MPC Film’s team on Shane Black’s reinvention of the Predator series was led by VFX Supervisors Richard Little and Arundi Asregadoo, creating 500 shots for the movie. The majority of the work required hero animation for the Upgraded Predator and additional work included the Predator Dogs, FX effects and a CG swamp environment.
MPC Film’s Character Lab department modeled, sculpted and textured the Upgrade and Predator Dogs to a high level of detail, allowing the director to have flexibility to view close ups, if needed. Technical Animation applied movement to the muscle system and added the flowing motion to the dreadlocks on all of the film’s hero alien characters, an integral part of the Predator’s aesthetic in the franchise.
MPC’s artists also created photo realistic Predator One and digital double mercenary characters for the film. 64 other assets were created, ranging from stones and sticks for the swamp floor, to grenades, a grenade launcher and bombs.
MPC’s artists also worked on the scene where the Upgrade’s dogs are sent out to hunt the Predator. The sequence was shot on a blue screen stage and on location. The Digital Environments team built a 360-degree baseball field matching the location shoot, from reference photography. Creating simple geometry and re-projecting the textures helped create a realistic environment.
Once the Upgrade tracks down the ‘fugitive’ Predator the fight begins. To create the scene MPC used a mixture of the live action Predator, intercut with it’s full CG Predator. The battle culminates with the Upgrade ripping the head and spine away from the body of the Fugitive. The FX and Tech Anim team also added green Predator blood into the mix, amplifying the gore factor.
In the Hunt Scene, the band of misfit heroes trap the Upgrade and set the ultimate hunter alight. This sequence was technically challenging for the Animation, Lighting and FX team who worked very closely to create a convincing Upgrade, appearing on fire.
For the final battle, MPC Film’s digital environments artists created a full CG swamp where the Upgrade’s ship crash-lands. The team was tasked with matching the set and creating a 360-degree CG set extension with FX water.
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