Produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, Unbroken tells the harrowing story of WWII Veteran and US Olympian Louis “Louie” Zamperini and his experience of surviving on a raft for 47 days after his bomber was downed in World War II and his subsequent experience as a prisoner of war in various Japanese prison camps.
Animal Logic VFX worked on a total of 320 shots which mainly consisted of CG set extensions, matte painting and composition clean ups.
For this scene we added a CG fence to the left of the characters, CG coal stack pumping out smoke in the background. We also added additional dirt and snow to all the roofs and cliffs and removed Sydney from the far background. In some of the other shots you can see the CG coal barges and cranes that we also added.
For these shots we replaced the entire background and added a 2.5D Matte Painting of Tokyo and the iconic Mt. Fuji as well as a CG bridge that connected Omori to the main land.
This was one of our more challenging shots as we had to change the whole background, basically everything past the actors had to look snow covered and / or bombed out. Our distant Tokyo had to look destroyed with plumes of smoke rising from the bombing and as before we needed to add our CG bridge which they were being marched to. This was a long shot with a big camera move which made the tracking and Roto work on the shot incredibly challenging.
This was probably one of the most exciting shots that we got to do on the film. The whole shot is digitally created, the foreground mountain and train are fully 3D and the background is a 2.5D matte painting. We had a lot of freedom in designing the shot, the brief we were given was that it needed to be both beautiful and ominous at the same time. We got to build, surface and rig a train engine based off an era appropriate Japanese steam engine as well as building replicas of the passenger cars and coal carts used on set from scans. We wanted the camera to feel as though it was shot from a helicopter, the FX snow and smoke added to the speed and sense of realism.
For this scene we needed to add CG cliffs and warehouse buildings to all the backgrounds to make the prisoners feel more boxed in and add tension to their situation. We used a combination of CG and 2.5D Matte Paintings to do this. The cliffs were created by using reference from the cliffs in a different part of the shoot location. The number of actors and the lighting conditions made these challenging shots for both the Roto and Compositing teams.
This was both one of the most exciting and challenging shots we had to deal with on the show. It was one of the first shots we started on and one of the last shots finished. This shot had a bit of everything – we built and surfaced lots of CG assets for the background, we ran lots of smoke simulations and did numerous matte painting and compositing cleanups on the plate, which had to be reprojected in order to extend the camera move. We also had to do various stage photo shoots of our own to create all the rows of dead bodies which were needed in the foreground of the shot. The exact look of these bodies was very important to the director, so this shot evolved and iterated many times.
These shots started with us sending the director images based off research we did about how the ships the Japanese used to transport the POWs looked like. Once we got an approval of the look based off our designs we decided to make a full CG version of the ship as it would be seen from multiple angles and was going to be large in frame. We felt our physically based surfacing and rendering would make it easier to sit the ship into the shots believably. We also created a CG crane because the real one on the set was in an undesirable position and we did a full CG set extension of buildings and street dressing in the distance.