Midweek Motivation: Midway VFX Breakdown – Cebas thinkingparticles

midway vfx breakdown

Scanline VFX created much of the destructive visual effects in the movie Midway with the help of Cebas thinkingParticles.  Check out the VFX breakdown video and read an interview with Scanline VFX Supervisor Laurent Taillefer, and watch an interview with Joe Scarr, Scanline VFX artist, to learn how it was done.

Midway Teaser Trailer


Midway | VFX Breakdown Reel | Scanline VFX

Scanline VFX brings us back to the attack of Pearl Harbor and the battle of Midway in this VFX Breakdown of their work for Roland Emmerich‘s new movie, MIDWAY.

Found via Art of VFX.  Thanks for sharing

MIDWAY: Laurent Taillefer – VFX Supervisor – Scanline VFX

Here’s an excerpt from the Art of VFX Interview:

Can you explain in detail about the creation of the various FX elements?
We identified the various main FX elements early on, before the movie was turned over (explosions, fire trails, aftermath gasoline fires, tracers, etc), and started building templates and tests which were presented to the client. Once the look was validated, we built a bank of background elements rendered with a static camera under various lighting conditions, which could be used by layout as placeholders, but also by compositing as mid-ground and background elements. The hero, foreground and story-telling dependent elements were simulated per shot, using Scanline’s Flowline and Thinking Particles for rigid body, hard surface and particulates.

Read the full article


Joe Scarr Insights Interview – Midway (2019) naval battle scenes FX breakdown


Veteran FX artist (and Supervisor): Joe Scarr of ScanlineVFX, Montreal, chatted with Cebas about his work on the film production for 2019: Roland Emmerich’s MIDWAY.

Joe Scarr showcased and spoke about the following major scene effects setups: 

  • aerial attack (opening shot): muzzle flashes, tracers (thinkingParticles Smoke Operator), road destruction (Volume Breaker), ‘TP leaves’, custom cutting tools
  • Aerial- Naval Attack: creating TP particles out of Maya data – detection of ship impacts, water hit detection, tracers connecting to colliders, Flowline-thinkingParticles explosion system, Flowline ‘ocean’, TDTool (off UI), smoke trails, XRef, XMesh, Asset Switching, Memory Operator … more than 100 terrabytes!
  • Wide Camera Aerial – Aircraft Carrier Attack: use of Flag Shells (Flowline), TP RGB sims for aircraft destruction, Flowline fires, plane attack scenes
  • Aircraft Carrier Explosion: thinkingParticles-driven Flowline explosions, compositing layers, debris, TPBullet SoftBody, BT Joints, low-res cloth sim, new TP ShapeDeform operator for hires geom, Flowline splashes, Sim anchors TP export
  • Sailors Escape: thinkingParticles tracer smoke, spark hit tracers

Cebas thinkingParticles

Countless blockbuster movies and projects depend on thinkingParticles’ limitless ability to recreate advanced physics-based particle effects fully procedural and rule-based.

Multi-Physics simulation has never been better and more advanced; fluid simulations and rigid body interactions have been optimized and resemble real world physics behaviour. Surprisingly, improving thinkingParticles simulation accuracy has no penalty and what you see is what you get with amazingly fast simulation times. Drop 8 delivers greater Procedural Volumetric Controls and Shape Operators. tP 6.8 enhances SPH Solver by offering even more stability than before.

Learn More


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Posted by Kim Sternisha