While death may not be proud, three-time Emmy Award-winning visual effects studio Digital Dimension was happy to do the work of the grim reaper in New Line Cinema’s Final Destination II.
Like the original, the teen-thriller sequel sees attractive young people narrowly escape death only to find they’re hardly out of the woods. Stalked by death, they wind up in a string of creepy, Rube Goldbergian accidents designed to put them where they belong, in the grave.
With a crew of 15 artists, Digital Dimension completed more than 85 visual effects shots in a five-month schedule. For one of the more ambitious sequences in the film, a complex car crash, CG artists created massive logs that fall off of a truck and wreak highway havoc.
Technologies such as image-based lighting, global illumination, and high dynamic range imagery (HDRI) proved invaluable to integrating effects into the filmed footage. In lieu of key framing, the team used parametric and physics-driven dynamics to generate realistic motion for CG logs, chains, fence posts and other objects. Rule based particle systems were used to generate dust, dirt, bark and debris on the fly while the dynamic simulation was running.
Burbank, Calif.-based Digital Dimension is currently gearing up for another New Line feature.