Framestore Provides Skyfall Credit VFX

The stunning Skyfall opening credit sequence by Daniel Kleinman is a seductive and nightmarish summary, interweaving familiar tropes and striking motifs that symbolize James Bond’s rite of passage complemented by Adele’s mournful song. Read how Framestore did the VFX (supervised by William Bartlett).

The four-minute sequence opens underwater as Bond sinks lifelessly into the gloom, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest. Kleinman’s creative direction sends us spiraling on a psychological journey into Bond’s subconscious as he drifts closer and closer to death.

One of the keys to the development of the piece was in keeping a tight, highly experienced core team of 2D and 3D artists. Between these individuals sequences were developed in parallel with regular input from the director.

The CG team had a huge variety of tasks to accomplish spanning 3D environments, fluid simulations, volumetric atmospherics, skulls, gravestones and a complex 3D character. All of which had to be created in a relatively short amount of time.

One of the biggest 3D challenges was the creation of several full 3D volumetric environments such as the heart and skull sequence. This part of the sequence is made up of hundreds of blood veins all pulsating to the shot’s center element — a heart that transforms into a skull.

Not only was it a difficult task to procedurally animate and simulate all the blood veins, the volumetric nature of the shots and the interactive lighting also posed a huge rendering challenge to the team. They  chose Houdini and its renderer Mantra due to its fantastic volumetric rendering capacities.

One of the most complex sequences involved live-action footage and beautiful dancing women to drive a 3D fluid simulation adding to the atmosphere of a classic Bond element, a black and white sequence reminiscent of looking through a kaleidoscope.

One of the most visually stunning scenes — a journey through a graveyard of falling knives and guns — evolved right to the last minute. The piece closes with a dramatic sequence, which sees blood raining from the sky and bleeding gravestones crumble to the sound of Adele’s powerful voice.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, James Bond, Movies, Music, Tech, Trailers, VFX

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