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29/05/2009

Eyeon Fusion Used Extensively On Dragonball: Evolution

An award-winning compositing application from eyeon Software, Fusion, has played a key role in creating the visual effects of Twentieth Century Fox's Dragonball: Evolution, directed by James Wong.
Winnipeg-based Frantic Films VFX contributed 334 visual effects shots to the film, with VFX supervisors Chad Wiebe and Mike Shand overseeing the work from the company's Vancouver and Winnipeg facilities, respectively.
According to Wiebe: "Frantic has had a working relationship with eyeon Software for nearly 10 years. I've been here nearly that long and have used Fusion almost exclusively. Fusion works really well from a production standpoint. It enables artists to share tools and ideas among multiple offices. Tools from within a Fusion comp can be copied out in an XML format, and sent through email to quickly share ideas."
Dragonball: Evolution is based on the popular Japanese comic book series created by Akira Toriyama, whose work spawned best-selling graphic novels, video games and a phenomenally successful television series. The live-action adventure centres on a team of warriors, each of who possesses special abilities. Together, they protect Earth from a force bent on dominating the Universe and controlling the mystical objects from which the film takes its name.
Wiebe explained that one scene in particular - a battle scene around a lake of lava - became one of the biggest challenges. The characters - Goku and the Fulum Assassins had to be able to interact fully with the environment.
Wiebe said: "The lava lake sequence as a whole presented significant challenges for the Vancouver team, as it was an integration of a number of different visual effects with varying degrees of complexity. Shots where we had creature interacting with the lava lake proved to be especially challenging in terms of compositing."
For the sequence, Frantic provided on-set VFX supervision in Durango, Mexico. Artists at Frantic's Vancouver facility designed a digital environment, including mountainscape and a molten lava lake complete with lava falls and crust, with rocks and debris swirling about.
He said: "In addition to the degree of realism required, the shots also needed to maintain continuity with the practical elements, while holding up to a significant degree of colour correction. The original practical lava lake set did not meet with studio approval, so in order to save the sequence from being cut, it underwent a significant transformation, from a physical plywood and sprayfoam set, built out in the Mexican desert, into a digital labyrinth of smoke and ash that was ultimately used in the theatrical release."
Joanne Dicaire, Director of Sales and Marketing at eyeon Software, said: "The reward for developing visual effects technology is seeing the spectacular results created by talented artists. The big screen magic drives visual effects companies, and consequently eyeon to create the necessary tools. We congratulate the team at Frantic for their outstanding work on Dragonball: Evolution."
Further information is available at: www.eyeonline.com.
(KMcA/BMCC)
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