VCL does submarine sequences for Benegal’s Bose

Following its succesfull stint last year with some wonderful VFX work on films like Dhoom and Swades, Tata group’s VFX and animation arm Visual Computing Labs recently completed work on some of the biggest releases this summer. They include the just released Shah Rukh – Karan Johar production Kaal and Hollywood thriller XXX-2 and the soon to release Yashraj Films’ Bunty aur Babli and Shyam Benegal’s Bose The Forgotten Hero. While the studio has done some exciting work for each of the above mentioned movies like creating a tiger’s perspective (using rotoscopy) in Kaal, and some extremely complex wire and wrig removal for XXX-2 (some shots were done in open EXR), the work that the team is most kicked about is its CG and animation for Bose.. where the studio has recreated the German and Japanese submarine sequences. Some of the highpoints of the VFX work done by VCL for Bose..include: The Depth Charge Attack- A still from Netaji null– Netaji leaving Kiel Harbour in Germany (1943, a historic fact) via U-boat (Sub) to rendezvous with a Japanese Sub off the coast of Madagascar, enroute to Japan. VCL created all the sub ‘travel’, surface, underwater, diving and surfacing. – The depth charge attack, the torpedo attack, all other ships, Japanese sub etc. – All dramatic portions were shot live on the deck and inside a real German museum sub. The studio’s additional job was to highlight and, in some instances, change the actual lighting inside and on the deck of the real sub. All water, caustics, explosions, fire etc. are also CGI. Speaking exclusively to Animation ‘xpress, VCL Creative Director Pankaj Khandpur said ,” It is very rare that an Indian studio gets a challenging task as we did for Bose… Our work is 15 minutes of VFX; specifically the German/Submarine sequence. There are few other sequences in the film that we have not done. We had 4 3D modellers who built, lit and animated the sub/s, ships, water, torpedoes, explosions etc. on Maya, and 2 compositors on Flame who put it together, relit, color-corrected etc. We delivered a complete 15 minute sequence to Shyam Benegal, in 2K, including all the CG and live-action parts. Total time in production, not including research, pre-viz, scale model building and shooting, was about 45 days.” “We spent over a two month period in researching the German U-boat (and other ship) designs, including acquiring actual plans, then building a fully-operational 2-metre scale radio-controlled model, which we actually shot underwater to study lighting caustics on the metal surfaces and water, before building and animating our ‘hero’ 3D model in Maya. The ‘difference is truly research’, and we believe this difference is visible on the big screen!” concluded Khandpur. Interestingly VCL is shifting its entire Bangalore 3D animation operations with a 100 strong team strength to Mumbai. The studio has taken up a complete floor spread across 16,000 sq feet at Andheri east. Commenting on the move, VCL GM K Chandrashekhar said,” The idea is to use our Infrastructure and equipment resources in the best possible manner and also to help in cross pollination of creative and technical talent at VCL”