Helicopter Film Services has launched a Typhon 6 Camera Array combining six ARRI ALEXA Minis.

The Typhon 6 Array is designed to enable both aerial and ground-based filming of sequences where a particularly wide field of vision is required, enabling subsequent production of the kind of cutting edge VFX sequences for which the UK is known.

The six ARRI ALEXA Mini cameras are mounted in a Shotover K1 system to shoot plates that can then be stitched together in post production.

Oliver Ward, Chief Technical Officer at HFS, said: “We’ve created the Typhon to meet ever greater need from VFX for a stabilised Array, primarily based around the ARRI Alexa camera, using industry standard prime lenses such as the 24mm LDS Zeiss Ultra Prime.”

Tim Wellspring, Unit Production Manager on Paddington 2, said: “We’ve had a first use with the Typhon 6 Mini Array on the Shotover K1, and it works beautifully. The shoots we have done on Paddington 2 were loved by the VFX team and everyone else involved.”

Glen Pratt at Framestore is the Visual Effects Supervisor on Paddington 2. He said: “Obviously, the more pixels we have, the better. The Typhon Array gives us a huge field of view – its vertical field of view is particularly big. Having a larger field of view gives us a better sense of the environment you’re moving through, and also means that within the frame, there are a lot of areas of interest that can act as a background for areas you’ve shot before. The Typhon array can also be used for a photogrammetry aspect, so you can run at a slower frame rate with a hard shutter (i.e. no motion), to build this large field of view in order to create a successful piece of tracking geometry. Only a super-stable system can allow the use of this frame rate/shutter.”

Pratt continued: “Having this array also brings plenty of benefits when creating any CG fields on top of what we’ve already shot. When creating a wholly graphic environment, it gives you a very thorough starting point, which means you can reduce the number of CG builds, so there’s less work required in post production. This, in turn, means less pressure on budgets and schedules, and more time to finesse the work. Given the schedules and tight turnarounds of big VFX productions, an array such as the Typhon 6 system is hugely advantageous.” 

Dan DeLeeuw, Visual Effects Supervisor on Avengers: Infinity War, said: “Arrays such as this are great for capturing as much image data as possible during a single pass of the camera, which helps relieve pressure on the filming schedule.”

The Typhon 6 Array can also be configured to incorporate other cameras, such as the latest RED HELIUM.

Jeremy Braben, Founder of HFS, said: “We were tasked by visual effects departments to create this array, as we’re seeing an increased need for capturing a larger frame in one go. There’s a distinct artistic advantage to getting some shots with these arrays, but until now, they have just been part of the VFX wish list. We’re excited to be bringing the Typhon array to major forthcoming feature productions.”

Staff Reporter

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