View Full Version : Babel

10 October 2006, 02:53 PM
Hi All,

Back in February Dan Wheaton and I worked on this Tokyo shot for Babel at Intelligent Creatures in Toronto. The movie opened this past week and VFX World has an article featuring our shot. You can see the clip they have posted with a shot breakdown here:
Click Here For Babel Clip (

The shot was pretty straight forward. The majority of it is 2.5D matte work done by Dan and I with some compositing wizardry by the talented Lawrence Lok. The distant horizon was real Tokyo footage that was sliced and diced by another talented compositor Scott Riopelle. There were a variety of 3D artists involved. Most notably was a young guy, Dominic Cheung who went above and beyond the call of duty. It was his job to keep track of the myriad of camera projections as well as handle a lot of the modeling work.

Over all we were fairly pleased with the shot.


You can see more of Dan Wheaton's work at (

10 October 2006, 04:25 PM
Looks very nice, Tim!
Terrific job.
Congrats and thanks for sharing.:)


10 October 2006, 06:07 PM
great job tim very beliavable, I think it look very photorealistic, what software did you used?/ tell us more about thios technique, for example I saw the breakdown where you have the couple in 3d is the footage camera mapped or how did you guys do this shot ?

10 October 2006, 06:17 PM
Thanks guys. James, you can read about the shot here:


11 November 2006, 12:31 AM
Hey Jamesvfx

Just to give a bit more insight.. the plate of the couple only pulls back like 30 feet or so, and had to last the length of our CG pullback. They were painted out in a clean plate, looped and reprojected back in. The city was then a complete recreation with Tim and I tag teaming on the matte work, broken down into hero buildings which were more complex, and sections of city blocks, etc. Hope that helps!


11 November 2006, 04:18 PM
Although You've shown it to me on a small screen in Adapt, I still think it's great work guys.... turns out looking really nice. It's nice to be able to take the time to appreciate it.

keep up the good work !


11 November 2006, 12:37 PM
Hey nice work guys, looks a really interesting film.

Can i ask a little background. How long have you been producing mattes for film? and can you give any advice to people wishing to get into the industry.

Cheers - Dave.

11 November 2006, 05:07 PM
hey ben,
unfortunately this clip isn't much bigger. The movie is out in a week or so, you'll have to go and then give us your thoughts.


I started the path toward matte painting about 4 or 5 years ago. Seeing Craig Mullins work for the first time planted the seed and the rest was a lot of hard work and picking peoples brains in places like this just like you are right now. Ben has been one of them lol. I still continue to. I checked out your site. Looks like your well on your way! Take no prisoners!


11 November 2006, 05:20 PM
Cheers Tim, encouraging words. I'm hoping that i'll improve with time. If you get a second take a look at my recent project, i've just updated it:

It seems i can't do any better, but when i look at your work i think, there must be something i can do to get better results. I guess time and hard work is what it's all about.

Cheers again Tim, glad you could drop by:thumbsup:

- Dave.

11 November 2006, 01:29 AM
That's it exactly Dave, time and hard work. Always be observing life, photos, movies, other artists work. It all sits in your brain and helps you make better decisions.
I left some comments in the post you pointed me to. Best of luck.


11 November 2006, 06:31 AM
Hi, I saw the film on day one and was interested in this shot. Didnt seem like the kind of film to have a super CG shot but I figured it was too neat to be done any other way... great job!

edit: ok, just watched the awn clip and as ever Im in awe that this kind of work is even possible! The only thing that gives away its 'fakeness' is simply the fact that it happens at all. In the context of the film, the shot stands out as not only as being very different to the rest of the film but also as being physically impossible to achieve. But, again, the CG itself is great.

11 November 2006, 01:53 PM
Nice work. I saw babel this weekend and i loved it. That end shot was ising on the cake...

11 November 2006, 04:49 PM
I will be seeing it this week. I'm anxious to see how the shot holds up on the big screen. I'm flatered that you would say you were in awe. You guys at Blur do amazing work. You must have done stuff like this before.

Glad you liked it.

11 November 2006, 04:59 PM
I will be seeing it this week. I'm anxious to see how the shot holds up on the big screen. I'm flatered that you would say you were in awe. You guys at Blur do amazing work. You must have done stuff like this before.

Yeah, the guys at work constantly amaze me too :)

CGTalk Moderation
11 November 2006, 04:59 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.