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Monday, July 02, 2007

Digital Skin Grafting using Eyeon "Fusion" (VFX)


The technique behind Super Star Rajini's European complexion in the film 'Sivaji - The Boss'
+ Just Got a mail from Srinivas M. Mohan of
INDIAN ARTISTS, (a Visual Effects and Animation Studio based in South of India) notifying us about their latest VFX project, which includes Digital Skin Grafting for changing wheatish complexion of Super Star Rajinikanth to European complexion in the film 'Sivaji - The Boss' .
The film "Sivaji The Boss" starring super star Rajini is the costliest film made in India to date. Directed by S.Shanker, Cinematography by K.V.Anand, Music by A.R.Rahman, Produced by A.V.M Productions. Rajinikanth is well known actor worldwide. People call him "Super Star" because of his unique style. He is the 2nd highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie chan.In this film, director Shanker wanted to change Rajini's wheatish complexion to a white European complexion. As a visual effects company (Indian Artists) this was a challenging task for us because we guess nobody has executed this type of concept in the world. Thanks to Mr. Shanker for giving us this opportunity to execute his brilliant idea.
The Technique behind Dark skin to fair skin:
To begin with, we (Indian artists) did an in-depth study of the European complexion. We found that white skin reflects more light and has less shadow when compared to dark skin and is translucent in some areas. Therefore a simple color correction of the hero's skin would not achieve the desired effect. For the shoot a London based young white lady with a fresh complexion and flushed cheeks was chosen and with the help of Cinematographer Mr. K.V.Anand every single shot of the hero was repeated with her because lighting conditions change in every shot. After the final edit all the 630 hero shots and 630 girl shots were scanned in 4K resolution. Each of the 9000 scanned frames where Rotoscoped to separate the body parts (face, hands, legs etc.). The white lady's skin was mapped onto the Super Star's image using Eyeon "Digital Fusion" software. Thus the Super Star got his glowing white complexion.
There were two difficult aspects in this project. One was matching the girl's action with the hero's action and the second was matching both of their body proportions during mapping. Though it sounds simple, the work involved was laborious and painstaking. Great attention was paid to detail right from the shoot until the final print. It has taken 25 dedicated CG Artists / technicians almost a year to achieve this 6 ½ min. feat.

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