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21/01/2009

LipSync Post Creates Magical VFX For 'The Secret Of Moonacre'

LipSync Post has completed the DI and 70 VFX shots for the forthcoming feature film 'The Secret of Moonacre'.
Directed by Gabor Csupo ('Bridge to Terabithia'), the film tells the story of a 13-year-old's adventure into a magical world from which she must banish an ancient curse.
The majority of LipSync's work focused on a mystical string of 'moon pearls' that are key to the film's plot.
The film's VFX Supervisor, Sean Farrow, whom LipSync had worked with on the feature film '1408', brought in an idea for the pearl effect that he had created in After Effects.
LipSync took his idea and developed it in Shake to create a glow and sparkle effect. Each of the 27 pearls had its own individual glow treatment and the LipSync team worked out a very tight pipeline to track and tweak each one to provide a consistent look across the 20 scenes in which they appear.
Tom Collier, VFX Supervisor, LipSync, said: "Once the look of the pearls was approved, it was a fairly smooth process on each shot. However, there was one scene where one of the actors plays quite vigorously with the beads, twisting them through his hands - the tracking on that scene was a challenge!"
Additional glows were added to the studs on the cover of a magic book that appears throughout the film, along with a gold leaf effect to create an ancient look.
LipSync also animated a (sleeping) hedgehog, twitching its nose and making its breathing more obvious and removed the brand from a horse that was to become a unicorn. Other effects included cleaning up time-lapse footage and removing modern objects such as lighting, aerials, CCTV cameras and crew reflections.
Sean Farrow, VFX Supervisor on 'The Secret of Moonacre', said: "LipSync provided us with a set of shots which frankly could have been show killers had we not cooperatively come up with an inventive creative solution to make them work on screen, on schedule and within the limited budget.
"I would like to compliment the LipSync team on their extraordinarily high level of QC. It was only a handful of shots, but they were all accomplished with consummate professionalism and very little fuss."
Stefan Drury, Head of VFX, LipSync Post, said: "We started with 13 effects on this film but they liked our work so much that we ended up with 70! Having worked with Sean (Farrow) on '1408', we know the way he does things and he likes coming to LipSync, so it made this project even more of a pleasure."
Stuart Fyvie completed the DI process on the film using Quantel iQ Pablo. One of the main challenges was to ensure that the many moonlit sequences looked magical rather than dark and scary.
In addition, the grade balanced seasonal changes to create a consistent look, despite shooting in a variety of weather and light conditions.
'The Secret of Moonacre' is distributed by Warner Bros Pictures and is due for release in the UK on February 6th.
(KMcA/BMcC)
VMI.TV Ltd

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