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Animal Logic on technology, design and creativity

By ACMI, 2009 3:44 minutes

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In his role as software development manager for Animal Logic, Justen Marshall created the program for animating the twins in The Matrix Reloaded (Wachowski brothers, 2003). Marshall’s team used an upscaled particle system that allowed the designers to create a complex smoky effect. There were a number of quite specific requirements for the creation of the sparkling Green Fairy in Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann, 2001), including the shape of the sparkles and their trajectory. To create the city in 3D in Moulin Rouge, a program was built that gave the designers flexibility and considerable capacity for variation and detail. This attention to detail added an important sense of authenticity.

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Discussion Points

Justen Marshall provides a fascinating insight into the relationship between technology and the art of special effects.

  • There is nothing realistic about the images of the city presented in Moulin Rouge, so what does Marshall mean by the detail adding a ‘sense of authenticity’?

Among the many films that Animal Logic has worked on, The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded have won a particular place in the hearts of fans of VFX. In these films, the world created by the digital effects is just as important as narrative and characterisation.

  • Choose a scene from one of the Matrix films and focus on the aesthetic impact of the visual effects.