DEFINITION March 2022 – Newsletter


and around more pods here and there,” explains Evans. “We started with a straight stack, assembled in Houdini, to make good use of referencing. We then created the extra shapes and different densities. Each tower had an average of 84,000 components, with 18,000 pods plugged into them – inside each pod we had little, digital humans sloshing around, bound by wires.” This whole real-world section was fully CG, except for a couple of close- ups of Neo, including his liberation from the pod. For this, a practical pod was built on-set with a ten-metre-tall turbine connected to it – and the CG work expanded it even bigger. Evans explains, “It was probably one of our trickiest to do, but used very invisible effects, because all of the cables attached to him were CG – for safety reasons and ease of shooting, he didn’t actually have any cables attached to him. Instead, he wore tiny tracking ports on different parts of his body that would move with his muscles and slide around with skin. He was also covered in real goo, so once we had all the ports tracked and the CG cables simulated, we had to simulate goo running off Neo and onto the cables. When the cables went into the pod that he’s sloshing around in, we had to replace half that goo and make it CG. It was an enormous effort, and one of those

BLINDING LIGHTS Tone and texture in the VFX scenes really bring the movie to life and create a fresh feel

incidences where, if no one notices it, then it’s a job well done.” MEGA CITY Since Resurrections takes place 60 years after the end of the trilogy, Wachowski felt the Mega City would need to be updated to reflect this. “She wanted it to feel human-built, but with the influence of machines,” explains Evans. “For example, the buildings had a brutalist base mixed with some intricate 3D printed-style architecture. We didn’t want the city to feel too smoggy and dirty, so we looked at clean energy factories and tiered farming plots. In this film, they have a bio-sky, farming proper food,

rather than eating the slop they used in the original film – this enabled us to work out a logic for the city, with the tiered farming connected to water irrigation, walkways and marketplaces. There was an endless array of tiny details that went into making a convincing city.” Creating The Matrix Resurrections assets became some of DNEG’s largest builds. Evans concludes: “It was a bit of a dream job – and we were really lucky to even get it because, at the time, it was all a bit doom and gloom in the world and people were feeling isolated, having to split out and work from home.” Stream The Matrix Resurrections now

“Each tower had an average of 84,000 components, with 18,000 pods plugged into them”

A WORLD UNLIKE OUR OWN Creating the intricate worlds of the movie involved cooperation – much of the filming took place at Studio Babelsberg, Potsdam

29. MARCH 2022

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