Proof Visualization House Provides Extensive Previs and Postvis Services for ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’
Proof Inc., a leading visualization house, provided extensive previs and postvis services to the new Marvel Entertainment motion picture Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The film was released by Walt Disney Studios on April 4, 2014 and debuted at number one at the international box office.
Proof’s work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier was profiled in the Los Angeles Times.
“This new film was an extremely important project for Proof,” Proof’s Creative Director/Founder Ron Frankel said. “In fact, this was the biggest previs and postvis assignment in the history of our company. Previs has clearly become a critical element today as a story tool in the planning of action sequences within a 3D environment. We spent 14 months planning the previs for this new Captain America film, and then another eight months during the postvis process. We are especially proud of how we helped craft the finale of the film as well.”
Proof’s Previs Supervisor, Monty Granito, said: “We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to be involved with every major action and VFX scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We began animating the previs for the film six month prior to the start of production. Working directly from the script, we created a number of exciting sequences, such as when Cap squares off against the Quinjet, jumping onto it and destroying it, and when the Helicarriers take off and shoot each other and fall into buildings. We also designed the flying sequences for the superhero Falcon. Additionally, we also visualized a solid chunk of the finale, which translated into about 35 minutes of animation.”
Dan DeLeeuw, VFX supervisor on the film, said: “There has been a real paradigm shift during the past few years when planning a feature film. We used to rely on storyboards, then on animatics, and now today on previs. Previs has secured a place for itself as an extremely valuable tool in helping to visualize an entire movie before physical production even starts. In the case of this new film, a huge third act fell onto the shoulders of Proof’s previs team to help structure. We had to first construct the third act in previs, making our way through all of that data to help determine how the sequences would look. This was the first time I was able to see the entire third act of a movie before a film even began shooting.”
He added: “The Proof team and I were involved very early on in the planning of this film. We had to figure out how to fulfill our director’s vision to help best tell this story. Previs has become a really great tool these days for everyone to plan, design and ultimately shoot action sequences. Proof also delivered a good deal of postvis on this movie. In the past, it required a lot of imagination to envision, during screenings, what the movie would actually look like. You’d see green screens where future VFX shots would appear, so there would be ‘holes’ in the story. Now, by integrating postvis, you can watch the entire film and really get a solid feel for what it will eventually look like.”
“It was great working with Monty Granito and the Proof team. They are a very collaborative company, and deliver a lot of style when creating shots. Anytime I suggested an idea, they’d show me several variations on that idea in just a mere few hours. They are terrific at delivering fine fantastic images,” DeLeeuw concluded. \
“The Proof team provided very valuable and extremely rapid responses to editorial’s workflow,” added Gunnar Hansen, Postvis supervisor. “We worked very closely with the editor Jeff Ford, and the VFX editor, George McCarthy, for six months to provide postvis temps for over 1,400 shots. We basically created very detailed 3D composites to fill in the pending vendor visual effects shots, as well as precise shots to send to the VFX vendors for timing, animation and design.
“Aside from touching on all the major action scenes, the Proof team and I also created many of the animated screen graphics,” Hansen continued. “For the huge battle finale, several hundred shots were tracked, lit, rendered and composited to a very high level of detail. In the end, these contributions gave VFX, editorial and the studio a seamless, decisive and exciting cut for both final visual effects and for screenings.”