Elysium’s Google Hangout with Visual Effects Supervisor Peter Muyzers

Peter Muyzers - www.whysoblu.comWhy So Blu? was given a special opportunity to “hangout” with Elysium visual effects supervisor Peter Muyzers yesterday morning, as they broadcasted live from Las Vegas at the Cave visual effects convention. Several folks from Autodesk moderated the Google Hangout. Since we’re also going to be reviewing Elysium on this very website soon, it made perfect sense to cover the event, so that we may pair the two pieces together to give fans better coverage of the science fiction epic. Aside from a few technical hiccups during the live feed, the Google Hangout was fun and informative. The following post is more of a free-form post as opposed to a word-for-word transcription. We will also link to the Google Hangout, so that you can also view it at your leisure.  



Shawn Hendricks and Maurice Patel moderated the Google Hangout session with Elysium visual effects supervisor Peter Muyzers. Rama Dunayevich asked Peter the questions that were submitted by the people viewing the live stream through a live chat option. Unfortunately, there were audio problems with Rama’s feed and we could not hear her at all. However, we did know what questions were being asked by Peter’s responses.

I asked Peter: If he and Image Engine were involved in the Kruger *SPOILERS* grenade scene. Peter replied that he was and that WETA built a dummy and then shot a projectile at its face that caused all of the damage you see on screen. He was also present when they repair Kruger on Elysium. Apparently Neill Blomkamp likes his gore and wanted those two scenes featuring a faceless Kruger to be very graphic.

Elysium had 800-900 visual effects shots, whereas District 9 only had 300 visual effects shots.

Elysium had several design challenges and Neill Blomkamp likes to ground his worlds in reality – environments as much as possible.

Syd Mead was an inspiration for the world of Elysium. Blomkamp saw an image in one of Mead’s books and said he wanted Elysium to look like “that!” Syd Mead was also brought on, once again, as  “visual futurist.” Yes, Syd Mead has been in “retirement” for several years but still works in the field.

JPL and NASA were also consulted in terms of showing how the Elysium station would work in the real world. Obviously, creative liberty was taken in the film – mainly the lack of an enclosure surrounding the space station. Instead of an enclosure, it has a gravity field and atmosphere, so that’s why ships can fly right in. The creative side of Blomkamp came into play as opposed to the logical side, with regards to those scenes.

Neill Blomkamp was very savvy when it came down to working with Peter and knowing about the processes involved with animating various elements.

All of the digital droids were actors in grey suits that were mo-capped and animated after in post-production. This technique was also used in District 9.

Parts of Elysium were shot in the second largest waste dump in Mexico City.

Syd Mead and his designs heavily influenced the “protocol” room on the Elysium station.

Moving Picture Company, Method Studios, Animatrix Studios, Whiskytree, and  ILM were several of the companies that were used to create Elysium.

Peter’s Muyzers BIO:

Visual Effects Supervisor & Partner at Image Engine

Peter Muyzers drives the development of creative and technical achievement at Image Engine. Muyzers began his career as a 3D artist working in television commercials and identifications in 1995, with experience also including large format Motion Ride and IMAX 2D and stereoscopic films.

He has since worked at The Moving Picture Company, UK as Computer Graphics Supervisor where he played a key part in building the visual effects pipeline for the MPC film division. His credits from this time encompass a variety of high-profile feature films including Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, the first three Harry Potter films and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Since joining Image Engine in 2006, Muyzers has led the development of Image Engine’s robust film visual effects pipeline and assembled its highly regarded visual effects R&D department. This technical and creative development has been instrumental to the success of District 9 and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, where Muyzers also played a key role as Digital Production Supervisor. For his work on District 9, Muyzers was honored with nominations for the Academy Award®, the BAFTA, and the Visual Effects Society Award. Most recently, Peter has re-teamed with Director Neill Blomkamp for his film, Elysium (Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2013) as the production’s overall Visual Effects Supervisor.

Why So Blu? would like to thank the folks over at Columbia-Tristar-Sony, Peter Muyzers, and the folks over at AutoDesk: Shawn Hendricks, Maurice Patel, and Rama Dunayevich for the time and generosity.

Elysium will be available on Blu-ray and DVD December 17, 2013. You may pre-order the Blu-ray using the link below. Please stay tuned for our upcoming review of Elysium on Blu-ray here on WSB.

Order Elysium on Blu-ray!

Elysium - www.whysoblu.com


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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