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Pixel Magic Creates Effects for Freddy vs. Jason

Pixel Magic

produced more than 100 visual effects shots for New Line Cinema’s horror film “Freddy vs. Jason.” The shots included CG character animation, green screen composites, wire/rig removals and several morph/disappearing effects. “Freddy vs. Jason” has slaughtered the competition, with $34.6million at the box office. It opened on August 15th.

The movie combines the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and the ‘Friday the 13th’ franchises to create a horrific ‘versus’ movie. In order for Freddy to gain enough power to exit from Hell, he uses Jason to kill teenagers in Springwood. Once Jason finds out that Freddy is manipulating him, he decides to go after him. As Freddy and Jason vie for the greatest number of kills, a small band of teenagers tries to solve the string of murders. Their journey takes them from one of the original houses on Elm Street to a mental institution, and then to Crystal Lake, where the two killing machines duke it out.

In keeping with the original ‘Nightmare’ and ‘Jason’ films, VFX supervisor Ariel Shaw wanted to create effects that pushed the envelope of both gore and violence. In certain shots, the film’s practical effects unit could only go so far without endangering the actors and stunt persons. Pixel Magic re-created these shots, using CG characters and objects that matched the practical portions of the shots.

In the ‘Pinball’ sequence, Jason is bounced around the inside of a warehouse crashing into walls and beams just like a pinball bouncing off of flippers and bars. The original “Jason” model was based on a cyber-scan of the actor. Pixel Magic modified the model to meet the director’s desire for “Jason” to be slightly larger in scale. The Jason model was then rigged to be properly animated.

The CG team textured the model based on Jason’s original clothing, and lit the character based on the lights on set. The team also built CG beams and walls for Jason to interact with and added several passes of CG dust. The seven shot sequence was then animated and cut together with the surrounding shots to check continuity. Once the animation was approved, the CG Jason was rendered in individual passes (i.e. diffusion, spec, and shadow) and composited into the live-action scene.

All of the visual effects shots for “Freddy vs. Jason” created by Pixel Magic were completed in four months.