Last week, Vincent Cirelli and his team at Luma Pictures spoke about their work for THE AVENGERS. This time, they explain their involvement on the movie that marks the return to SF for Ridley Scott: PROMETHEUS.

How did Luma Pictures get involved on this show?
Payam Shohadai, Executive VFX Supervisor and Luma Co-Founder // We were introduced to VFX Producer Allen Maris a few years ago and PROMETHEUS was the first opportunity that arose to collaborate. We also have a great relationship with FOX, having worked on several of their films.

How did you collaborate with Production VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers?
Vincent Cirelli, VFX Supervisor // Richard gave clear concise notes and was a pleasure to work with.

What have you done on this movie?
Vincent Cirelli, VFX Supervisor // We worked on the hologram volumes in the sequence in which Holloway comes into Shaw’s quarters of the ship to make up and give her a rose.

How did you design the hologram?
Richard Sutherland, CG Supervisor // We received reference of what the design should look like from the art department. Along with design reference, we also received the footage that needed to be projected into our fluid volume.

Can you explain to us in detail the creation of the hologram?
Vincent Cirelli, VFX Supervisor // For scenes in which the actor was partially inside the volume of the hologram, we were faced with creating detailed holdout geometry and matchmoves of the actors, so they would integrate properly within the CG fluid.

Richard Sutherland, CG Supervisor // To create the look of the distortion field for this hologram shot, we used FumeFX for Maya, which we recently worked with Sitni Sati to implement. PROMETHEUS was the perfect testbed for this new fluid based tool.

How did you manage the interaction with the character and the rose going through the hologram?
Richard Sutherland, CG Supervisor // We created models for the actor and rose, then matchmoved them into place. This allowed us to create a proper distortion field around the geometry, in addition to data passes that could be used inside of Nuke to create a believable falloff of light emission.

Can you tell us more about the CG fluid?
Vincent Cirelli, VFX Supervisor // Our developers worked with Sitni Sati to create a Maya version of the FumeFX solver. We were able to create a volume inside of Maya, rendered through Arnold, then comped in Nuke.

How did you create the distortion field?
Richard Sutherland, CG Supervisor // The distortion field is a combination of turbulence in the fluid volume and some complementary Nuke tricks.

Have you collaborated with other vendors to have the same hologram aspects?
Vincent Cirelli, VFX Supervisor // Yes, we were provided certain elements such as the HUD and various reference, although the final look of this particular effect was unique to this scene.

What was the biggest challenge on this project and how did you achieve it?
Richard Sutherland, CG Supervisor // The biggest challenge on the film was integrating a light-emitting hologram with lighting that was shot practically.

Ridley Scott’s return to SF is something highly anticipated. What was your feeling to be part of it?
Vincent Cirelli, VFX Supervisor // As you can imagine, it was very exciting to be a part of PROMETHEUS. Many of Ridley’s films have inspired our career paths.

A big thanks for your time.


Luma Pictures: Dedicated page about PROMETHEUS on Luma Pictures website.

© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2012

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