SolidAnim Goes Sky High with The Walk

Paris, France, DATE, 2015…SolidAnim, a leader in the development of on-set virtual tracking equipment and visualization software, announced that Robert Zemeckis’ critically-acclaimed film, The Walk, utilized SolidAnim’s SolidTrack system for its’ visfx pre-viz.
The Walk is a 3D biographical drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Christopher Browne and Zemeckis. It is based on the story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers of the Wolrd Trade Center on August 7, 1974. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz and Steve Valentine. The film was released by TriStar Pictures TriStar on September 30, 2015.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt shot the climactic wire-walking scenes on a soundstage with re-creations of the top two stories of the tower and a wire approximately twelve feet off the ground that was connected out into a green abyss and was anchored on a pole. The SolidTrack system was utilized for previz of these scenes while shooting them real-time. Mr. Zemeckis utilized SolidTrack for perspective views of the Twin Towers, which allowed him to get the right frame of the scene. Visualizing in live VFX gives the director the exact final result, which is recorded real-time and sent to post-production, resulting in a significant amount of time and financial savings.

Mickael Partouche, SolidTrack Operator, was on-set during filming and noted, "I worked directly with the VFX Supervisor Kevin Baillie, the Director of Photography Dariusz Wolski and Director Robert Zemeckis. They used SolidTrack on-set as it allowed them to accomplish things they were unable to do previously. As Mr. Zemeckis mentioned recently, the technology has evolved to a place where he could do the movie seamlessly and not have it cost a fortune. The scenes of the actual feat itself are wonderful examples of the art of visual effects combined with great cinematography and a graceful and physically realistic turn by the actor. "

SolidTrack is a real time camera tracking solution for recording camera moves and data logging of camera moves on the virtual set. This simple yet versatile markerless camera tracking system for the film and broadcast industries addresses virtual production needs. SolidTrack’s flexibility allows filmmakers to shoot both indoors and outdoors with the same high quality results.
SolidTrack brings a revolutionary approach of shooting providing a more ergonomic and intuitive solution. SolidTrack combines real-time camera tracking and augmented reality previsualizing VFX while shooting. Producers achieve greater control of VFX budgets and timescales, minimizing wastage and ensuring efficient delivery, from previz to the final movie or television show. Comparing to traditional shooting methods, producers save approximately 30% time on a film or television show utilizing SolidTrack.

SolidTrack new version includes a box that gathers all tracking and other data in a single wire, which makes the organization of data and global information significantly easier. In addition a new Genlock feature to genlock SolidTrack tracking data and the film camera has been implemented. This two-way synchronization ensures there are no frame delays.
In addition to The Walk SolidAnim’s SolidTrack system was utilized on Emmy-nominated and Visual Effects Society winner Cosmos : A Spacetime Odyssey, the upcoming Alice in Wonderland 2 : Through The Looking Glass film, Warcraft, God of Egypt and been select by Lightstorm and Weta Digital for the next Avatars sequels.

Image courtesy Kevin Baillie.

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