Film: Atomic Blonde
VFX: Peter Törnestam
Colorist: Mats Holmgren
Perhaps most memorable is an almost 10-minute take of Charlize Theron’s MI6 character, Lorraine, taking a group of enemies in close-quarters, full-contact fights. The injuries shown during the fight involved practical make-up effects, but Chimney’s visual effects team handled blending of plates to bring separate takes together.
“The scene consists of several shots that had to be made in one seamless shot using a bunch of different techniques”, says Chimney’s Sebastian Leutner. “Besides that there were mats and nets in the open voids of the staircases that had to be removed by Chimney and repaced with final walls. There were also close-range muzzle flashes and blood splatters that had to be added in post. One artist was leading the sequence and putting all the stitches together. A bunch of additional compositors were working on the blood, guns retouches, bullet holes and other retouches to match the individual segments.”
“Around 350,000 agents were used in the (Berlin) scene (in Atomic Blonde), which is actually close to how many people were at the rally in 1989. Period cars, birds and chimney smoke were added to the shot to enhance the transition between CG and plate. The final shot is extremely close to what Alexanderplatz actually looked like on that day in 1989.” – Sebastian Leutner
“Chimney VFX supervisor Michael Wortmann and (additional VFX supervisor) Jan Adamczyk worked together closely with Elisabeth Ronaldsdottir, the editor of the film, to ensure each take could be stitched together to make the angels work,” adds Leutner. “For the seamless blending of the takes a lot of the techniques were used. From simple cuts to rotoscoping to some extensive methods. There was no motion-control rig used, only a hand-operated Alexa Mini. The nini-minutes sequnece consists of around 36 individual segments.”
To re-create 1989 Berlin, Chimney began with plates filmed in Budapest and re-created period-correct geometry. They also used crowd-simulation software Golaem to populate the area of masses of people. “The agents were created with period-correct costumed for weather and time,” says Leutner. “In the end, around 350,000 agents were used in the scene, which is actually close to how many people were at the rally in 1989. Period cars, birds and chimney smoke were added to the shot to enhance the transition between CG and plate. The final shot is extremely close to what Alexanderplatz actually looked like on that day in 1989.”