BOT VFX added a dash of their digital magic to the extreme skydiving, jetskiing, fistfighting action in xXx: Return of Xander Cage through their work on over 80 visual effects shots. Third in the xXx series, xXx: Return of Xander Cage follows (obviously) Xander Cage (Vin Diesel), in his adventures as a criminal turned government secret agent. Cage in this outing gathers a team of equally badass cohorts in order to rescue a stolen government super weapon, from villain Xiang (Donnie Yen).
Working with Academy Award winning VFX shop PIXOMONDO, BOT VFX assisted in two challenging sequences. The first was a fight sequence inside a cargo plane and the following sequence where Cage plummets to the earth sans parachute.
In the fight sequence BOT’s artists were tasked with removing the rigs and stunt harnesses attached to each actor using digital paint, in order to make the characters appear to be in freefall inside the plane. While painting out the rigs, the artists ran into obstacles in matching the grain. To overcome this BOT developed an in-house tool in Nuke to match the grain with the plate, which was essential for delivering on time. Adding to the complexity was the clothing itself. Maintaining the intricate camouflage patterns of soldiers and Cage’s jacket was a difficult and time consuming experience.
In the following sequence Cage jumps out of the jet holding a crate containing a parachute, BOT had the challenge of matching greenscreen shots with stunt worked filmed thousands of feet above. BOT artists successfully overcame this challenge as they meticulously painted out the stunt rigs and harnesses in each frame and applied rotoscopy on Cage himself extracting him from the greenscreen.
The team solely used the Foundry’s Nuke for Rotoscopy, using it to match motion blurs and defocus edges on the mattes. Photoshop was used in digital paint shots that required frame by frame attention while Nuke and Mocha Pro were used on more procedural tracking shots.
Department Head, Saravanan Sala, stated that “while facing challenges with matching perspective and parallax for the show; our creative team gained confidence handling the large amount of shots recreating the actors amongst all their rigging.”
BOT VFX is proud of their part in helping to create the world of Xander Cage in his latest frenetic action adventure film and is looking forward to another sequel.