This was my second time at Image Engine, and the first time I’d ever returned to a place that I had worked before. I had really enjoyed being at Image Engine the first time so it was an easy decision to return.
The atmosphere at the company hadn’t changed much, and the three projects I did this time kind of fit the same pattern as the three I had done the last time I was here.
The first project was Chappie. This was another Neil Blomkamp project, and most of the work we did was based around the main character Chappie. The project went on for over a year, but there wasn’t much overtime and the final work is still some of the best looking CG I have ever worked on. Read more about the project here.
The second project during this contract was Jurassic World. This was kind of equivalent to R.I.P.D during my first stint at Image Engine, in that it was a CG heavy show, with lots of overtime, and pressure. Obviously the final movie turned out much better than R.I.P.D. and I think the work we did was much better too. Read more about Jurassic World here.
The final show I worked on during this contract was the re-make of Point Break. Now some people had a really rough time on this show but I had a pretty chilled out couple of months on it. A lot of us were supposed to join the project earlier, but Jurassic World ran longer, so the few people who did start on Point Break had a lot to do before we showed up. The shots I did on this project were pretty basic compositing so it, so it kind of felt like Lone Survivor did at the end of my last time at Image Engine.
One thing that was particularly interesting about this time at Image Engine was seeing how their asset management system developed while I was there. They had starting building it years before, and it was starting to take shape during Elysium, but as compositors we didn’t use it for much. But this time around it was much more established, and it kept progressing throughout Chappie and Jurassic World. By the end of Jurassic World every element we used was being tracked and managed by the system. It was the best pipeline I’d ever used up to this point.
Unfortunately, after Point Break there wasn’t much work at Image Engine for the summer so they had to let a lot of the crew go. I would have happily stayed otherwise.