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DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION

Designing "Dragonball Evolution"
The unique look of the film's action scenes complements its art direction and cinematography. Production designer Bruton Jones, along with visual consultants Richard Holland and Bruce Crone, referenced the Dragonball manga and anime, as well as a melting pot of styles reflecting the film's multicultural, past/future reference points. The Dragon Temple, for example has Russian, Japanese and Chinese architectural influences.

Before production started, director of photography Robert McLachlan tested various film stocks before going with Fuji, which helped provide the heavily color-saturated look he was after. The color saturation adds to the intensity of the film's solar eclipse, which in the story signals a potentially cataclysmic event. "We wanted our eclipse to be much more surreal [than a typical solar eclipse], with weird, intense, reddish colors,” says McLachlan.

Ariel Velasco Shaw oversaw the film's many and varied visual effects, including the energy force known as Ki. Harnessing the power of Ki is one of the central tenants of Eastern philosophy – and connects the incredible goings-on of Dragonball to our real world. In the "air bending” technique of Ki, the practitioner pushes out from his or her chest, causing the air around them to ripple with distortion – and the ensuing energy force to impact their opponent. Ki is so strong that it draws the power of the universe as it is channeled through the practitioner skilled in its technique. Its ultimate manifestation is Goku's "Kame-Hame-Ha” move.

Velasco Shaw and his team created various, character-appropriate forms of Ki. For example, a human character would possess a different Ki than an alien or a human-alien hybrid. Moreover, there's a "younger” Ki for the more youthful characters, and an "older,” more developed Ki for Roshi.

The iconic and mystical Dragonballs were largely the creation of the visual effects team. "Everybody had an idea about what they should look like and what they needed to do,” Velasco Shaw says. The Dragonballs, courtesy of some intensive CG magic, have an otherworldly luminescence befitting their numinous properties.

Velaco Shaw also oversaw the two fully-realized CG creations: the monstrous creature Oozaru, as well as the Fu Lum, demon assassins, who regenerate when dismembered. Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr., principals of one of the industry's top special makeup and prosthetics houses, Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. (ADI), designed and created the prosthetic makeup for Lord Piccolo. The sophisticated prosthetics for Lord Piccolo, designed by Gillis and Woodruff, were applied by prosthetic makeup artist Edward French.

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