Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Image Engine Brings the Magic to Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

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Image Engine provided visual effects animation and compositing to Mandate Pictures and Walden Media’s Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. The film is a tale about a change in the management of the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world, starring Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman. When Image Engine received the call in March of 2006 from Visual Effects Designer, Kevin Tod Haug, regarding the opportunity to be involved in the directorial debut of rising Hollywood star, Zach Helm (writer, Stranger Than Fiction) they were eager to get on board! Image Engine had already had the opportunity to work with Haug, the highly regarded visual effects pioneer of such landmark films as Fight Club and Finding Neverland in 2003 for the TV Movie A Wrinkle in Time.

“From magical set extensions and animated toy trains to tricky composites and beautiful colour grading: we did it all on this show!” reflects Visual Effects Executive Producer, Shawn Walsh. The production began with on-set supervision in support of Kevin Tod Haug in Toronto during May of 2006 and wrapped up during September of 2007. “Our crew showed great enthusiasm for the work through this long production which comes through brilliantly in the stunning creative diversity of the shots,” says Walsh.

Image Engine Lighting Lead Oskar Wahlberg and Shader Developer Roberto Hradec pushed the limits of the Image Engine rendering pipeline by developing and expanding the core set of proprietary tools for lighting and rendering high-end visual effects shots. “We pressured our new HP render farm and NetApp GX backbone pretty hard,” says Wahlberg, “and the support of our hardware and software vendors was excellent. Support from DNA Research for 3Delight in particular was key to supporting this work and getting the job done.”

Image Engine is happy to have helped Kevin Tod Haug and Visual Effects Supervisor Raymond Gieringer contribute unique and compelling visual effects shots to Helm’s Emporium and look forward to another magical visual effects journey!