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  • RSP shows its skills in home repairs, magic tricks and sleight of hand in its most ambitious Potter package.

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince not only marked Rising Sun Pictures’ biggest contribution to the venerable Potter franchise, it was among the largest and most challenging projects of any nature undertaken by the studio. A crew of artists worked for 12 months to deliver more than 250 visual effects shot that collectively amounted to nearly 22 minutes of screen time.

    The work represented a breathtaking variety and included shots with hundreds of CG props, fluid simulations, volumetrics, particle effects, character animation, cloth simulations, CG environments, CG set extensions, concept artwork and daunting composites.

    The most significant work involved the introduction of Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), his transformation from “chair” to human form, and the amazing reassembling of his room.  The latter involved approximately 200 CG props, including fragmentary pieces of a grand piano, grandfather clock, a chandelier and a birdcage magically repair themselves in the twinkling of an eye.

    “Everything is broken apart when Harry and Dumbledore enter the room as Slughorn is hiding from the Death Eaters. Dumbledore realizes it’s a spell and counters it by straightening everything out,” recalls Gregory Yepes, Rising Sun’s visual effects supervisor. “Our people did some really clever things for this sequence. There’s a picture frame on the wall that tilts to straighten itself out and that was the only moving practical thing on the set.”

    Everything else moving in the sequence is CG. “Visual Effects Supervisor Tim Burke and Director David Yates gave us the rough boundaries for the sequence and we played with those,” notes Yepes. “It was an overwhelming amount of objects, but we got great reference from Tim and his team that included digital pictures and a catalog of every object in the room.

    “Some of the bigger pieces were cyber scanned. We also had a lighter on set who acquired tracking and camera match-move data. We modeled low-res versions of every prop so that when we started doing animation layout, we could pick elements from a catalogue and apply pre-designated camera moves. That was carefully driven by Tim and David. The whole point was to avoid spending a lot of weeks working on models and textures. There were a lot of layers, especially debris.”

    For Professor Slughorn’s transformation, artists replaced the actor’s body from the next down with a CG body resembling an overstuffed chair. The chair animation combines the flouncy motion of large upholstery with the gestures of the actor.

    Another complex scene involved Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a magic shop specializing in practical jokes. RSP created or enhanced many of the shop’s wares including animated logos for shopping bags, ever-bashing boomerangs (that swing back to repeatedly hit the thrower),  biting teacups (that transform into teeth), pygmy puffs (small, furry pets),  a screaming yo-yo (that shrieks when played with) and Dr. Filibuster’s Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks. The team also produced a small, fire-breathing dragon for a machine that makes roasted nuts.

    In several scenes, Dumbledore’s hand needed to be replaced with a digital element to show how it had turned blackened and withered the result of a horcrux applied by Voldemort. That required careful modeling and extremely fine compositing work to match the muscles and bones of the actor and his subtle hand gestures.

    RSP shows its skills in home repairs, magic tricks and sleight of hand in its most ambitious Potter package.

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince not only marked Rising Sun Pictures’ biggest contribution to the venerable Potter franchise, it was among the largest and most challenging projects of any nature undertaken by the studio. A crew of artists worked for 12 months to deliver more than 250 visual effects shot that collectively amounted to nearly 22 minutes of screen time.

    The work represented a breathtaking variety and included shots with hundreds of CG props, fluid simulations, volumetrics, particle effects, character animation, cloth simulations, CG environments, CG set extensions, concept artwork and daunting composites.

    The most significant work involved the introduction of Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), his transformation from “chair” to human form, and the amazing reassembling of his room.  The latter involved approximately 200 CG props, including fragmentary pieces of a grand piano, grandfather clock, a chandelier and a birdcage magically repair themselves in the twinkling of an eye.

    “Everything is broken apart when Harry and Dumbledore enter the room as Slughorn is hiding from the Death Eaters. Dumbledore realizes it’s a spell and counters it by straightening everything out,” recalls Gregory Yepes, Rising Sun’s visual effects supervisor. “Our people did some really clever things for this sequence. There’s a picture frame on the wall that tilts to straighten itself out and that was the only moving practical thing on the set.”

    Everything else moving in the sequence is CG. “Visual Effects Supervisor Tim Burke and Director David Yates gave us the rough boundaries for the sequence and we played with those,” notes Yepes. “It was an overwhelming amount of objects, but we got great reference from Tim and his team that included digital pictures and a catalog of every object in the room.

    “Some of the bigger pieces were cyber scanned. We also had a lighter on set who acquired tracking and camera match-move data. We modeled low-res versions of every prop so that when we started doing animation layout, we could pick elements from a catalogue and apply pre-designated camera moves. That was carefully driven by Tim and David. The whole point was to avoid spending a lot of weeks working on models and textures. There were a lot of layers, especially debris.”

    For Professor Slughorn’s transformation, artists replaced the actor’s body from the next down with a CG body resembling an overstuffed chair. The chair animation combines the flouncy motion of large upholstery with the gestures of the actor.

    Another complex scene involved Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a magic shop specializing in practical jokes. RSP created or enhanced many of the shop’s wares including animated logos for shopping bags, ever-bashing boomerangs (that swing back to repeatedly hit the thrower),  biting teacups (that transform into teeth), pygmy puffs (small, furry pets),  a screaming yo-yo (that shrieks when played with) and Dr. Filibuster’s Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks. The team also produced a small, fire-breathing dragon for a machine that makes roasted nuts.

    In several scenes, Dumbledore’s hand needed to be replaced with a digital element to show how it had turned blackened and withered the result of a horcrux applied by Voldemort. That required careful modeling and extremely fine compositing work to match the muscles and bones of the actor and his subtle hand gestures.

    Credits & Crew
    Director:
    David Yates
    VFX Producer:
    Emma Norton
    VFX Supervisor:
    Tim Burke
    Rising Sun Pictures:
    Adam Paschke Aeon Henderson Alvin Yap Beck Veitch Ben Dickson Ben Rayner Ben Roberts Ben Warner Ben Campbell Ben Paschke Ben Steele Bhavika Bajpai Bill Collis Brian Ward Carlos Fuensalida Charlotte Loughnane Chris van Dyck Chris Burness Chris King Dan Bethall Dan Wills Dan Thompson Daniel Bryant Danny Lee David Man Dennis Jones Emily Probert Eric Ponton Fred Chapman Gina Chaung Giuliano Vigano Gregory Yepes Gresham Lochner Hunter Parks James Furlong Jennie Zeiher Jenny Wardop Jeremy Kelly-Bakker Jesse Badolis Jun-Eun Kim Lena Scanlan Lianne Forbes Marc Purnell Marco Parenzi Mark Kennedy Martin Ofori Michael Dohne Michael Slater Michaela Danby Nikki Curtis Ohkba Ameziane-Hassani Paris Downes Phil Barrenger Phil Slogget Sam Norman Sam Hancock Sam Hodge Sarah McLauchlan Simon Herden Steve Evans Susan Weeks Thad Diego Tim Kings-Lynne Tim Stern Tony Thorne Tracy Irwin Victor Gluschenko Viviana Palacios Wes Cilldhaire Will Gammon
    Director:
    David Yates
    VFX Producer:
    Emma Norton
    VFX Supervisor:
    Tim Burke
    Rising Sun Pictures:
    Adam Paschke Aeon Henderson Alvin Yap Beck Veitch Ben Dickson Ben Rayner Ben Roberts Ben Warner Ben Campbell Ben Paschke Ben Steele Bhavika Bajpai Bill Collis Brian Ward Carlos Fuensalida Charlotte Loughnane Chris van Dyck Chris Burness Chris King Dan Bethall Dan Wills Dan Thompson Daniel Bryant Danny Lee David Man Dennis Jones Emily Probert Eric Ponton Fred Chapman Gina Chaung Giuliano Vigano Gregory Yepes Gresham Lochner Hunter Parks James Furlong Jennie Zeiher Jenny Wardop Jeremy Kelly-Bakker Jesse Badolis Jun-Eun Kim Lena Scanlan Lianne Forbes Marc Purnell Marco Parenzi Mark Kennedy Martin Ofori Michael Dohne Michael Slater Michaela Danby Nikki Curtis Ohkba Ameziane-Hassani Paris Downes Phil Barrenger Phil Slogget Sam Norman Sam Hancock Sam Hodge Sarah McLauchlan Simon Herden Steve Evans Susan Weeks Thad Diego Tim Kings-Lynne Tim Stern Tony Thorne Tracy Irwin Victor Gluschenko Viviana Palacios Wes Cilldhaire Will Gammon

    RSP was founded in 1995.
    Contact us:

    Level 1, 180 Pulteney Street Adelaide, South Australia 5000 Australia

    +61 8 8400 6400 vfxinfo@rsp.com.au

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    Contact us:

    Level 1, 180 Pulteney Street Adelaide, South Australia 5000 Australia

    +61 8 8400 6400 vfxinfo@rsp.com.au

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