MAXON Cinema 4D Fires-up Cantina Creative VFX Workflow on "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2"

Acclaimed 3D Toolset Delivers Powerful Capabilities for Key Hologram Sequences in Blockbuster Sci-Fi Film Finale
Publish date:

Friedrichsdorf, Germany – December 15, 2015 -- MAXON, the leading developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions, today announced that Culver City-based design and visual effects studio Cantina Creative relied on its acclaimed 3D software solution, Cinema 4D, as a central digital content creation tool to generate 120 visual effects shots and 30 hologram shots ranging from holograms, animated posters, monitor shots and user interface (UI) graphics that appear throughout the Lionsgate sequel, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.

Mockingjay Part 2 is the fourth and final epic science fiction dystopian film installment in the The Hunger Games film series, and the second of two films based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins. The film follows Jennifer Lawrence who reprises her role as Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion against the Capitol district in the post apocalyptic nation of Panem who must bring together an army, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance. The film was released on November 20, 2015 in the United States.

The Cantina Creative VFX team on Mockingjay Part 2 − which also provided extensive visual effects for Mockingjay Part 1 − comprised of VFX Supervisors Jay Grunfeld and Venti Hristova, VFX Producer Donna Cullen, Compositing Supervisor and Cantina Creative Co-founder, Stephen Lawes, and  Executive Producer and Cantina Creative Co-founder, Sean Cushing, again worked closely with Mockingjay Part 2 Director, Francis Lawrence, and VFX Supervisor, Charles Gibson, who provided creative direction in terms of design content requirements.

Other artists on the Cantina Creative team included: Jayse Hansen, Alan Torres, Stephen Morton,Sang Youb Shin,  Nhi Ngoc Vo, Alexandra Boden, Julianne Dome, Aaron Eaton, Matt Eaton, Junghwa Hong, Lauren Hulsey, Jennifer Kennedy, Karla Curby, Tony Lupoi, Leown Nowlin, Jr., and Fernando Raigoza, Jr.

Hristova explains that the studio’s primary focus on Mockingjay Part 1 was to generate interactive on-set monitor graphics that would stream live during shooting and that for Mockingjay Part 2 the team was given a more extensive range of post-heavy challenges that included the exclusive use of Cinema 4D to create two main hologram effects and to composite hero monitor screens that required story specific information and animations to advance key plot sequences.

“Our aesthetic reach in this film was much broader and required us to deliver a more advanced design style as we were asked to create detailed 3D hologram content for the Capitol – marking the first time that The Hunger Games film audiences could get a close-up look at the capital city of Panem and the Capitol, its chief legislative building, as well as a collection of other Panem districts,” says Grunfeld. “We were also tasked with generating the hologram for the “Nut”, a strategic military compound located in an underground mountain bunker which houses all the military equipment for the Capitol.”

“Although Lawrence and the Lionsgate team had very clear ideas in regards to the aesthetic needs of each corresponding environment in Mockingjay Part 2, the collaboration gave us plenty of liberty to experiment with style and feel,” said Grunfeld. “To meet the technical complexities of a movie of this scope demanded that we rely on the various toolsets in our Cinema 4D pipeline which provided us the creative flexibility to explore and tweak story notes throughout the project, critical in delivering a number of beautiful storytelling graphics on some very challenging design sequences. In combination with After Effects, we were able to generate external compositing tags and compositing project files throughout all of the hologram sequences that further resulted in an efficient workflow.”

The “ Nut” hologram, in particular, challenged the Cantina Creative team to deliver a fully detailed, 3D photoreal and precise mountain range with only a single 2D matte painting to use as reference. 3D artist Jayse Hansen who worked with Cantina on Mockingjay Part 2 in preproduction and on location designed the initial hologram concept including the entire interior of the Nut (crew quarters, armory, hovercraft hangars, etc.,) explains: “Leveraging the landscape generator in Cinema 4D to block off shapes and the expansive sculpting tools in the software provided great creative latitude so that I could hand off a number of very precise hologram looks and models of the mountainous terrain surrounding the “Nut” and Capitol from different perspectives,” said Hansen. These concepts were then further refined by Stephen Morton who created a final workable version that helped the team work out positions for important story elements for several hologram sequences.

“In addition to the sculpting tools which proved critical in allowing artists’ to further customize and organize the project in layers and work nondestructively to churn out dozens of iterations of mountain topography, we used Cinema 4D to render a number of passes, namely a few variations of cel renders, layered procedural shaders, and a depth map. We also exported light and null data to use for additional elements in comp,” adds Morton.

“The time effector tool was also extremely useful on the mountain hologram to rotate topography designs uniformly across nearly 30 shots in the sequence and made it easy to explore rotation speeds and successfully arrive at something that both the client and we were pleased with.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 was released in the US on November 20,2015.

Links to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Imagery


Headquartered in Friedrichsdorf, Germany, MAXON Computer is a developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions. Its award-winning Cinema 4D and BodyPaint 3D software products have been used extensively to help create everything from stunning visual effects in top feature films, TV shows and commercials, cutting-edge game cinematics for AAA games, as well for medical illustration, architectural and industrial design applications. MAXON has offices in Germany, USA, United Kingdom, France, Japan and Singapore. MAXON products are available directly from the web site and its worldwide distribution channel. Specially priced learning editions of the company’s software solutions are also made available to educational institutions. MAXON is part of the Nemetschek Group. For additional information on MAXON visit

Additional information on MAXON can be obtained as follows:

All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

#  #  #



Black Box Radian Flex Software-Based Video Wall Platform Earns ISE Best of Show Award

Black Box, an industry-leading provider of pro AV connectivity and signal distribution systems, today announced that the company's Radian Flex software-based video wall platform won an ISE Best of Show Award from AV Technology Europe, a Future Publishing magazine. Of the more than 1,000 exhibitors at ISE 2019, only 15 — including Black Box with Radian Flex — earned this award, which recognizes achievements and innovations in product and service development.


Luxul to Bring Reliability and High Performance to IBS 2019 With Latest Networking Solutions for the Smart Home

Luxul, the leading innovator of IP networking solutions for AV integrators, today announced its technology line-up for the NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS), taking place February 19-21 in Las Vegas. In the Legrand booth SU614, the company will exhibit a wide range of solutions for home builders that deliver reliable, high-performance networks in smart homes, including Gigabit switches; the next generation of wireless controller technology; indoor and outdoor wireless access points (APs); wired and wireless routers; intelligent network power distribution units (PDU); and the Wi-Fi Assurance Program exclusively for builders.


HoverCam's Pilot Series and ClassFusion Learning Platform Land Big Wins at TCEA 2019

HoverCam, a leader in innovative, interactive, and engaging education solutions, announced that the company's digital classroom solutions received three major honors from Tech & Learning at the recent Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) 2019 Conference in San Antonio. At the show, HoverCam's Pilot 3 digital teaching station received the Award of Excellence in the District category, while the company's new Pilot X podium and ClassFusion software platform both earned Best of Show honors. The awards were presented on Feb. 6 at a special ceremony held at Casa Rio restaurant in San Antonio.


College Football Playoff Uses Veritone's AI and Digital Asset Management Solutions to Enable Richer Media Coverage

Veritone Inc. (Nasdaq: VERI), the creator of the world's first operating system for artificial intelligence, aiWARE™, today announced that the College Football Playoff (CFP) leveraged an expanded deployment of Veritone solutions and services for the 2019 CFP National Championship to give members of the media even faster and richer access to its content resources. In addition to the CFP's Digital Media Hub, a white-label digital asset management portal from Veritone, the CFP also utilized Veritone's Live Event Services and aiWARE artificial intelligence platform for the first time. With aiWARE, the CFP was able to apply artificial intelligence to video footage and still images of press conferences, interviews and other Media Day events to produce transcriptions, automated facial recognition of players and coaches, logo identification, and other tasks enabling expedited and enhanced coverage of the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship. For the first time, the CFP was able to make Media Day press conference clips and images available for search and immediate download within minutes of delivery. Following the success of this deployment, CFP has renewed its agreement with Veritone through the 2020 championship game in New Orleans.