Directed by Justin Lin, Fast Five is the latest installment from the explosive Fast & Furious franchise.
MPC Vancouver’s VFX Supervisor Guillaume Rocheron and VFX Producer Dawn Brooks MacLeod led the team who completed around 240 shots for the action packed, high speed train heist sequence including a CG train, bridge and canyon, digital fire and destruction shots and Paul Walker and Vin Diesel digi doubles.
In Fast Five, former cop Brian O’Conner (Walker) partners with ex-con Dom Toretto (Diesel) in a very unfamiliar place: the opposite side of the law in exotic Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Elsa Pataky joins Johnson and returning favorites Jordana Brewster, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang and Don Omar in an ultimate high-stakes heist.
The main challenge for MPC Vancouver’s team was to create a digital high speed train which would be used to extend the practical one, adding a high speed engine and additional passenger cars as well as building an entirely CG train for a number of shots where camera angles made it impossible to shoot. Our shading team developed complex shaders that would accurately simulate the different metal reflection qualities and dustiness across the train’s surface, so that the CG and practical train could blend seamlessly.
MPC also created full digital doubles of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel for some of the digital stunt shots and 3D face replacements.
The final sequence features our heroes jumping from a bridge into a deep canyon. The team built the CG bridge using high resolution references taken from another location, while the structure of the bridge had to be adjusted to connect it with the canyon. The canyon, which was also completely CG, was created as 2.5D matte paintings, using guide photo references of “Marble Canyon” in Arizona.
MPC’s FX department created high resolution volumetric dust that would cut back to back with practical shots as well as complex digital fire and destruction effects for when the truck crashes into the bridge and tumbles behind the car, forcing our heroes to jump into the canyon.
Finally, making full use of our Nuke 3D pipeline, our compositors created animated background stitches that were used to add in the desert environment on the green-screen shots. Having the ability to use 3D cameras and perspective adjustments enabled the team to marry the green screen and BG plate photography seamlessly.