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Friday, June 08, 2007

SWAY studio Provides Visual Effects for MGM's Release, Mr. Brooks


Kevin Costner Thriller Marks Silver-screen Debut for Leading VFX Studio
+ SWAY studio, one of North America’s leading visual effects studios, marked its theatrical film debut with the June 1st release of Mr. Brooks, starring Academy Award Winner Kevin Costner. Sway’s team of talented visual effects artists created realistic bullet wounds, exploding plaster, wood debris and blood spray, adding a precise element of photorealism to over 85 shots within the film.
“It’s been the goal from the beginning to have SWAY involved in long form projects, said Mark Glaser, owner and creative director of SWAY studio. For the past five years we’ve been developing ground breaking techniques and sharpening our talents in the world of fast paced commercial production. This has uniquely prepared us to attack big screen visual effects with a compelling fusion of production efficiency and unimpeachable quality.”
The film, which follows the life of Earl Brooks (Costner) a thriving business owner and community figurehead living a separate life as a notorious serial killer, called for intricate visual effects detailing. A violent murder scene featuring Costner and an unsuspecting couple required the CG creation of realistic bullet wounds and blood spray. By using multiple layers of texture to create the look of removed skin and offset blood loss, SWAY artists used Autodesk’s Flame to create an authentic looking bullet entry wound on the foreheads of the actors. SWAY additionally painted a blood spray element from scratch and composted it onto the curtains and walls in the background using Nuke.
Sway’s work is also evident during a fast paced shoot-out scene that required the creation of exploding plaster and wood debris to portray the facade of bullet damage. LightWave3d was used to create CG destruction of wood door moldings and hallway plaster pieces flying throughout the sequence. Nuke artists then tracked, rotoscoped, and composited the final CG elements to create a seamless effect that provided the same continuity as the effects shot on set.
In addition to general wire removal and lighting assistance throughout the film, SWAY created a set extension, adding new buildings to a shot in 3D with the help of Luxology’s Modo. Precise color correction was done with the new Linux-based Autodesk Flame system. It was a pleasure to work with the talented team at SWAY, said the film’s editor, Miklos Wright. their professionalism and high attention to detail created the realism and believability that was needed in the film. For more info, please visit

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