Interview with Sam Wang, Eclipse Studio, Beijing
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (Long Men Fei Jia) is a major new Chinese motion picture starring Jet Li and directed by Hark Tsui, scheduled for release at the end of 2011.
Jet Li is a famous Wu-shu actor who has starred in many action adventures including Hero, Kiss of the Dragon, Unleashed and The Expendables. He started as an action hero when he was 16 and has won a number of Chinese acting awards and international nominations.
Early movie poster for the latest Jet Lee Kung-fu picture, scheduled for release in winter 2011, or:
cebas particle effects in heroic action
Sam Wang is President at Eclipse Studio in Beijing. He has eight years experience in the film post-production industry. He started his career as a sound designer and has received four Best Sound nominations in Asia. Wang built a Digital Intermediate company in Beijing in 2008 and started Eclipse Visual Effects Studio in 2010.
Why is “Flying Swords”a particularly important project for you and Eclipse FX Studio, Beijing?
First of all, it is the biggest and most expensive Kung-fu movie currently in production in Asia. Secondly, it will be the first such movie released in 3D, and last but not least, it uses the latest in Hollywood-style special effects, such as have never been incorporated at this high level in an Asian movie before. So we are of course especially happy to be part of it.
What is special about Eclipse Studio?
We consider ourselves unique in that we have created a Hollywood style production pipeline, not normally found in Asia, and try to only promise what we know we can deliver. Also, combining an effects-heavy movie with 3D Stereo is very rare in Asia, especially in this quality, so we are pioneering this market.
How did you get involved in the project?
I have known Hark for a number of years. We did the digital intermediate for Detective D and recently made a short together. We tested out some of the special effects we want to use, and it came out very well. So when this thing started, we got involved very early on.
Which sequences in particular are you involved in?
We are doing a climactic sequence that involves a huge amount of destruction, debris, dust, smoke and other special effects. We decided to concentrate on this sequence alone, which is very challenging and involves about 100 shots.
What cebas software did you use and why?
We are using thinkingParticles, finalRender and FumeFX. They are the most ideal package for such sequences and have been proven in other productions, such as 2012, Alice in Wonderland, and Sucker Punch.
How did you use our software to achieve the effects?
We are using Maya for modeling and animation and the cebas software on 3ds Max for lighting and effects rendering. We are also using Nuke, Houdini, and Opula. Our US VFX partner for this project, Sam Korshid, has taught some of our staff how to set up the pipeline and use the cebas software.
What features in particular helped you achieve your goal and how?
One of the advantages for this 3D production is the finalRender Stereo Camera. We are using tracking software, which our highly experienced specialist, Chu Ge, is handling for us.
How did the cebas tools perform for you and how is it to work with them?
The quality of this software is great, and it’s fast!
How did cebas software integrate into your production pipeline? How straightforward was it?
This was pretty straight forward, we had no issues.
What do you wish cebas software did that it's not currently doing for you?
We want it to render even faster, time is money (laughs)!
Thank you, Sam, for sharing your experience with us and the community.
Click to play Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D movie announcement