VFX breakdown of Dabangg 2
Posted on Jan 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm IST
A team of 120 VFX artists of Prime Focus in Mumbai and Hyderabad has delivered over 950 shots for Dabangg 2
Salman Khan's latest action film Dabangg 2, which released in December last year might be inching closer to the Rs. 200 crore mark sooner than expected. The film highlights the adventures of a heroic cop Chulbul Pandey, enacted by Salman Khan. Lending a hand in the success of the film was the visual effects and digital intermediate process, provided by one of India's leading post-production studios, Prime Focus, which also provided a range of equipment for the production of Dabangg 2.
Senior VFX supervisor, Reupal Rawal, led a team of over a hundred and twenty artists to deliver 950 visual effects shots in a span of just two months. Talking about working on the cult action film, Merzin Tavaria, co-founder and chief creative director, Prime Focus, said, "It was a ground-breaking effort on our part as we were involved in the process right from the pre- production stages itself. We delivered a massive amount of VFX in a very short time span. Our work in Dabangg 2 goes to prove how VFX can add value to a narrative not just as a garnish, but a vital ingredient in the recipe for filmmaking.
Speaking with senior VFX supervisor, Reupal and DI head and chief colorist, Rohan Desai, to take us on a behind the scenes visual effects and digital intermediate making tour of the explosive, Dabangg 2.
"The shots were enhanced further by retouching and improving the fluidity of the movement"
The introduction scene where Salman khan enters with a jeep breaking a wall, hanging on to a car and landing was augmented digitally which resulted in the actor's dramatic entry. Talking about executing the VFX process of the film, Reupal says, "We designed the a 'time-slice' sequence which involved the actor hitting the thugs hanging from a pole encircling it 360 degrees, with multiple camera set-ups and freezing the moment to capture all the different angle. The shots were enhanced further by retouching and improving the fluidity of the movement. The team had extensive compositing work on the shots, CG work like bricks, dust and debris was added as well.
"We used 3D dynamics simulation of the concrete slab cracking"
In the 'Dabangg Reloaded' song, multiple visual effects shots were involved in augmenting the over the top jigs. In the musical jig, Salman shows off his brute strength with pushing a water hydrant into the ground breaking the concrete apart. In order to achieve this, the original plates did not have the hydrant in place; the hydrant was remade in CG which was synced with the live action plates. To bring about more credibility in the shots, we used a 3D dynamics simulation of the concrete slab cracking and particle emitter for generating dust. In the song sequence, to bring in a twist to the famous Dabangg signature belt move, the team worked on the belt movement in post.
"We added the CG sunglasses which flies off the table top somersaulting"
The Dhaba sequence was shot in an urban location; to give the place a highway Dhaba feel, the team at Prime Focus digitally replaced the walls and buildings through matte paintings. The team also recreated a cylinder blast digitally, so no harm was done to the actors. Additional shots in the sequence augmented include, Salman kicking a table dramatically resulting in his sunglasses flying up in the air and eventually falling down on his lap. Talking about the shots, Reupal says, "To stylize this shot, after the CG table breaks into pieces we added the CG sunglasses which flies off the table top somersaulting and landing on Salman's lap." The bullets in Salman's gun barrel were also made using CG.
"It was impossible to have sunny weather throughout the time"
Senior colorist Ashirwad Hadkar set the overall color palette of the film. Talking about the visuals of the film, Rohan says, "The overall look and feel in the film was warm brown, it was challenging to maintain a grungy feel throughout the movie and to uphold a synonymous color flow for the outdoor sequences which were shot in Kanpur, India. As there were fluctuating shooting schedules, it was impossible to have sunny weather throughout the time, so we graded the shots frame by frame to bring in similarities between the shots. For instance, the climax scene was shot across 15 days where the team achieved the look by grading each frame, and then matching it with the previous frame to maintain consistency. With the film having a horde of VFX shots, DI came into play seamlessly merging the entire narrative. The project posed several challenges, including the tight deadlines, but with our team we ensured that we achieved exactly what Arbaaz envisioned.
"The team worked on detailing each of the VFX shots"
Talking about the experience of working in the project Reupal says, "We were involved right from the pre-production stage and worked closely with director and producer Arbaaz Khan. We had to ensure that the VFX used in the movie not only matched the storyline, but also helped audiences recall 2010 hit Dabangg. The team worked on detailing each of the VFX shots to make it look as credible as possible.