Allan McKay – Live Action Series – Term 3

Author Alex
Allan McKay – Live Action Series – Term 3

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FX Term 3 – Scanners – Head Explosion Sequence

This term is only a couple of shots but had to be done. For those not familiar with ‘Scanners’ the movie, there is an iconic practical special effects shot of someone’s head exploding. As grueseome as this sounds, this is a chance to do soft body and cloth simulations, fluid simulations of liquid, as well as wet map shaders, skin sub-surface scattering shaders, rendering and integration. There is so much that goes into this but this is a chance to do some really amazing effects.

What we do as our own unique challenge is creating a real news-anchor set, having only a greenscreen shot of our talent speaking and performing, and creating the digital set and setting everything up – after which with our provided 3D matchmove of our talent, we develop our initial head explosion animation, creating a realistic simulation of the skin tearing open and chunks of flesh exploding out. Our focus is on getting our animation locked before we proceed with the blood, brain and other effects. After which we move into lighting and shading our shot creating realistic skin shaders as well as focusing on integrating and switching from the live action talent in our plate, to our CG character seamlessly.

Throughout comp, we want to lock these elements down 100% before we move onto creating our liquid effects. Both soft body simulation of brain matter, as well as creating all of the liquid effects, to be a high pressure high velocity blood explosion. Later we create blood mist effects, as well as wet maps where-ever blood comes in contact, to create marks of blood on the skin, as well as body, and surrounding areas on set. We create any additional effects and balance everything in comp. What we’re aiming for is a completely photoreal shot of our talent gruesomely exploding into blood guts and brain!

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