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SIGGRAPH and MPC Vancouver Join Forces to Show Watchmen Revealed

Ben Cole, Landon Bootsma, Tim Mulvihill and Harry Mukhopadhyay will explore how the MPC Vancouver team helped to recreate one of the most acclaimed comic books in history, revealing the challenges they faced in assembling some of the more complex scenes and answering questions surrounding the diverse techniques used at the studio.  The event, organised by SIGGRAPH, takes place; Wednesday June 17, 7:30 PM at the Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie).  A similar presentation will take place at SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans.

The Watchmen movie recreates in exacting detail many of the comic’s panels and motifs. The challenge, when making the transition from page to screen, was to take these images, the static sketches with solid colours and impressionistic outlines, and turn them into something living, breathing and photorealistic, while still maintaining the feel of the original material. Snyder and his team enlisted the help of a number of visual effects houses to assist in this endeavour. The majority of the work was split between two facilities, Sony Imageworks and The Moving Picture Company (MPC).

MPC’s work was completed in its new Vancouver facility. The work undertaken by MPC was diverse, everything from set extension and wire-removal through to close up digital doubles, crowds and fully CGI sequences, including a nuclear explosion and computer generated water. All in all MPC completed close to 300 shots for the movie and DVD spanning 24 sequences.

This presentation will explore the challenges involved in creating this work, focusing on some of the more complex sequences, looking at the genesis of the project from story-boards and reference photography through to final rendered images.

The Moving Picture Company (MPC) is one of the world’s leading visual effects facilities capable of creating high-end digital visual effects and computer animation for the feature film, advertising, music and television industries.  Networked to their other facilities in London and Santa Monica and built with a dedicated digital infrastructure designed to handle the company’s diverse slate of projects, MPC Vancouver is poised for an exciting future. This is a unique opportunity to meet some of the talent at MPC Vancouver and gain insight into one of the biggest superhero movies filmed in Vancouver.