Flash Film Works Creates Visual Effects for Alpha with Fusion Studio

Fremont, CA - September 18, 2018 - Blackmagic Design today announced that Los Angeles based visual effects (VFX) company Flash Film Works used its VFX and motion graphics software, Fusion Studio, on Studio 8’s action adventure drama Alpha.

An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, Alpha tells a fascinating, visually stunning story that shines a light on the origins of man’s best friend. While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man, Keda, is injured and must learn to survive alone in the wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, Alpha, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before winter arrives.

During their perilous trek, Keda falls through ice and is trapped below the surface. The Flash Film Works team used Fusion Studio to create the VFX sequence.

“The fall through the ice was shot in a tank, with wax used on top as the ice. It needed to look more realistic, so we used Fusion Studio to remove a lot from the plate and add 3D objects back in, so the ice would break in a certain way,” said VFX Supervisor William Mesa.

“Once Keda is in the water, there’s a strong current that pulls him. We used Fusion Studio’s 3D particle system to add ice fragments and bubbles to the water to really show the flow of the current,” Mesa continued. “Then we composited in Ice Age era fish and underwater landscapes to make the water come to life.”

With Keda being trapped under the ice, the Flash Film Works team also used Fusion Studio for face replacements between actor Kodi Smit-McPhee and his stunt double. Then they used Fusion Studio’s 3D tools to project the ice sheet under the water, making it extend even further.

Compositing Supervisor Jeremy Nelson explained, “During the scene, the wolf is looking down at Keda as he struggles under the ice. Some shots were done with a stunt double, so we had to take Smit-McPhee’s face and put it on the stunt double’s body. For this, I used Fusion Studio’s tracking tools to track and stabilize both plates, so I could marry them together. I then used the grid warper to match the faces and retiming tools to fine tune things, so the face’s movements really matched the actor’s performance.”

Flash Films Works also relied on Fusion Studio for additional compositing work on the film. “Whether we were adding people to various shots or changing the landscape to add mountains for flyover scenes, Fusion Studio was our go to tool,” concluded Mesa.

Press Photography

Product photos of Fusion Studio and all other Blackmagic Design products are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images

About Alpha

Directed by Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli, Menace II Society), and starring Kodi Smit-McPhee (X-Men: Apocalypse, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson (Atomic Blonde, HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), Alpha was written by Daniele Sebastian Wiedenhaupt, based on a story by Albert Hughes. It was produced by Andrew Rona and Albert Hughes.

About Blackmagic Design 

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com