Kong: Skull Island
Hybride has recently completed outstanding VFX work for Jordan Vogt-Roberts' larger than life production, Kong: Skull Island. Collaborating once again with the team at ILM, the studio produced a total of 102 VFX shots including striking CG environments, breathtaking Aurora Borealis, digi-doubles and helicopters, and one giant Stick Creature.
The film tells the story of a team of explorers and soldiers who travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific, unaware that they are crossing into the domain of monsters, including the mythic Kong.
Flash forward some thirty years after a P-51 Mustang's crash-landing on Skull Island, and we find ourselves in 1973 where we meet up with Bill Randa (John Goodman) who is planning an expedition to the mysterious Island. To reach their destination, Randa and his team cross the Pacific aboard a vessel named Athena.
Working with a basic Athena asset supplied by ILM, Hybride modellers created set extensions for shots in and around the boat, added Huey Helicopters, a CG Boeing Chinook, Sikorsky Sea Stallion and CG crew members on deck.
For shots of the vessel at sea, Hybride artists created CG water and enhanced a matte painting created by ILM by adding movement and lightning bolts to storm clouds as a distant storm approaches. The Hybride team was also tasked with creating and inserting storm backgrounds for shots where the actors are filmed inside a helicopter against a green screen.
At some point during the film, we come across a soldier who is caught off guard as he's sitting on a "log" which turns out to be huge stick creature. Hybride artists added a head and legs to a body that had been rigged to stand up on set, and created an entirely CG creature for the shots where we see it moving away.
Using innovative proprietary software called Ecosystem, Hybride artists covered the insect's body with moss and vegetation. "The creature has been lying in the forest for a long, long time," said Hybride visual effects supervisor Philippe Théroux, "there's a lot of debris, dead leaves and moss on top of it, so we created a lot of dirt and moss effects rolling from its back and belly. We also had to have its feet interact with the dead leaves on the ground."
Living alongside the Iwi, we also encounter Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), the same P-51 pilot that crashed on Skull Island during the war. The Iwi village is protected by a huge wall of logs that was entirely created by Hybride artists along with digital set extensions, CG villagers, clouds & smoke from the fires and the shipwrecked steamer, The Wanderer.
In an impressive establishing shot, we fly over water and swoop through a gap in the wall, revealing the Iwi village and Wanderer wreck," added Théroux. "We created set extensions for the village and inserted CG wall and Wanderer assets and we also added CG vegetation around them to ensure the integrations would be seamless."