Fido Film Use REALVIZ MatchMover Pro & ImageModeler for Their Effects Work on Swedish Vampire Film, 'Frostbiten'

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Last Updated: June 21, 2006 4:33 pm GMT
(Sophia Antipolis, France - June 21, 2006) Fido Film is one of Scandinavia's leading visual effects studios, producing both practical and digital effects, for use in feature films and commercials. In January 2006, the Company completed their work on 'Frostbiten' by Anders Banke, Sweden's very first vampire feature film.


Following its release in February of this year, the film has since gone on to take the Fantasporto 2006 Grand Prix Best Film Award at Portugal's largest film festival, dedicated to science fiction- and fantasy film.

"Frostbiten is Sweden's very first vampire feature film," explains Janak Thakker, VFX Supervisor/Lead Animator at Fido Film "and something truly unique in the Scandinavian film industry, especially in terms of visual effects. The project provided us with many exciting challenges ranging from digital face replacements and digital make-up, to full CG creatures."

"The director wanted to enhance the actors' performances beyond what is possible with traditional make up," continues Thakker. "The initial idea was that the vampires would have their "standard" mode and an "attack mode". The standard vampire state would be traditional make up and prosthetics, and the attack mode would start out as the standard mode. Then, to make the transformations really expressive, they would go over to a digitally enhanced effect where we would have complete freedom over what the attack mode would look like. All of the vfx were there to push the story further than anything that had been done before in Scandinavian filmmaking. It was also very important that the digital effects would be there for a reason and not just for the sake of cool effects."

"Fido Film were brought in early on in the production as we were not only the lead vfx-facility, but also one of several co-producers of the movie," continues Thakker. "The shoot took place in Kalix in northern Sweden and Ystad down in the south. In Kalix we shot exteriors and interiors. All of the exteriors were shot at night with the temperature crawling down to around minus 20 degrees Celsius. At times the cameras broke down due to the cold... fortunately for us all of the VFX-shots were scheduled for the beginning of each take so they were usually taken care of before it got too cold! In Ystad we worked on sets, so there we had more control over the shots, even though time was always a concern, as the production deadline came closer and closer."

"We used REALVIZ MatchMover Pro for all of our tracking work throughout the movie. Most of the work was tracking people's faces so that we could replace and enhance them digitally. We also had a bunch of talking dog shots and a corridor chase scene featuring a CG creature. All of this was tracked using MatchMover Pro as well. For all of the facial replacements and talking dog shots we had been on set making sure that we had enough tracking markers positioned on the actors' and animals' faces to make sure that MatchMover would be able to track their performances."

"The tracking was solved by making a 3d-reference object in REALVIZ ImageModeler, based on notes from the shoot with measurement references, matching the tracking markers on the actor's face as closely as possible. With one vertice at every tracking marker correctly placed in 3d-space we could then use this mesh in MatchMover Pro with the "elastics" tool to lock the 3d-mesh to the actor's movement. This track was then brought into Maya where we could do some additional adjustments and tweaks where needed."

"ImageModeler and MatchMover Pro work really well together. Since Fido Film has some history with the REALVIZ products, they also fit seamlessly into our production pipe-line as well. The ease of use and the ability to get total control over the tracking is one of the key features that were really crucial to completing the tracking on a very tight time schedule. Although we did notice that the software performed somewhat better on shots with complex movements with some manual supervising of the tracking, than on simple automatic tracking situations."

"We learned a lot about the crucial do's and don'ts when working with complex tracking and camera matching, such as when and where to use "three dimensional"-tracking markers, and when just plain "2d"-markers would do the job. Other than that I feel that all of the people involved grew with the challenges that came our way, and ultimately conquered them and pushed everything just a little bit further all the time as well. In the end I believe the entire production felt that we delivered beyond what anyone had expected with concerns to budget and time limitations," concludes Thakker.

To find out more, visit: http://www.realviz.com/products/showcase.php?product=mpro&id=63 or http://www.frostbiten.se/eng/index_main.html

About MatchMover Pro 4
REALVIZ MatchMover Pro is the professional way to track 3D camera data and motion from videos and film sequences, providing the ease of automatic tracking, with the precision control matchmoving professionals demand. Considered by many post-production professionals as a key tool in their armory, MatchMover Pro has been selected by hundreds of studios worldwide, including leading production and effects houses such as The Orphanage, Inc, Cinesite, Framestore CFC, Sony Picture Imageworks, Warner Brothers Animation, Electronic Arts, Duran Duboi and many others.

About ImageModeler 4
REALVIZ ImageModeler is the solution to measure and create 3D scenes using photographs. Using advanced algorithms, ImageModeler extracts 3D information from stills to help you measure the 3D space created and construct accurate 3D models with highly realistic textures. The resulting model can be exported in your favorite authoring package.

REALVIZ technology has been used to create stunning visual effects in many other recent major movies, including: 'V for Vendetta', 'Lord of War', 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', 'Sin City', 'Kung Fu Hustle', 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', 'The Day After Tomorrow' and 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow', as well as the forthcoming 'Superman Returns'.

For further information on ImageModeler & MatchMover Pro, go to: http://www.realviz.com

About Fido Film
Fido Film is one of Scandinavia's leading visual effects studios, producing both practical and digital effects, primarily for use in feature films and commercials. With a core staff of 12 creative minds, Fido Film specializes in character development and animation. Fido Film's objective is to combine proprietary technology and world-class creative talent to create the best possible FX solutions their international clientele. www.fido.se

About REALVIZ
REALVIZ is a leading developer of image based creation software based in Sophia Antipolis, France, with satellite sales offices in Los Angeles, London and Paris. REALVIZ develops a suite of image-based content creation solutions for the film, broadcast, gaming, digital imaging, architecture and Internet communities. Derived from years of research efforts at the renowned INRIA Lab in France, the company's applications enable 2D and 3D artists to easily and cost-effectively tackle complex digital imaging projects. REALVIZ' award-winning products are used by thousands of professional photographers, as well as leading production and effects houses, web design, game development and architectural companies worldwide, including Boeing, Daimler Chrysler, The Orphanage, Inc, Cinesite, Framestore CFC, Sony Imageworks, Warner Brothers Animation, Electronic Arts, Duran Duboi and many others.

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