Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pixion VFX adds punch to Golmaal Returns

This festive season, Golmaal Returns, the sequel to the popular comedy flick Golmaal opened to audiences all over. Adding to box office success of the movie is the visual effects and CG work conceived and executed by Mumbai-based VFX major Pixion.

Directed by Rohit Shetty, the film stars Ajay Devgan, Tusshar Kapoor and Arshad Warsi, reprising their roles, and Shreyas Talpade in the role originally played by Sharman Joshi. Kareena Kapoor, Anjana Sukhani, Amrita Arora and Celina Jaitley were new additions to the cast. Produced by Dhillin Mehta under the Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision banner, the film released on October 29, 2008.

Pixion’s mandate for Golmaal Returns included close to 425 VFX shots, right from green screen shots, CG insertions, CG environment creation, Wire/Rig Removals, Multi Plate Composites and Sky Replacements, with around 55 artists chasing a tough deadline of three months.

Interesting Shots:
Songs: The Title sequence and the song ‘Tha Kar Ke‘ involved extensive work by Pixion. There were as many as about 125 shots in both these songs alone. As the actors were standing, sleeping on the bikes, all bikes in the songs were rigged to a great extent.

Sleeping act on a moving bike: The studio had to show as if the bikes were running by themselves without any support. High resolution pictures were taken of the bike from all the angles for texture references. In couple of the shots the studio recreated the whole bike in CG and composited it seamlessly photo real. These were multi layered composites with as many as 20 plus layers.

Yacht sequence:
There is a three minutes yacht sequence which was completely shot against green screen and Pixion had to recreate the sea environment. Green screen was replaced by CG sea and sky taking care of the horizon, perspective and scale. There was lot of match moving involved in this sequence.

The requirement was to show it as a fantasy sequence in the film. So, there are CG dolphins flying all over the yacht. Even the colour scheme was desaturated with little blue tone to make it look like a moon-lit fantasy sequence.

Pixion team has worked on digital sky replacements in the film which again involves extensive match move, rotoscopy and seamless compositing.

Creative challenges:

Pixion VFX Supervisor Naveen Paul said, “As we were totally involved from the preliminary stage, we were more organized in terms of planning of a particular VFX shot. Our team was actively involved in the VFX shoot supervision too.”

“Rohit Shetty, the director, is very talented and has made sure that he conveyed his visual requirements in depth. He was open to ideas and always encouraged us which helped us to give in our best. We first made a storyboard on some of the complicated sequences for his approvals and value additions. Later, we presented him with rough animatics and accordingly planned the shoot which further eased our final execution,” he added.

Experience and other confronts:
Added Naveen, “It’s been a great experience working on Golmaal Returns. We had a very short deadline on this project. It was quite challenging to complete the shots in time keeping quality as the highest and only priority.”

Added Pixion CEO Naresh Malik,“It takes a lot to convince a director, cinematographer or producer that we have it in us to be able to deliver his mind’s vision. We are fortunate to have a very healthy, trust based relation with the team of Golmaal Returns lead by the director. We have had, in the past, an opportunity to be associated with him on another film and we look forward to working together again. We thank the entire team of Golmaal Returns for the honour that they bestowed on us by allowing us to be a part of their film.”