Hybride Teams with Sony Pictures Imageworks to Deliver Smurfingly Realistic VFX for Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s THE SMURFS 2™
Hybride, a division of Ubisoft, brings a magical touch to the world of Smurfs with 340 smurfingly realistic VFX shots for Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s The Smurfs 2™.
Filmed partly in Montreal, the sequel takes place in Paris, after Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to his lair under the Garnier Opera House. With Quebec's cityscape serving as a backdrop for Paris, Hybride was tasked with recreating several parts of the French capital.
By relying on specific location references, Hybride’s artists created and integrated numerous elements to realistically immerse audiences into present-day Paris. The team’s graphic artists created several set extensions and created buildings, transforming the streets of Old Montreal into Parisian avenues. Hybride also contributed to the creation of virtual environments and 3D historical landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, La Grande Roue (Ferris Wheel), Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Paris Opera House.
The Smurfs 2™ was the first time Hybride’s artists have rubbed shoulders with Peyo’s little blue friends. The studio was faced with the challenge of reproducing elements whose visual style had been defined in the film’s predecessor, The Smurfs™. The studio successfully completed 340 visual effects shots such as the power-swirl lightning storm, most of Gargamel’s magic wand effects and some of the Smurfs’ blue essence. The team also created a unique visual signature for the above ground explosion effects through the city of Paris and warped reality by animating and having La Grande Roue Ferris Wheel roll down the streets of Paris. In addition, the Hybride team designed and created Gargamel’s machine which is powered by Smurf essence, modeled and animated a Notre-Dame Gargoyle, created crowd replacements in the Paris Opera House and computer and television screen content in the carriage and Nancy O’Dell sequences —all of which help immerse audiences into the magical world of The Smurfs 2™.
Sony Pictures Imageworks oversaw the look and feel on all visual effects shots to assure consistency throughout the film.
In The Smurfs 2™, the sequel to Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster comedy The Smurfs™, the evil wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will let him harness the all-powerful, magical Smurf-essence. But when he discovers that only a real Smurf can give him what he wants, and only a secret spell that Smurfette knows can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs, Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris, where he has been winning the adoration of millions as the world’s greatest sorcerer. It’s up to Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity to return to our time, reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow, and rescue her! Will Smurfette, who has always felt different from the other Smurfs, find a new connection with the Naughties Vexy and Hackus – or will the Smurfs convince her that their love for her is True Blue?
The film is directed by Raja Gosnell and produced by Jordan Kerner. The screenplay is by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss and Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Karey Kirkpatrick with a story by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss & Jay Scherick & David Ronn, Based on the characters and works of Peyo. The Smurfs 2™ was released in theatres on July 31, 2013.