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Dumbo Visual Effects Breakdowns

Dumbo is an upcoming American fantasy adventure film directed by Tim Burton, with a screenplay written by Ehren Kruger. It is loosely inspired by Walt Disney’s 1941 animated film of the same name, itself based on the novel by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl. The film stars Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, and Alan Arkin.

Plans of a live-action Dumbo remake were announced in 2014 and Burton was confirmed as director in March 2015. Much of the cast signed on in March 2017 and principal photography began in July of that year in the United Kingdom, lasting until November.

The film is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 29, 2019. It will be released in Real D 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D and Dolby Cinema.

Dumbo VFX by MPC Film

Overall VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers and MPC VFX Supervisor Patrick Ledda oversaw MPC’s teams, made up of more than 1200 artists and production crew, to deliver 1150 shots for “Dumbo”, over the course of two and a half years.

Dumbo VFX by Rodeo FX

Rodeo FX, Our team was delighted to contribute to Dumbo, and delivered 322 shots for Tim Burton’s version of Disney’s 1941 animated feature. More than 220 of our artists created the CG-heavy opening sequence that follows our CG train travelling through a variety of landscapes.

The result is a mix of digital matte paintings, full CG environment and adapted live-action plates. We augmented aerial footage from early production with our own shoot in Georgia and adapted it with digital matte paintings and additional CG work.

We were also tasked with replacing Colin Farrell’s Holt arm with a stump, which required recreating his four main costumes in CG and reconstructing the backgrounds occluded by his sleeve.

Dumbo VFX by The Third Floor

At THE THIRD FLOOR, we’ve visualized soaring superheroes, speeding spaceships and daring dragon rides. Now, we’ve had the chance to literally help do the impossible: make an elephant fly.

Our London team was thrilled to work on the new live-action Dumbo (Walt Disney Pictures), collaborating with Director Tim Burton, VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers, VFX Producer Hal Couzens and various departments surrounding production. With all of the animals — including Dumbo, to be done as CG, THE THIRD FLOOR’s previs and postvis artists completed a giant feat visualizing and blocking the characters in shot after shot. Our UK virtual production crew also stepped into the ring to help create magical elephant flights synced with human performers.

THE THIRD FLOOR’s Justin Summers, Visualization Supervisor, reminisces about the project: “We visualize action for fantastical creatures all of the time, yet it was a real challenge to take something as familiar in the real world as an elephant, and think about ways it could defy physics and fly believably. We were able to help design and influence the looks of Dumbo’s flight and communicate the blocking of what he and the other animals were doing in any given shot.”

“To film the human actors riding Dumbo, we utilized a 3D mold of the digital elephant, articulated by an animatronic and mounted on a 6 axis gimbal,” added Virtual Production Supervisor Kaya Jabar. “Working with stunts, special effects and MPC, we simulated the elephant’s motion as well as the flying camera as the live actors were recorded.”

Look for our work supporting circus, train and flying action across the movie.

Director: Tim Burton
Release Date: 29 March 2019 (USA)

The Production VFX Supervisor: Richard Stammers
The Production VFX Producer: Hal Couzens

The VFX are made by:
MPC (VFX Supervisor: Patrick Ledda)
Framestore (VFX Supervisor: Richard Hoover)
Rise FX (VFX Supervisor: Jonathan Weber)
Rising Sun Pictures
Rodeo FX
The Third Floor

// For more info:

Official website page for Dumbo
Official IMDB page of Dumbo

What do you think?

Written by VFX Online

VFX Online, now writing with a focus on Visual Effects and Animation and Gaming, writing at VFX Online Blog since 2016. VFX Online in India.

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