To celebrate the release of James Mangold's Logan on DVD and Blu-ray, Rising Sun Pictures has given us a behind-the-scenes look at the hours of meticulous work that went into crafting the VFX Hugh Jackman's Wolverine's final swansong.
Gone were the days of dodgy adamantium claws unrealistically popping out of Jackman's knuckles in Logan. Instead, the film gave us glorious fight scenes that perfectly slip in among the emotional farewell to some of the best-loved X-Men characters from the past 17 years.
At around five minutes long, Rising Sun showcase their best work on the film with the video above, including Jackman's limo fight, the Las Vegas hotel attack, and Wolverine vs. X-24. The company's VFX Supervisor Dennis Jones revealed that it became much more than just your standard CGI with a blood splatter to create the glossy final look of Logan:
“There was a lot to work out about the mechanical functioning of the claws and how they related to the actors and individual body parts, and we were given considerable license to solve the action in creative ways. It went beyond tight match-moving and claw integration. For some of the really specific penetration moments, we had to remove, stabilize and reposition Logan’s arms, fists and claws to suit the composition and timing of the shot.”
Particularly memorable is the scene in Las Vegas, where we see the true power of Patrick Stewart's Professor Xavier and his "psionic blast." The film had already alluded to Charles being a danger to those around him, and that he had inadvertently caused the Westchester Incident, but here we saw him in full flow. As a battered Logan diced his way through an attacking group of Reavers, Jones said that some shaky camerawork made their job even harder:
“The blast was the most challenging effect creatively. The sequence was shot natively with camera shake and so there were no clean takes. Initially, we explored effects and treatments designed to add tunnel vision vignetting, as well as applying blur and over exposure, but weren’t satisfied with the results.”
RSP reprised its role, having worked with Mangold on The Wolverine, and contributed some 230 shots to the concluding chapter of the character's spin-off trilogy. If you noticed that there was a little more gore this time around, Logan's R-rating gave the company room to maneuver when it came to bringing the violence to life. Whether it be flailing limbs or someone taking Wolverine's claws to the jaw, there were no punches pulled by either Mangold or the SFX team:
“On the earlier films, we worked within PG-13 guidelines, but Logan’s R-rating was confirmed from the start. That introduced another dynamic to play with. We could work with less restraint regarding things like blood and claw penetration.”
We recently saw some candid behind-the-scenes photography from Logan, but Rising Sun's video really shows the lengths that Mangold and his many collaborators went to giving us realistic Wolverine action, without looking out of place. Together with the violent pacing, a heartfelt script, and more than a few farewells, you can see exactly why Logan is revered as one of the best superhero films of recent times and a near-perfect end to Jackman's tenure as the clawed Canadian.
Source: Rising Sun Pictures