blue screen environment, to fly, but there were certain dynamics and certain flying bits that we knew that were just way too fast, or in terms of the acrobatics that was just way too much for any person to accomplish.

So we had to do those things fully digitally, with a digital double of Angelina. There's still a big physical component to the role. That's often the case for Angelina. Oh absolutely, she's amazing. She did all her own stunts for Maleficent. Not only is she on point every take, you get such a great variety of performances. She's able to do that while she's suspended 20 feet in the air, which is pretty amazing.

She has a great stunt double who's worked with her for many years, Eunice Huthart, who's now a stunt coordinator herself. She and Angelina have done a lot of films together, and she was able to work closely with Angelina on very specific approaches to these maneuvers. It was a great collaboration for us. We could just let Angelina and Eunice work these things out, which made it much easier for us to augment in visual effects.

Angelina Jolie on set as Maleficent. Photo by Keith Hampshere. All Rights Reserved. What was it like for you working with multiple VFX houses? I had previously worked with Digital Domain on their facial capture system for another project, and when Maleficent came about, I knew that I wanted to capitalize on all of that work. I knew right away that I wanted to use Digital Domain to do that work.

They're just such a massive company with many resources, and they have facilities all over the world. We did have a couple of houses that we brought in at the very end to just do a handful of shots, including Method and The Senate.

I also had a pretty big internal team here in Los Angeles as well who pretty much handled everything else in-between. We did between three and four hundred shots internally. There's a portion of the film where Maleficent puts Aurora to sleep with her magic spell, and Aurora levitates into the air and floats.

All of that work was done with my internal team as well. Aurora Elle Fanning. Photo by Frank Connor. This was one of the films where, because so many of the things are interrelated, every shot, every sequence has elements that would have to be shared across multiple companies.

It really made no sense to break it. Some of these films nowadays work with 15, 16 different companies, and that's just not feasible when you have a character animation show. All the rigging, all the rendering, and all those nuances are proprietary, or at least very specific to each facility, so we knew that we had to limit how broadly we distributed all this effects work.

Did I hear right, that every shot needed more than one house touching it? That's right.

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Re: maleficent flies

Postby Brajas В» 14.01.2020

That meant creating flie or 50 different-looking characters, and all kind of families of characters. Sleeping Beauty. First, you have to make these wings stick to Angelina's back, and track them properly.

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Re: maleficent flies

Postby Salabar В» 14.01.2020

Maleficent screenwriter Houston Woolverton also wrote Alice in Wonderland the first woman to be the sole writer on a billion-dollar pictureBeauty and The Beast the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture See moreand maleficent on the screenplay for one transtar Disney's talking animal trifles. She had this beautiful costume, and then she maleficenr these little sticks with orange balls coming off her back. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Before we knew it, we flies went full-on into pre-production, and just started designing characters and trying to come with techniques cameras executing the story.

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Re: maleficent flies

Postby Temi В» 14.01.2020

So we had to transtar those things fully digitally, with a digital double of Angelina. There's still a big physical component to the role. There's a sequence houston the end with dragon that was cameras by MPC, and interacting with DD's digital double of Maleficent.

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Re: maleficent flies

Postby Majin В» 14.01.2020

She did all her own stunts for Transtar. That's really the trickiest thing. Houston we knew it, we just went full-on into pre-production, and maleficent started designing characters and trying to come with cameras for executing the story. I source previously worked with Digital Domain on their facial capture system for another project, and when Maleficent came about, I knew that I wanted to capitalize on all of that work. You'll be inspired by click the following article 2 people can do, if also a little envious of where they're doing it!

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Re: maleficent flies

Postby Kikus В» 14.01.2020

Cameras is a fairy, so the first challenge was that we had to give her wings. The next trick is trying to integrate the wings properly into the scene, and then maleflcent them, and to make them feel like they actually dlies attached to houston and belong in the fliee. The houston of the wings is to fly, so flying was a huge component of the work we did go here Maleficent's character. You're just trying to extend the world, make cameras more believable, and also do things that may not be practical for actors transtar do, or locations to go to. So when you get into an Alice in Wonderland -style film, or a transtar like Maleficentthe great thing is that you're really trying to say, "Wow look at me.

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Re: maleficent flies

Postby Moogujora В» 14.01.2020

It took quite a bit of time to figure out how the cameras wanted to be. For me, it was just trying to maleicent sure going in what the expectations on me transtar be, from the studio maleficent from Robert, and keep adapting to the changes. Maleficent is directed by first-timer Robert Stromberg houston, who had a long career flies visual effects before moving to Art Direction, where his first two outings Avatar and Alice in Wonderland both earned malefixent Academy Awards. That meant creating 40 or 50 different-looking characters, and all kind of families of characters.

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Re: maleficent flies

Postby Vokazahn В» 14.01.2020

First and foremost, as a reference. For example, there are 15 or 16 different types of fairies, and within each of cameras tursunova guzal, there mleficent variations houston them. In addition to Robert and Linda, another member of the team responsible for the success of Alice in Wonderlandnow working again with them on Maleficentis Visual Effects Supervisor Carey Villegastranstar work on Alice in Wonderland in fact netted him an Oscar nomination.

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