From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team – the Guardians of the Galaxy, starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and featuring Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket and Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot.
James Gunn directs this action-packed, epic space adventure, which expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand with the galaxy's fate in the balance.
Prime Focus World created stereo 3D for approximately 30 minutes of Guardians of the Galaxy, included the climactic sky battle in which the Guardians must battle Ronan to protect the Earth-like planet of Xandar. Prime Focus teams in London and Mumbai were led by Senior Stereo Supervisor Richard Baker and SVP, Production Matthew Bristowe, and Marvel Production Supervisor Evan Jacobs met early with Richard to discuss the stereo look of the newest Marvel film. Guardians pushed Marvel to go further with VFX than they had previously, but that also meant a short window to complete the conversion to 3D. Thankfully, the latest technology Prime Focus had developed across shows such as Edge of Tomorrow and Maleficent helped to ensure that the team could move quickly with high quality results.
The team worked in close collaboration with Marvel on ways to enhance the stereo, including the introduction of more depth within the many environments seen in the film, as well as stereo particle effects. The care and attention to detail put into the conversion has paid off, with Scott Mendelson of Forbes magazine describing the work as “some of the most crystal-clear 3D work I’ve seen this side of Avatar”.
“With the introduction of new characters to Marvel’s cinematic universe, they were able to push the stereo in a slightly different direction,” said Richard Baker. The team received cyber scans of each of the main characters, allowing them to generate head geometry for the entire main cast. “With Guardians of the Galaxy it is all about the characters. They are the real stars of the movie, and Marvel was very keen to make sure that each of the characters looked fantastic all the time.”
“Marvel was a great partner for making sure we had all the references, such as the cyber scans and VFX elements, that we needed,” added Matthew Bristowe. “They were really open and collaborative. They invited and allowed full input across all levels from senior creative staff to coordinators all communicating—it was really great and really exciting.”
The Prime Focus team also used its hybrid stereo pipeline to manage VFX elements being converted into 3D for the film. The pipeline allows the stereo team to communicate with VFX vendors and share data back and forth to create high quality stereo VFX elements, such as the Xandar fighter jets, in a shorter amount of time. For Guardians of the Galaxy, the compressed schedule meant adding manpower to the pipeline to deliver the spectacular battle sequences on time.
“We knew we needed to increase the elements team to handle the last couple weeks when the final VFX were being delivered, so we increased training internally leading up to that point. When the time came we were able to deliver, and everything looks great,” summarized Matthew Bristowe.
“With any kind of filmmaking it’s all about collaboration, but here it was really thanks to such open communication on the part of Marvel and everyone involved that we were able to deliver on time, considering the very tight schedule,” said Richard Baker.
The film is produced by Kevin Feige; Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Alan Fine and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. The story is by Nicole Perlman and James Gunn, with screenplay by James Gunn.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy releases in U.S. and UK theaters on August 1, 2014.
RELEASE: Aug 1, 2014
Director: James Gunn
Studios / Distributors: Marvel Enterprises / Walt Disney Studios
Snr VP Production - VFX / 3D Conversion: Matthew Bristowe
Senior Stereo Supervisor: Richard Baker
Stereo Supervisors: Barry O’Brien / Oliver Allen-Wielebnowski
View-D™ Producer: Valeria Andino
Head of 3D: Merzin Tavaria
3D Executive Producer: Stephen Mascarenhas
Sr. Show Stereographer: Jimmy Philip
Head of Production: Sharad Tandon
3D Technical Supervisor: Parminder Chadda