It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom. But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.
Led by MPC VFX Supervisor Arundi Asregadoo and VFX Producer Pierre Escande, MPC worked closely with Production Supervisor Tim Burke and Frank Petzold, completing 230 shots for this revival of the classic tale. MPC worked on three main sequences consisting of; Tarzan’s reunion with the Lions, The Wildebeest Stampede, the Sinking Boat and African Tribes.
Tarzan’s reunion with the Lions was a challenging sequence as the shots consisted of close up, complex interactions between a full CG lion pride and Tarzan. When Tarzan greets the lion pride he embraces one of the lionesses. A stunt performer was used as a reference interaction point in the original plate footage, which provided MPC’s team with the correct motion and fabric interactions between the lioness and Tarzans jacket. The African environment also needed extensive work within this sequence as the shoot took place in Wales. and populated them with African animals including; antelopes, oryx and wildebeest. The Environment team expanded and replaced plate backgrounds, replacing much of the practical grass with CG grass so that it interacted in the correct way when the lions move through it. The environment was then populated with animals including; antelopes, oryx and wildebeest.
The epic Wildebeest Stampede sequence takes place in the city of Boma. In order to fight an army of soldiers and free Jane, Tarzan and a group of lions chase a herd of wildebeests, creating a stampede. The wildebeests become crazed and rush down towards the city and garrison encampment, causing chaos. This sequence involved plenty of crowd and animation challenges to create the hundreds of CG wildebeests interacting with the live action actors, props, buildings, and tents. MPC used their in-house crowd tool ALICE to generate the huge herd of animals and the FX department used their award winning destruction tool Kali tool to simulate the chaos the wildebeest stampede causes.
The final sequence MPC worked on was where a steamboat is fired upon and sinks. Williams commanders open fire on the escaping steamboat, setting off an explosion in the engine room which tears the boat apart. The sequence was shot in a water tank, in Leavesden, UK and therefore required a great deal of environment work to create the Congo environments around the boat. MPC simulated an explosion on the ship, which creates widespread flying debris, smoke and fire over the river. For this sequence a CG crowd of African tribes people were created as they regrouped to join the battle at the end of the sequence.