4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Image Engine Rises to a Fantastic Challenge for Silver Surfer

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Image Engine is proud to have collaborated with 20th Century Fox on the 2007 film 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The award of visual effects shots further extends the studio’s relationship with 20th Century Fox, having also provided extensive pre-visualization services to “Night at the Museum”, a Christmas 2006 smash hit ($500+ million USD worldwide box office).

Image Engine answered the call from Visual Effects Producer Ellen Somers late in the post-production schedule for Silver Surfer, as the show ramped up to completion. Image Engine took on two fully CG shots, as well as a sequence of heads-up display hologram graphics for the film.

Image Engine took advantage of in-house proprietary tools to create close integration between Autodesk’s Maya and NUKE. “We set up all the shots in Maya,” recalls Image Engine Visual Effects Supervisor, Ian Fellows, “but really tried to push as far as we could within NUKE to achieve a proper filmic look and provide for a quick turn-around process.”

Image Engine’s R&D group provided custom tools and support to compositing that enabled the Maya to NUKE process. Image Engine’s Lead R&D Programmer, John Haddon, coded up a NUKE plug-in that allowed for resolution-independent star field generation, essential to selling the vastness of space in one key all-CG shot that was included in the theatrical trailer for the film.

The Orphanage, Hydraulx and Weta Digital also delivered shots for the film. “Although our contribution was small by comparison,” reflects Visual Effects Executive Producer, Shawn Walsh, “…everyone really enjoyed the opportunity to show what we can do. Image Engine is looking forward to the next assignment from 20th Century Fox!”