Midweek Motivations: Arrival VFX, Editing, and Sound Design

Midweek Motivations: Arrival VFX, Editing, and Sound Design
Inspirations, Big Screen Effects Feb 15, 2017 at 09:37 AM

Arrival was one my favorite films of the last year. The visual effects were top notch! Here’s a look behind the scenes at the visual effects, editing, and sound design. I’m currently learning Autodesk Maya and I was excited to see that Maya, Flame, Arnold Render, Avid Media Composer, and Avid Pro Tools were all used in the production.

If you haven't seen Arrival, it's about octopus-like aliens, named Heptapods by the earthlings that visit earth. The Army needs to figure out why they're here and what they want and they contact a linguist, played by Amy Adams, to decipher their language and communicate with them. Their method of communication is a symbolic language and they squirting an inky black substance into the fog, creating circle symbols.

Arrival Trailer (2016) - Paramount Pictures

Arrival VFX Breakdowns 

Arrival - VFX Breakdown by Oblique FX (2016)

Arrival - Rodeo FX VFX Breakdown

Arrival - Rodeo FX VFX Breakdown from Rodeo FX on Vimeo.

Arrival Visual Effects Supervisor Louis Morin

Louis Morin on the realities of "Arrival" 

Autodesk does a profile of Morin on their website. Software used: Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Flame, Shotgun Software, Arnold Renderer

Here are a couple of excerpts from the article.

How many VFX shots are in "Arrival," and who contributed?
My count is about 800 shots, and there were many skilled vendors to contribute to that. Hybride Technologies was the main one; they delivered about 350 shots. Oblique handled the spaceship, helicopters, army materials such as tanks, and also did some crowd shots. Raynault was mostly in charge of the many monitor shots, and also handled some environment stuff, too. Rodeo FX worked mainly on the gravity effects you see when the characters enter the alien ship – motion controlled shots and CG in Maya. MELS and Alchemy 24 contributed some great work, and Framestore joined later on to handle the disappearance of the ship.

How many VFX shots are in "Arrival," and who contributed?
My count is about 800 shots, and there were many skilled vendors to contribute to that. Hybride Technologies was the main one; they delivered about 350 shots. Oblique handled the spaceship, helicopters, army materials such as tanks, and also did some crowd shots. Raynault was mostly in charge of the many monitor shots, and also handled some environment stuff, too. Rodeo FX worked mainly on the gravity effects you see when the characters enter the alien ship – motion controlled shots and CG in Maya. MELS and Alchemy 24 contributed some great work, and Framestore joined later on to handle the disappearance of the ship.

Read the article

More:

fxpodcast #315: Arrival overall VFX Supervisor Louis Morin - FxGuide did a podcast interview with Louis Morin. 

"Arrival" VFX: Unveiling the fog of mystery - Trevor Hogg of 3D Total learns how Visual Effects Supervisor Louis Morin used VFX  to bring Denis Villeneuve's vision for "Arrival" to life. Storyboards, the Heptapods, zero gravity, and the Alien language are all covered in the article. 

Joe Walker on Editing Arrival

Editor Joe Walker uses Avid software if you were wondering. 

Joe Walker ACE talks about Arrival v2

This is from American Cinema Editors, "Editors on Editing: Glenn Garland, ACE talks to Joe Walker, ACE about editing the film, ARRIVAL."

More articles on Joe Walker

Edited Yourself into a Hole? Use Arrival Editor Joe Walker’s Tricks for Getting Unstuck

Arrival Sound Design

Sound is just as important as visuals and Arrival has a unique sound design. 

Creating The Poetic Sci-Fi Sound Of ‘Arrival’ - A Sound Effect website interviews sound editor Sylvain Bellemare and supervising re-recording mixer Bernard Gariépy Strobl about their approach to sound on Arrival. "We set up a full range speaker to play the lines out of and had separate devices that picked up that sound and transmitted it to different receivers. The sound playing out of the receivers was then captured by a mic and recorded into Pro Tools (for example, recording the sound that’s being played through a baby monitor). So instead of using plug-ins to achieve this result, like Audio Ease’s Speakerphone, or using EQ, we achieved the processing in a very natural way. It was a bit of a challenge because there were thousands of lines to record in this way."

‘Arrival’ Sound Editor Sylvain Bellemare On First Sci-Fi Experience & Working With Denis Villeneuve To Craft An Alien Sound - another article about the sound and the work by Bellemare and Strobl.

Song Exploder: JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON, composer of Arrival Score, breaks down Heptapod B Track 

Oscars: 10 Films Advance in Visual Effects Race

Variety has an article about visual effects in films of 2016 and it includes Arrival, as well as The BFG, Captain America: Civil War, Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Jungle Book, Kubo and the Two Strings, Passengers, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. See Oscars: 10 Films Advance in Visual Effects Race

Arrival has been nominated for Eight Oscars in total, and two Golden Globes, as well as several other awards including BAFTA, Art Directors Guild, Broadcast Film Critics Association, and awards from several state's Film Critics Associations. 

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Posted by Michele Yamazaki

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