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Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams

Posted in All, Color, Compositing, Feature Film, Visual Effects

A challenging highlight of my time at ReelFX has been the work we did for Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams for Robert Rodriguez’ Troublemaker Studios.

We did the effects work for the first portion of the film, a sequence at a Theme Park. That park happens to be Dallas’s very own Six Flax Over Texas, rebranded as a fictional theme park with some more extreme rides than you can imagine, supplied by us: a super-fast spinning ride appropriately named The Vomiter, and another ride called the “Juggler”. Even better, the carnival barker that introduces us to those rides is Bill Paxton himself. (You can trust him, right?)

We did some pretty heavy effects work to make these rides happen, including compositing greenscreen and bluescreen plates of the actors and coming up with integrated CG renders that were believable. I worked on much of the composites, from the closeup of Juni putting on his glasses to Juni and his sister climbing a ride with cybernetic hand attachments. In one series of shots, where his antagonist follows him with a cable gun that shoots metal cables, I made the cables from photos and animated them in Flame. (One of my triumphs in accomplishing this difficult task was that the animation for this was approved by Robert the very first time he saw it!)

I also layered together the different CG renders and colored them to match the live action plates, and helped with matte painting in some shots. In helping try to make these rides as realistic as possible, I added a few tiny little warning labels. This little detail helped a lot, and also helped the viewer with a sense of scale.