The Great Wall


Hybride delivered a total of 86 shots for the film, including spectacular VFX for the "prepare for battle" sequence, one of the film's most spectacular scenes.

"It was huge scene, but also very important because it was the first time we see all of the soldiers at the wall coming together to fight the enemy," said Hybride's visual effects supervisor Joseph Kasparian.


The Great Wall
The Great Wall

"The show's entire look needed to be defined in this sequence; and very early on we found out that the Director liked a very over-the-top look: if we thought we'd put in enough smoke and fire, we were often told to double it. Each shot had to have smoke, mist or haze, and wherever there was colour, it had to be a really vivid colour."

In the sequence, the wall's various defenses are engaged: platforms for the leaping crane warriors emerge from the wall; trebuchets rise to launch balls of fire; soldiers armed with arrows and other weapons take position on the wall. Hybride produced CG elements such as crane rigs inside the wall as well as sky rigs being deployed, CG soldiers and Tiger Warriors seen in the background.


For General Shao's grandiose funeral scene, Hybride artists added mourners to each shot and extended illuminated CG lanterns in the background. "This sequence required that we extend the existing crowd of extras using digital doubles and ad paper lanterns floating in the air," said Kasparian.


"We used Horde, an in-house software we had previously developed on Warcraft for the crowd; it allowed us to work with high-res geometry in real time, which really came in handy for the crowd shots in The Great Wall."

For wider shots near the end of the film, Hybride artists produced CG balloons seen in the background and also met the hefty challenge of generating photo-real 3D CG fire, smoke and embers as well as explosion enhancements for the balloons that crash and burn. The studio was also tasked with producing behind the wall and desert set extensions, roof and courtyard extensions as well as CG wall extensions.