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Terminator: Dark Fate

Production Company: Paramount Pictures

Director: Tim Miller


Led by VFX supervisor Jay Barton, our team of 120 artists produced three action-packed sequences for the world-renowned franchise. The three sequences, comprising a total of 176 shots, includes the epic factory fight scene between Grace and the Rev-9, which incorporates background extensions for the car factory, Rev-9 Blade effects and stunt head replacements for both Grace and Gabriel – as well as a full Gabriel Digidouble. Additionally, the team worked on the derelict building sequence where the Rev-9 catches up to our heroes and attacks/chases them both on foot and via helicopter in an abandoned industrial complex and the air battle sequence where we did the interiors of the C5 Galaxy fight between Grace, Arnold and the Rev-9. This fight required head replacements for stunt doubles as well as full digi-doubles for Sarah, Dani, Grace, Arnold and Gabriel.


After the collision between the C5 and the refuelling plane, Grace enables autopilot to join the fight. As damage continued to happen to the plane’s exterior, including engines blowing up and panels shredding away, this caused the autopilot to continually try and correct the plane’s trajectory. This cycle of damage and correction put the plane into a series of climbs and dives that make the gravity inside vary. The scene has actors and objects pitching sometimes forward, sometimes backwards, entering zero-G etc in an epic rumble tumble. There were a variety of techniques used with the actors and stunt doubles including tilting the set and wirework. We worked within this framework to accentuate the shifting gravity. CG Digi-doubles reacted to the changing gravity as they fought with debris from the collision as well as crates and weapons flying around the interior. All of this was in addition to the actual fighting that was going on between Grace, Arnold and the Rev 9.


A plate was shot with Grace in the cockpit on a bluescreen set that did not have a stairway or a connection to the cargo bay below. Grace puts on the autopilot, and as she moves away from the pilot seat the shot turns fully CG to follow the Grace digi-double down the CG stairs into the cargo bay area. There she transitions to follow the gravity of the plane in a steep climb. As she is hanging there, surveying the damage and the imminent threat to Dani, the camera goes past a full-frame head and face. We used an element shoot of multiple cameras with Mackenzie to track, model and animate her face performance, as well as to project textures to blend with the CG face render -- add to that blowing CG hair, muscle and cloth sim for her body, etc. Finally, she drops past the camera into the tempest of atmosphere and debris to join the other digi-doubles in the damaged interior.