Burbank, CA (15. August 2011) – CoSA VFX, a boutique visual effects facility specializing in feature films and television, contributed 30 stereo VFX shots to the spectacular opening action sequence of Final Destination 5. The project allowed CoSA to reprise their longstanding relationships with Senior VFX Supervisor Ariel Shaw and VFX Producer Greg Baxter, who awarded CoSA a series of stereo composites using both CG and live action backgrounds.
The sequence takes place on a collapsing suspension bridge, modeled after the Lion’s Gate Bridge in Vancouver, BC. “We play well with others,” says CoSA VFX Producer Joseph Bell, “The bridge environment had already been built by Prime Focus. We were able to import it into our pipeline, and render out backgrounds for our shots without much back and forth. Our shots cut right up against theirs in the finished film.”
The bridge was handed to CoSA as a CG model, which CoSA rendered in stereo using Luxology's Modo. "Modo allows us to very quickly start rendering CG assets with a high degree of photorealism," says CG Lead David Beedon. Trees, mountains, and skies were supplied as 2D elements, which CoSA layered in depth around the CG bridge to create a convincing stereo environment.
"One of our shots features a character looking out of the window of what was supposed to be a moving bus," relates CoSA VFX Supervisor Christopher Lance. "The bus had been parked in front of a green screen, and filmed with a dolly moving backwards past the window." CoSA tracked the shot using SynthEyes, reversing the tracking data to render realistic CG reflections of the bridge that were composited into the bus windows. "The reflections really sell that the bus is moving past a static camera, not vice versa."
CoSA upgraded their stereo pipeline for Final Destination 5, leveraging Nuke and Ocula to meet the exacting standards of the visual effects unit and director Steve Quale. According to Lance, "Ocula helped us take a giant leap toward the director's goals for the sequence. At the same time, there were a fair amount of vertical alignment, depth grading and color issues that needed to be dialed in by our artists to deliver the superior results that Ariel and Steve were looking for."