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Sassoon Film Design Uses REALVIZ MatchMover for Life as a House Feature FX

(November 05, 2001)
REALVIZ announced today that Sassoon Film Design, a Santa Monica, CA-based effects studio has used MatchMover to complete visual effects for New Line Cinema's, "Life As a House." Sassoon Film Design (SFD) was the primary effects house, and worked with the film's producers from pre-production, supervising on set through to completion of final shots.

"Life As A House" is a poignant drama starring Kevin Kline as architect George Monroe who decides to tear down his house and winds up rebuilding the world around him. SFD specifically used MatchMover for the film's final sequence to create the illusion of an idyllic neighborhood with a long helicopter shot of the house about which the story is based.

Despite extensive pre-production, a lot of what resulted in the film's final shot developed and evolved during the course of the shoot. Due to high winds, what was initially planned to be a crane shot, was filmed entirely from a helicopter. As a result, the stages, set trucks and trailers were all in the shot and had to be erased from the scene to appear as if a normal neighborhood existed at the edge of a cliff. This would not have been possible without having the capability to track objects in 3D space, SFD company founder Tim Sassoon explains why REALVIZ MatchMover was their tool of choice for the task.

Sassoon Film Design added extensive transparent effects to a fly-over shot revealing the house at the edge of a cliff, circling around the backside of the house and up into the sunset to close the film. Extensive work was completed by SFD's artists to both track and remove production trailers, trucks and empty lots from the background and foreground of the shot, and fill in CG landscaping, trees and homes. The windows of the house were also tracked and replaced with CG windows with reflections from the water below. The final shot came together with around three months of work, resulting in a beautiful scene where the CG elements are indistinguishable from what was in the original shot.

MatchMover is the way to track 3D and enables animation and special effects professionals to create seamless image sequences integrating live-action footage with computer-generated 2D and 3D elements. The award-winning application brings incredibly fast and robust production capabilities to the desktop for advanced digital visual effects creation.

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Related Keywords:special effects, filmmaking

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