Hristo Velev, Managing Director FX, BottleshipVFX presented an amazingly insightful breakdown of the visual effects his team had done for the China Sci-fi movie, 'Shanghai Fortress'. Meetup hosted by cebas: Edwin Braun CEO.

'Shanghai Fortress' is produced by HS Entertainment, China Film Group, Tencent Pictures.

Webinar talk-about includes workflows, pres-sets, setups using thinkingParticles, teamwork and art-direction - All particles Volumetric Smoke / Fluids (gas), Sparks, Compressible Fluid simulation done with thinkingParticles:


8:13 - Camera setup and the groundbreaking scene,

11:19 - Macro setup Shanghai city buildings crisis / collapse - more on workflow: making the assets, smoke stacks, composition in Nuke, 17:34 - handling geometry- position holding, using the plates and splitting of objects -  BulletRope (TP) rooftop effects - etc/ 

23:38 - cubes - focus on one building shattering, layers of secondaries and layering dusts,..advantage of outline 'cage' , why not simulation of geometry renders, shape sizing ..

Shanghai Fortress Copyright BottleshipVFX and Cebas one building destruction


31:31 - adding build ups from previous shots, the overall shot long view building crashing down, use of SmokeStacks, ...


32: 52 - exploration of Cubes and ways of creating different building shapes targeted for destruction - falling effects, pre-fragmentation : creating realistic effects of building eroding from underneath, buildings colliding effects.. 34:22 from simple shapes to creating guides for collision/fragmenting five main building shapes, and no sim with the non-colliding buildings .. 


35:05 - an interesting building collapse - creating an 'unzip' splitting in the middle effects

37:30 - Hristo addresses webinar question pre-cut and fragmenting...advantages of VB and then ShapeNoise - making points at edges for further artists refinement of geom, 

40:46 - the ultimate epic scene for Shanghai Fortress - alien mothership nuclear explosion - creating the large 500-frame shot of 'nuclear explosion' energy beams - illuminating the scene in a night field (Hristo Velev described it as a MONSTER of a SHOT!) - demolition of the cityscape excluding front buildings (plate) everything else were CG - figuring out how to maintain an interesting 500-frames shot - 

43:50 - Aftermath of the explosion scene - cityscape - a little bit of work here with emphasis on the volumes than the RGB (bandwidth-saving) since structures were in place from previous destruction assetes. 

44:30 - focus on alienship explosion: fine-turning resolutions and slicing - a single simulation moving thru a kind of expanding 'corridor' and created a 'star topology' with the sim - rotate and offset slightly - spinning and a hedgehog motion: multiply sims and maximize over the cityscape scene effects. 45:54 - several sims were build for the RINGS of the explosion.... 

47:23 - added smoke sims - smoke noise collisions and velocities for the 'shapes'. And also, the 'scorching heat' over the building as they get seared from the mothership explosion, like a heat aura around the buildings: 

For the latter half of this amazing Meetup about BottleshipVFX FX breakdowns, please refer to the video. You can also view it on Youtube 
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A Superb Big Thank you to Hristo Velev & the Bottleshipvfx Studio for the insights and scene breakdowns, Big thank you especially to Hristo Velev for this amazing Meetup. Watch for the cebas-BottleshipVFX next - ' WAR ' Bollywood Meetup.