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Take A Look At The VFX Breakdown Made For The Hunger Games Prequel

Ghost VFX, the studio that worked on visual effects for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, has shared a stunning VFX reel featuring a lot of CGI snakes.

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is the fifth installment in The Hunger Games film series that premiered last year. Essentially, it's a prequel set over 60 years before the events of The Hunger Games' main story and follows the journey of young Cornelius Snow, long before he became a tyrant, and his relationship with a rebellious District 12 tribute Lucy Baird.

The Hunger Games series is known for its visual metaphors, quirky and opulent costumes as well as grim and dystopian imagery, all requiring heavy use of visual effects. For example, among the many inspirations for the visuals was the reconstruction of European cities post-World War II, with the original scenery reimagined and altered with CGI to be incorporated into the movie. As the VFX supervisor Adrian de Wet said, "What I've learned from my 10 years of working on The Hunger Games movies is that the success lies in shooting something which has an existing element to it". 

Recently, Ghost VFX artists, the team behind the visual effects for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, shared a fascinating breakdown video of their work on the movie. Ghost VFX was tasked with creating a swarm of snakes and visualizing eels swimming around in a small pool on the floor.

Image Credit: Ghost VFX

Image Credit: Ghost VFX

For the VFX artists, the movie's biggest challenge was the CG creation of the snakes. According to de Wet, the team went through several iterations with the look of the snakes to achieve the right balance between the iridescence and native saturated color. The snake interaction was the most difficult of it all, as the VFX team had to make rubble and pebbles on surfaces for the snakes to move between as well as make dust on surfaces, so they could leave a trail, all while working on the cloth simulations.

Image Credit: Ghost VFX

Image Credit: Ghost VFX

"We worked on a very complex sequence in the arena where a huge canister filled with snakes would be unleashed to hunt the remaining tributes. The fast-moving snake herd was a difficult challenge solved through simulation and animation. The snakes needed to interact with the arena, the actors, and themselves; on top of that, we also had to create cloth simulation for the shots where they are crawling on the actors. The FX team did a great job of bringing the snakes to life, and in some of the final shots, there is hardly anything left of the original plate. It was an honor for our team to help fulfill Director Francis Lawrence's vision for the film and to work with Adrian De Wet and Eva Fizzinoglia again", commented Ghost VFX's Martin Gaardeler.

Watch the reel on the Ghost VFX's official site and read The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes' VFX Supervisor interview here. Don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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