A South African company has teamed up with an Indian production company, and a US-based film studio, to create some of the most complex cubic transformation sequences in the Bollywood film.
The film, Ra.One, is an Indian science fiction thriller produced by and starring Shahrukh Khan and directed by Anubhav Sinha. It has been widely hailed as one of Bollywood’s most ambitious and technologically advanced films. Inspired by a television commercial in which children were seen using a remote to exercise control over fellow humans, the movie represents a significant visual effects breakthrough for India’s thriving film industry.
Luma Animation, the South African digital agency, collaborated with US-based Synthespian Studios, a visual effects (VFX) studio specialising in character animation and Shahrukh Khan’s Red Chillies VFX in Mumbai.
Jeff Kleiser, owner of Synthespian Studios, was appointed as VFX Supervisor for the film, overseeing the post-production process involving Stereoscopic 3-D conversion and VFX.
Paul Meyer, managing director of Luma, was thrilled to be part of a project that was able to offer the team extensive international exposure.“Being part of this project and being able to work with Jeff and his team has been a groundbreaking experience for Luma,” says Meyer. “This opportunity allowed our team to showcase, on an international level, Luma’s expertise and skill in VFX production and animation.”
Luma had to deal with a number of challenging effects, one of which needed to depict digitally enhanced cubes, which were to converge to form one of the film’s major characters. One of the film’s key visual set pieces, a rain damage sequence in which the protagonist’s life is slowly depleted by falling red evil rain, were created and rendered by Luma.
Ra.One was launched on the 26 October 2012, and went on to win the National Film Award in the special effects category.