Ridley Scott movie ‘The Martian’ has already grossed over $100 Million on the box office and still going strong. One of the trump cards is its incredible visual effects. Enjoy VFX before and after images of the movie.
The Martian is the story of the astronaut Mark Watney, performed by Matt Damon, who landed on the planet Mars during a manned mission. He is presumed dead by his colleagues as the storm separates him on the planet from rest of the crew. Lonely Mark has to survive in undesirable environment of the Mars and need to send back the message to the Earth that he is still alive. The movie is based on Andy Weir’s The Martian novel.
As per the typical Hollywood block buster movie, major live action shooting of the movie is shot against green screen which are replaced in post production by high octane VFX effects. Check out VFX before and after pictures at the end of this article. Korda Studios, Budapest has witnessed the principal shooting. Some plates were shot at Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan. The major post production of the motion picture is done at MPC. Many of the video special effects were achieved during the shooting to help in the post.
Production VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers and MPC VFX Supervisors Anders Langlands and Tim Ledbury delivered 425 visual effects shots. The post production studio was involved in the film making process from pre-production only. They used Mars archives of NASA to shoot the best possible location with convincing look and feel of the environment. The perfect moon environment and tint are achieved in the post production.
Both the leading post productions and video effects software, Blackmagic Design Fusion and The Foundry NUKE were used for VFX compositing in the post production pipeline to create stunning visual effects.
- Prime Focus World got 15 minutes of stereo work. They use their in house award winning product View-D Conversion pipeline with Fusion Studio. The senior stereo supervisor Richard Baker and his immensely talented visual effects artists team converted 200 shots of The Martian into stereo. The biggest challenge for them was to match their stereo output with native stereo shooting. Having worked extensively on Gravity, they nailed it perfectly. One of the hardest things to crack was to extract details of reflections and refractions from the space suit helmet. To do so, they used the actual 3D face and geometry to create depth map and later to combine it with proper rotos in View D pipeline.
- MPC worked on The NUKE in their VFX pipeline. Lev Kolobov, 2D Supervisor, invented the tool named EarthToMars (ETM). It finds all the blue tints from the live action plate with preserving the haze details of the mountains and re grading them for the Mars look and feel. To create 3D assets and simulations, MPC used VFX software like Autodesk Maya and Side Effects Houdini respectively. To achieve the reflections on the helmet, they use various digital doubles via tracking and seamless compositing.
Given below are detailed VFX before and after breakdown and making of The Martian. Some are standard green screen or chroma shooting. On the advance level, various camera rigs were created. They were of both the kinds – on screen and off screen. It helps to narrate the directors vision without any limitations of physical camera shooting. A huge number of live action plates were replaced with cg set extensions for breath taking camera movements. Body doubles of Matt Damon used on various shots. This movie stands strong in the VFX movies list. The visual effects shooting was heavily dependent on the previs by The Third Floor.
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The following VFX before and after images are curated from fxguide. For in-depth technical details, check out official fxguide post on the VFX of The Martian.