MPC VFX Supervisor Guillaume Rocheron and VFX Producer Genevieve West led the team, delivering over 110 shots in native stereo.
MPC's main areas of work included creating two massive storm sequences: the sinking of Pi's cargo ship The Tsimtsum, and the Storm of God, the dramatic climax to Pi's journey aboard his marooned lifeboat. Other work included animating over 20 panicked animals aboard the sinking ship, creating a CG lizard, hornbill and Cassowaries for the opening titles and the first shots of Pi leaving India on board The Tsimtsum.
This reel is an abridged selection of the many visual effects PLANET X FX created for 'De Scheepsjongens van Bontekoe' ('The Ship-boy of Bontekoe').
During a 4 month period all the 3D and 2D components necessary to bring the 17th century East India Company ship to life were created. An entire 3D replica of the 'Nieuw Hoorn' formed the basis for many shots depicting the ship on open stormy seas practically impossible to shoot on a set.
With photo realism being the main goal, the ship was constructed from scratch using the original blueprints of the Batavia. Also the tiniest motions and behaviors of the entire rigging and sails were set up using special dynamic systems. The same goes for the turbulent swells on which some of the stormy scenes take place: a 3D sea was custom designed for this project.
Also in the field of 2D composting a significant contribution was made. Apart from processing the entire 3D share a significant effort went into matte-paintings, various removals, day for-night-shots and the adding of several elements to the 2D track.
A green screen shoot was especially set up for post production. In this shot several actors climbed in to a mock mast with rigging so that they could be superimposed on to the background in the 3D scenes featuring the ship. Thus further obscuring the boundaries between life-action and computer generated.
The press especially was extremely positive about the total look and visual effects in the movie:
'The special effects used to unleash a gigantic storm on the silver screen have an international allure'
'Reality has its boundaries, even though you don't notice it as a member of the audience. The storms that ravage the Batavia are beautiful just as the drowning scenes'
'With the help of impressive visual effects the ship has to withstand cape storms, scurvy, corporal punishment and fires on its voyage to the east indies'