Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page

GHOST RIDER

The Visual Effects
One of the biggest challenges Petruccelli and the rest of the crew faced was bringing to life the Hellcycle, Ghost Rider's flaming ride. According to Arad, the Hellcycle will please even the most die-hard motorcycle fans – a group in which Arad includes himself. "Harley Davidsons are my hobby,” says the producer, who also owns the chain of Harley Davidson cafés. "The Hellcycle is a character – it has guts, soul, vertebrae, eyes, and sex appeal. Ultimately, it's a piece of hardware, but out of it comes feeling and emotion.”

"Building the Hell bike was a colossal undertaking,” says the production designer. "In addition to being the most supernatural, kick-ass-looking bike that ever existed, it had to work. It had to be fast, it had to be powerful, and it had to be able to be handled.”

Johnson says his goal was to enhance the comic-book version of the Hellcycle. "I wanted it to be the coolest thing you've ever seen – cooler than the Batmobile,” he says. "It's something between a machine and an animal, with bone structure, a spine and a huge personality. Crash McCreery, one of our artists, came up with the design and then it became a moving piece of art. It took on its own personality, just like the Ghost Rider.”

"We were aware that realizing the Hellcycle in three dimensions was going to be one of our greatest challenges,” says De Luca. "I thought they did an incredible job. It achieves everything that made the bike in the comics so great and even takes it further, with the skull on the front and the flaming tires. It's like nothing you've seen before.”

Petruccelli toiled for months with a team of sculptors, painters, and motorcycle technicians to create the possessed motorcycle. "We started with a small maquette and then we went to the next stage, building real scale elements. Once the design was approved, seven individual bikes were produced. Each has a different function and all are custom-scaled and fit to Nic.”

Once the Hellcycle had been built and photographed, the torch was passed to the visual effects team. "Mark wanted to use a real bike and I encouraged that,” says visual effects supervisor Kevin Mack. "I think it's good to have real elements where you can. Our work is most effective when it's a mix – and then you really lose track of what's CG and what's real. There are, however, a few sequences where the bike is entirely computer generated and certainly the fire on it is always computer generated.”

For Mack, the creation of both the Hellcycle and Ghost Rider was literally a trial by fire. "Ghost Rider has a flaming head,” explains Mack. "He bursts into flame and turns into a skeleton. He rides a chopper that's also on fire. So I would say the biggest challenge was to create fire in a very directable way that was completely realistic. For the simulation of the fire we did a great deal of research and gathered a lot of work that has been done in the academic community in terms of fluid flow dynamics – the simulation of fluids, of which fire is one. A lot of this work came from some equations called the Navier-Stokes equations, undertaken for scientific purposes. Some very clever people took those equations, simplified them a little, and started applying them to computer graphics. We took some of that work and implemented it into tools we could use.”

To help integrate the live shots of the Ghost Rider and Hellcycle with the CG fire added in postproduction, Mack and his team developed two interactive light rigs. For the Ghost Rider, the rig consisted of a sheer face mask mounted with flat, randomly flashing LEDs that cast light onto the actor's shoulders to mimic reflections from the flaming head. The same approach was used on the Hellcycle, where LEDs attached to the wheels cast flickering light onto the ground as well as onto the bike itself.

"T

TOP

Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
Contact CinemaReview.com

2014 7,  All Rights Reserved.

Google

Find:  HELP!

Google