Director: Brad Bird
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Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
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Release date: 22/05/15

"We always enjoy collaborating with ILM, and we had a lot of fun working on Tomorrowland. We’re fans of Brad Bird and proud to have contributed to one of his films."

− Sebastien Moreau, President of Rodeo FX

Rodeo FX completed 50 visual effects shots for the latest Brad Bird movie, Tomorrowland, including digital matte painting, bluescreen compositing, scene enhancements, CG effects and simulation, and a thrilling sequence in which the central characters escape in a rocket-propelled bathtub pod moments before their farmhouse explodes. Partnering once again with Industrial, Light and Magic, Rodeo FX combined digital effects and miniatures shot in-house to deliver visual effects for a magical and futuristic world.

Escape from an exploding house

Casey Newton (Robertson) arrives on the doorstep of Frank Walker (Clooney), looking for answers to her questions. Soon the farmhouse is surrounded by officers who have come to take her away, believing she is a fugitive. The duo escape in Frank’s homemade bathtub-pod, which launches like a rocket, just as the house explodes. The pod shoots through the dawn sky, finally landing in a lake where it sinks. After climbing out of the water, the pair hop on a motorbike they find hidden and complete their getaway. The house, silo, pod, and its plasma trail are all CG, while the background environment is a digital matte painting.

Mastering the jet pack

Rodeo FX created a sequence in which Frank, as a boy, flies using a jet pack, for which they replaced and enhanced the sky, added a CG jet trail, stitched plates, and added practical debris and particles to show the boy’s point-of-view as he flies through grass and over a fence, before crash-landing into a cornfield.

Eiffel Tower

For a sequence with the principal characters in the Eiffel Tower, Rodeo FX took plates of actors shot against a bluescreen, then stitched live plates from the production shoot in Paris and re-projected them as a matte painting.

“We always enjoy collaborating with ILM, and we had a lot of fun working on Tomorrowland,” said Sébastien Moreau, president of Rodeo FX. “We’re fans of Brad Bird and proud to have contributed to one of his films.”