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Fusion Studio Serves as Secret Weapon on ‘Spy’

Written and directed by Paul Feig, Spy includes edge-of-your-seat car chases, helicopter stunts and multiple explosions. To create the effects, compositing supervisor Jeremy Nelson of William Mesa’s Hollywood VFX company Flash Film Works used Blackmagic Design’s Fusion Studio visual effects and motion graphics software. “We used Fusion for core compositing work such as projection and rig and wire removal,” says Nelson. “Fusion’s workflow is so efficient and flexible, and it’s a snap to import a 3D track into Fusion and paint out what you don’t want or project a frame to help develop the scene.”

Flash Film Works removed all but one of these skid marks in the final frame.

In one chase sequence, a stolen car is driven through the streets of Paris before skidding to a halt. “The stunt was practiced numerous times, so there were multiple skid marks on the street,” Nelson explains. “Since the cameras were moving, tracking and dollying, it wasn’t a case of being able to do an easy paint out. But it was still very easy to get rid of them in Fusion. We had to 3D track the car and create geometry and multiple projections in Fusion. We had 15 projections in one shot to get a clean slate since the camera was moving so much.”