Had a discussion with my friend James McQuaide recently about I, FRANKENSTEIN - he's Executive Producer and Visual Effects Supervisor on the movie and let me tell you this guy knows his stuff. Last time I saw him was on the set of UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING where he took me under his wing and even showed me his complex previz material for UA on an iPad. Then I had the distinct pleasure in watching them shoot what I just saw in concept.
3D is very important to James and to that end they are again implementing LIDAR (also used on UA) to accurately capture the sets of the I, FRANKENSTEIN production. I saw how they use LIDAR first hand on UA, sweeping around in a 360 degree fashion and digitally representing everything. They move the machine around to various locations on the set to capture all angles of objects too of course. The point is, Prime Focus (who are the 3D post-production conversion house for IF) will not only have the 2D footage to work with but also the LIDAR data, allowing for them to literally see behind objects on set and accurately apply depth. LIDAR not only provides 3D geometric information, but also RGB which can all be applied on the 2D optical image for post-production.
Says James on LIDAR: "Loved it so much that we purchased a Faro Focus 3D (which we used daily on IF)."
I firmly believe this is the future of 3D conversion - LIDAR or some derivative. Mark my words.
Continues James: "We shot and posted it all in Australia (including all VFX). Think it's pretty great. Comes out in January. We're in the process of converting it with Prime Focus and it's looking very good. All of the VFX facilities have provided layers, effects, etc. to ensure that the 3D is spot-on - we have quite a few enormous VFX shots that would be a nightmare to convert without elements. We also LIDAR-ed most every set which is, again, aiding the accuracy of the conversion."
"...Prime Focus has the advantage of working on a picture that is not in flux; they've been working for months now and have (1-2 months) still to go; it was an imperative before we committed to the conversion that there was sufficient time; I, FRANKENSTEIN is a terrific picture and deserves the kind of conversion quality that only time can buy."
By the way, they're already talking about an I, FRANKENSTEIN sequel so I'm expecting Lionsgate is very happy with the results thus far. Can't wait to see it! More when I get it.
Stay tuned for the upcoming I, FRANKENSTEIN trailer dropping on Friday!
I. FRANKENSTEIN opens in 3D on January 24, 2014.
Image Source: Machinima