The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Feature Film, 2015

Milk delivers crowd and environment work for opening and closing sequences of Summit Entertainment’s ‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’

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Milk created the visual effects for the epic opening and closing sequences of action sci-fi feature film “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” for Summit Entertainment (Lionsgate). Milk created crowd and full CGI environment work for both shots which total one and a half minutes on screen.

Milk created the opening fly-over view of a devastated future Chicago which features war-torn buildings and debris. The shot necessitated fully replacing the ground plane with CGI assets created by Milk – debris, vegetation, the dry riverbed and several hero CGI buildings. The Milk team worked with production’s VFX Supervisor, James Madigan, to fully replace various buildings and interiors in order to show a complex level of destruction. Milk also produced additional CGI assets including turbines and cables, and its R&D team created tools to produce the dramatic effect of weathering and ivy crawling across the city.

In addition, Milk generated a crowd of 250 digi-double people, digital flamethrowers and trucks for the ‘Abnegation’ area, which had to seamlessly match the subsequent drama shots.

The Milk team also substituted the Barclay Tower with the ‘Erudite’ Headquarters and fully replaced the distant environment behind it with a deserted landscape bordered by the city wall.

The focus of Milk’s work in the closing shot was the dramatic aerial sequence featuring crowds of people in their factions moving across the landscape, as the camera travels up a dried-out riverbed. The biggest challenge was creating a digi-double crowd of 50,000 people, while ensuring each faction was accurately represented. The full integration of software Golaem Crowd in Milk’s pipeline made possible the task of choreographing this vast throng. Milk overcame the challenge of rendering the complex CG assets – grass, trees, ivy, flowers, rocks and CG crowd – by converting them into Arnold scenes, which allowed for rendering around 5 billion polygons per frame in under an hour.

Milk’s VFX Supervisor Nicolas Hernandez worked closely with Double Negative to seamlessly blend their work in the closing shot. Double Negative created and tracked the cityscape, and Milk built the CGI dry riverbed and bank.

Will Cohen, CEO and Founder of Milk VFX said, “One of the key challenges on “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” was delivering these massive travelling shots that book-ended this hugely successful blockbuster in a comparatively short amount of time. Milk’s crowd effects pipeline, which incorporates Golaem Crowd and rendering in Arnold, made the task smoother and we are very proud of the results. ”

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VFX Producer
Jenna Powell 

VFX Supervisor
Nicolas Hernandez 

2D Supervisor
Sara Bennett 

VFX Co-ordinator
Mariangela Suma 

VFX Editor
Collette Nunes 


Modelling Supervisor
Sam Lucas 

Texture Supervisor
Henry South

Matchmove Supervisor
Amy Felce 

Rigging Supervisor
Neil Roche

FX Supervisor
James Reid 

Pipeline TD
Benoit Leveau 

Marc Joubert-Nederveen, Jason Brown, Stefan Brown

Junior Modeller
Gavin Platt 

William Correia, Joe Tarrant

Crowd TD
Nick Webber 

Dominic Carus, Luca Zappala

Lighting TD
Jan SchubertAdrian Williams, Bastien Mortelecque,
Darren Byford

Matte Painting
Turlo Griffin, Simon Wicker

Henning GlabbartMatias Derkacz, Pedro Andrade

Roto Artists
Tomi George, Jay Murray

Awright Guv’nah

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