Los Angeles-based Wolverine VFX, Inc. prides itself on creating a congenial collaborative spirit amongst its artists and VFX professionals and the editorial departments they work with. The team provides beauty work, compositing, motion graphics, and UI for episodics, feature films, and web and marketing videos. Their credits include ABC’s Nashville, TNT’s Major Crimes, and the film The Salton Sea.
“We view ourselves as a resource for our clients,” says Chuck Dulin, President & VFX Supervisor. “Our focus is to simplify the process of visual effects by sharing our methods and techniques with editorial.” An important part of this simplified workflow is integrating Mocha, which Wolverine uses in conjunction with After Effects, the rest of the Adobe suite, and Maxon Cinema 4D.
One area that Wolverine excels in is unplanned VFX shots, ie, shots that aren’t slated and prepped for VFX, no clean plates, and complicated camera motion. “If anything needs tracking or stabilizing, Mocha is the number one option,” states Dulin. “We can tackle these shots, quickly establish a steady track, rotoscope elements that cover our target area, composite, and send a mockup to the client before the end of the day.” The speed in which the team can work translates into huge time-savings for both Wolverine and their clients (who also appreciate staying within budgets). “We typically start every shot with Mocha, and then proceed with the composite,” continues Dulin. “The advantage for us is the ability to tell our clients ‘no tracking markers are necessary!’ This will typically floor a prospective client.”
Many of the shots Wolverine works on are handheld. Recently, the team wrapped up a composite on a handheld shot that tracked around two sides of a parked car. The goal was to increase the gore level on the hood of the car in the aftermath of the terrible accident. “During spotting, we felt that a 3D track would be necessary to complete the effect,” notes Dulin. “Being that we typically start each shot with Mocha, we performed an initial track and were impressed with the results. After some minor adjustments (Adjust Track is baller!), we completed the composite and the shot was approved.”
Another project they recently used Mocha on came from a concept for the music video “Coming Home” for Irish pop-country singer Megan O’Neill. “The director wanted the artist to wave her hands and create musical notes and track words in the air when she was singing,” comments Dulin. “Mocha allowed us to take the final shots, track her actions, and integrate it with the camera motion to create a seamless blend of live action and visible music.”
“We love Imagineer’s focus on building strong relationships and providing support whenever we have questions or technique issues,” ends Dulin. “We have had the wonderful evangelist, Mary Poplin, come to our offices and demo new features of the software. Our company shares these same core values: fostering loyalty through the sharing of ideas and education.”