Flowers and Mushroom Clouds

The Pink Floyd video “Take It Back” required a number of effects shots in a short period of time. VisionArt contracted to provide the opening sequence of the video and several other shots for the large scale projects. From the day we received plates to the deadline was two weeks.

The opening sequence featured a water tunnel which opened up into a gold liquid environment which was designed and implemented by animator Vinh Le. Using fractal patterns for reference, Vinh modeled the organic gold shapes that dove in and out of the liquid below and created an interesting camera move to complement the action.

The climactic destruction scene of the video came overlooking a california highway filmed with a heavy orange look. The production team shot an empty highway to which we added the destruction. The CG elements included a bright nuclear flash followed by a giant stop motion mushroom growing in the background. The cement was digitally cracked and flowers were created to grow out of the cracks. Then a cloudy sky formed and a tornado ripped up the sky and the ground coming towards camera. We added rocks and stones and ripped up the existing highway to throw it at the camera. We also destroyed the fence on the right at the last minute.

Working on this type of project allowed us an unusual amount of creativity right down to the last minute. It was very rewarding to see the final shot in the video only a week later playing on MTV.

Wrangling Waves
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Wrangling Waves

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This sounds fun, are you hiring?

Yes! We are almost always hiring at ILM. Check for the latest info and browse the posted positions in our studios around the world.

Can I send you a Star Wars idea or a script?

Unfortunately no. As an employee of Lucasfilm I cannot receive unsolicated pitches.

I'd like to study to work in the entertainment industry, what roles should I consider?

Check out Get In the Door for interviews with a number of people in a wide variety of positions at Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic. I think you may find someone there who inspires you.

How can I contribute to software used by the entertainment industry?

The Academy Software Foundation is an open source, non-profit organization dedicated to getting people involved in a healthy software ecosytem for filmmaking, many of our projects focus on visual-effects and animation. I recommend checking out to learn more and get involved as it's a great way to meet people working in the industry and find a passion project to contribute to.