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Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

[Paramount Pictures]

The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name.

With the high number of complex live-action stunts in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, ILM’s job involved a high number of shot alterations to eliminate safety equipment and fill in the blanks on action sequences.

Specifically, ILM’s work on the Burj sequence — eliminating safety equipment and creating CG extensions — and the sandstorm car chase sequence — utilizing Plume GPU (an accelerated simulation rendering application) to even out and augment the dust to make the shot more consistent and hide background elements — were especially challenging. With Tom Cruise climbing the side of the tallest building in the world and riding on the back of a car during a sandstorm, ILM’s mission focused on supporting the story by making these shots seem as realistic as possible.

This film was ILM’s first foray into production with Katana (the scene management and lighting tool) rendered in Arnold. Lighting in Katana is a different way of thinking because it’s all about deferred loading and it’s a big node graph-based application for 3D objects. Utilizing Katana’s Ray tracing was especially useful for all of the computer-generated vehicles in the final scene.

Director: Brad Bird
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor: John Knoll, Russell Earl
ILM Visual Effects Art Director: Alex Jaeger
ILM Visual Effects Producer: Amy Beresford
ILM Studios: San Francisco, Singapore