RSVFX CREATES STUNNING CG SPACE FLEET, FX & ENVIRONMENT WORK FOR HALO S1 | A RETROSPECTIVE

BOUTIQUE STUDIO DELIVERS OVER 400 CG SHOTS

November 2022 – Emmy nominated boutique visual effects studio Rocket Science (RSVFX) delivered over 400 CG-heavy visual effects shots for the hit Paramount+ sci-fi series HALO.

This first season of HALO was an epic journey of creative and technical discovery. One that we are extremely proud to have been a part of.  We are thankful to Tom Turnbull, Dominic Remane, and Bill Haliday for partnering with our team to deliver ground-breaking visual effects on this top tier production. We appreciate Take 5, Paramount+, and Microsoft for putting their faith in us. Having unparalleled support from our partners was key to our success.” Anthony Paterson, CEO / Executive VFX Supervisor.

HALO Production VFX team, originally led by RSVFX’s own Tom Turnbull, VFX Supervisor, and later Emmy Award winners Dominic Remane, VFX Supervisor and VFX Producer Bill Halliday, leaned on Rocket Science to carry the bulk of the CG space fleet, heavy fx work and environments for the show. Tom Plaskett, VFX Supervisor, JP Giamos, VFX Producer and John Markle, VFX Production Manager led the RSVFX team of 200+ artists over the run of the show.

Halo was a blast! We were presented with some unique creative challenges – how to build a space city with connecting pieces all with unique animation – The Rubble – and how the Forerunner Artifact would react to Master Chiefs touch. We set out to explore different techniques to see where we could push the work with Houdini and Arnold. The whole team rose to the occasion.” Tom Plaskett, RSVFX Supervisor.

Along with the hero ship, the Super Condor, RSVFX created the majority of spacecraft featured, including the Covenant Fleet – Banshee, Battle Cruiser, Assault Carrier, Heavy Cruiser, Phantom, Heavy Corvette, Seraph, Spirit; UNSC Fleet – Super Condor, Pelican, Frigate, Corvette, Bumblebee, Pioneer Longsword, Scorpion; Dr. Halsey’s ship and Soren’s Tug. The RSVFX asset team created all of the assets in Maya, and rendered in Arnold, to be compatible for multiple vendors worldwide.

The RSVFX team delivered impressive environment work. The Rubble (E2), a sci-fi asteroid colony strung together by mechanical tubes, was an exciting challenge for the team who had to balance the visual chaos of a city built from the refuse of other structures with the functionality of a commercial space-port. In addition to the Kora (the central asteroid of the Rubble system) and the asteroids connected to it, RSVFX also generated an array of asteroids for the asteroid field that Kwan and Master Chief perilously navigate to arrive at the Rubble. 

Rocket Science produced multiple establishing shots of the desert metropolis, Madrigal (E4) as well as a full CG shot of Soren’s Tug navigating the rocky terrain. Work on Madrigal City continued with many environment extensions within the city walls as Kwan and Soren navigate the busy streets.

The RSVFX team took on the Artifact; the mysterious Forerunner object discovered on planet Madrigal. RSVFX worked closely with Art Directors at 343 Studios to ensure that the look development of the Artifact fit within the canon of the HALO universe and that the symbols and glyphs that the Artifact produced correlated to the originals. On a technical level, the illumination effect of the Artifact was somewhat unique: animated maps generated by the compositing team provided the rhythm and pacing for the flickering lights within the object, which, once activated, revealed a crystal sub-structure beneath the benign metallic exterior. 

“HALO has a huge following. It was crucial we deliver stellar creative. Our long history with the sci-fi genre and direct approach was key to the team successfully delivering beyond expectations.” says VFX Producer JP Giamos. 

Rocket Science is currently in production on HALO S2.

Halo is a military science fiction television series developed by Kyle Killen and Steven Kane for Paramount+. Based on the video game franchise of the same name, the series follows a 26th-century war between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant, a theocratic-military alliance of several advanced alien races determined to eradicate the human race.

Rocket Science is an Emmy nominated boutique visual effects studio collaborating with filmmakers to create stunning visual imagery utilizing artistry, science and technology. Located in Toronto, Canada, notable credits include Eric Kripke’s Emmy nominated superhero series THE BOYS (Amazon), the epic video game adaptation HALO (Paramount +), Steve Blackman’s THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Netflix), and features such David Cronenberg’s CRIMES OF THE FUTURE and Noah Baumbach’s soon to be released WHITE NOISE (Netflix). 

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RSVFX x WOMEN IN VFX

Boutique VFX Studio Leads with Workforce Development & Diversity Initiatives

“I had a lovely time with the team at Rocket Science VFX, where I was given an opportunity to observe the inner workings of their busy studio. I learned the importance of tax credits, budgeting, and artist organization, all of which keeps their studio running smoothly to meet client deadlines while producing quality visual effects.” ~ Set Shuter, Post Production Supervisor

“The program with RSVFX was fantastic, the amount I learned is worth its weight in gold.” ~ Ariana Saadat, VFX Supervisor/Compositor 

“RSVFX provided me with the resources to have an incredible experience working both remotely and in-studio. I appreciated the opportunity to work on multiple projects, which provided me with a depth of knowledge.” ~ Brittany Lewis, VFX Editor

November 2022 

Emmy nominated boutique visual effects studio Rocket Science VFX (RSVFX) has prioritized its team building initiatives towards workforce development and diversity.

Rocket Science has partnered with The Canadian Academy for a second year,  to support their Women in Post Program, providing higher-level industry access and professional development for women identifying or non-binary emerging to mid-level creatives working in all areas of post production.

“It’s important to participate in community building partnerships and develop internal initiatives aimed at elevating and supporting diversity within visual effects.  When we all play our part in championing future artists, we move the needle to develop career paths, bolstering an inclusive workforce.” ~ Christa Tazzeo Morson, Executive VFX Producer

In addition to the Women in Post program, Rocket Science collaborates with the Toronto based branch of Women in Film and Television (WIFT), a member based non-profit organization leading in building an equitable, inclusive and accessible screen-based media industry. RSVFX has also developed internal programs, including monthly WIVFX  (Women in Visual Effects) @ RSVFX meetings to support and develop career paths for women in visual effects.

RSVFX is proud to take action to support diversity and representation in the film and television industry, specifically visual effects. We have made it a mandate to implement initiatives that strive to reflect our creative culture as a whole.” ~ Anthony Paterson, CEO

The Academy’s Women in Post Program programming includes strategic learning modules, creative and technical skills building, and hands-on mentorship at a post production company or with a post production-related role. The Women in Post Program is presented by Netflix and supported by Canada Media Fund and RBC Foundation in support of RBC Emerging Artists, and industry partners Company 3 and Rocket Science VFX.

Earlier this fall, RSVFX hosted paid internships for three participants from the inaugural cohort of the Academy’s Women in Post Program. Set Shuter, Post Supervisor, Ariana Saadat, VFX Supervisor/Compositor, and Brittany Lewis, VFX Editor, were paired with one of RSVFX’s industry leading mentors to engage in creative and technical development sessions with the goal of developing fundamental skills for career opportunity, development and advancement. 

For more information about the WOMEN IN POST program, visit: academy.ca/programs/womeninpost/

Rocket Science is an Emmy nominated boutique visual effects studio collaborating with filmmakers to create stunning visual imagery utilizing artistry, science and technology. Located in Toronto, Canada, notable credits include Eric Kripke’s Emmy nominated superhero series THE BOYS (Amazon), the epic video game adaptation HALO (Paramount +), Steve Blackman’s THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Netflix), and features such David Cronenberg’s CRIMES OF THE FUTURE and Noah Baumbach’s soon to be released WHITE NOISE (Netflix). 

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RSVFX TAKES ON SOLDIER BOY FOR THE BOYS S3 | A RETROSPECTIVE

BOUTIQUE STUDIO DELIVERS KEY FX AND ENVIRONMENTS

September 2022 – As a key vendor, Emmy nominated boutique visual effects studio Rocket Science (RSVFX) delivered over 350 CG heavy visual effects shots for another season of the widely acclaimed Amazon series THE BOYS.

THE BOYS Production VFX team, led by Emmy nominees Stephen Fleet, VFX Supervisor, and Shalena Oakley-Butler, VFX Producer, partnered with RSVFX to take on 3D environment work, heavy fx work including fire explosions, the inception and execution of Soldier Boy’s radio-active superblast powers, and the continuation of body and head explosions which figure prominently throughout the series.

Anthony Paterson, VFX Executive Supervisor, Alonso Varela VFX Supervisor, and Chris Ross, VFX Producer led the RSVFX team.

We are very proud to have been entrusted by Stephan and Eric to help create the Compound V(FX) that powers Homelander, Kimiko, and Victoria Neuman. And to creatively partner on this season’s new lead character, Soldier Boy, the first Vought hero. Our team loves the challenge and the ride. Big thanks to Sony and Amazon too.” Anthony Paterson, CEO / Executive VFX Supervisor.

Soldier Boy, the first Vought hero and leader of the Payback, the precursor team of the Seven, was conceived to use a radioactive blast as his superpower. The RSVFX team utilized real world reference, FX fire and blast simulations to achieve the finished look.

Carrying on the fully CG blood and head/body explosion work from previous seasons, RSVFX continues to shine with CG blood and gore to sell the gruesome reality of the Victoria Neuman and Tony fight (E1) and the elimination of the Gunpowder (E2) sequences. 

Impressive environment work is represented in the Vought skyline surroundings seen in the series finale (E8), the Tessa and Tommy twins’ Mansion at Herogasm party (E6), as well as Russian cities and streets (E4). 

“The team delivered on some really big hero sequences. Working closely with Stephan to deliver on Soldier Boy’s New York City blast created something special. And the team raised the bar when working on Tony’s demise, making for an intensely shocking plot twist.” Chris Ross, RSVFX Producer.

Created by Showrunner, Eric Kripke, THE BOYS is a fun and irreverent take on what happens when superheroes—who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians, and as revered as gods—abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. Intent on stopping the corrupt superheroes, THE BOYS, a group of vigilantes, continue their heroic quest to expose the truth about The Seven and Vought—the multibillion-dollar conglomerate that manages the superheroes and covers up their dirty secrets. It’s seemingly powerless against the super powerful.

Rocket Science is an Emmy nominated boutique visual effects studio collaborating with filmmakers to create stunning visual imagery utilizing artistry, science and technology. Located in Toronto, Canada, notable credits include Eric Kripke’s Emmy nominated superhero series THE BOYS (Amazon), the epic video game adaptation HALO (Paramount +), Steve Blackman’s THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Netflix), and features such as David Cronenberg’s feature CRIMES OF THE FUTURE and Noah Baumbach’s, 2022 Venice Film Festival opener, WHITE NOISE (Netflix).

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VETERAN VFX SUPERVISOR PETER McAULEY JOINS RSVFX

June 28th, 2022 – Toronto based visual effects studio, Rocket Science, is proud to announce the appointment of VFX Supervisor Peter McAuley to the team.

McAuley joins a solid list of VFX Supervisors covering a slate of feature film and episodic work, including THE BOYS (Amazon), WEDNESDAY (Netflix), and HALO (Paramount)+. 

“We are thrilled to bring Peter onboard our growing roster of VFX Supervisors. He brings a wealth of creativity and technical knowledge from his extensive commercial experience. We look forward to leveraging his creative vision and execution in camera and in post”, says Anthony Paterson, CEO / Sr. VFX Supervisor

McAuley is onboard to supervise visual effects on Jean-Francois Richet’s THE PLANE (Lionsgate) and Rachel Morrison’s FLINT STRONG (MGM), after delivering on David Cronenberg’s CRIMES OF THE FUTURE, currently in theaters.

Peter began editing commercials and music videos in the 80s, later becoming a partner at Daily Post. By the mid 90s, Peter was signed on to shoot commercials and music videos around the globe as a VFX Supervisor. Working for The Mill, Framestore, MPC, Technicolor, Method, with top Directors on key shoots, including Drake’s Hotline Bling with Director X, Joe Pytka’s Budweiser Superbowl spots, and Bob Hooper’s Budlight Superbowl spot. 

Peter migrated to long form as a VFX Supervisor on Deepa Mehta’s FUNNY BOY (Array), a feature that received eight Canadian Screen Award (CSA) nominations, including Achievement in Visual Effects, Film. 

“Rocket Science has been a great landing pad for me. The studio has a wealth of talent and their production management teams are top shelf.  I am thrilled to work together more closely to continue my filmmaking adventures,” says McAuley. 

Rocket Science is an Emmy nominated boutique visual effects studio collaborating with filmmakers to create stunning visual imagery utilizing artistry, science and technology. Located in Toronto, Canada, notable credits include Eric Kripke’s Emmy nominated superhero series THE BOYS (Amazon), the epic video game adaptation HALO (Paramount +), Steve Blackman’s UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Netflix), and features such as Neil Jordan’s GRETA (Sidney Kimmel) and David Cronenberg’s feature CRIMES OF THE FUTURE.

RSVFX is currently in production on Tim Burton’s WEDNESDAY (Netflix), Mike Flanagan’s Edgar Allan Poe adaptation FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (Netflix), Rian Johnson’s POKER FACE and Jean-Francois Richet’s THE PLANE (Lionsgate).

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RSVFX DELIVERS OVER 2000 CG HEAVY VFX SHOTS OVER EPIC SIX SEASON RUN ON THE EXPANSE | A RETROSPECTIVE

June 21st, 2022 – Emmy nominated visual effects studio Rocket Science (RSVFX) delivered over 2000 CG heavy visual effects shots over six (6) seasons for the hit Amazon SciFi series THE EXPANSE.

As a lead vfx vendor, THE EXPANSE Production VFX team, led by Sr. VFX Supervisor, Bret Culp and veteran VFX Producer Krista Allain, leaned on RSVFX to carry the bulk of the CG spacecraft, large scale 3D environments and heavy fx work across the series. Chris Nokes, VFX Supervisor and Kayden Anderson VFX Producer, led the RSVFX team of 300+ artists over 6 seasons. 

“We were extremely sad to see the series end.” says Anthony Paterson, Co-Founder / Executive VFX Supervisor. “The Expanse will forever be woven into the fabric of the company. I am extremely proud of our crew. The series pushed us year over year to utilize technical innovation and creative prowess to deliver visually stunning work that created new worlds for our audience. Like the Millenium Falcon, the Rocinante is our icon. We are very thankful to Naren, Bret, Krista, Manny, Lewin, Alicia, Alcon and Amazon for trusting in us.  Remember the Cant!”

Along with the hero ship, the Rocinante, Rocket Science created the majority of spaceships featured; the Pella, Tynan, Edward Israel, Medina and Canterbury are a few standouts. Over fifty different spacecraft ranging from single operator drones, shuttles and rock hoppers, to elite mercenary fleets, and warships were modelled, textured and rigged by the build team. Grand space stations and complex environments like the Belter space stations of Medina, Tycho, Pallas and Ceres as well as the alien machine-planet of Ilus and the ominous superstructure over Laconia, were created by RSVFX modellers and environment team. 

Working closely with the Showrunner Naren Shankar and VFX Supervisor Bret Culp, Rocket Science was instrumental in bringing many of the series’ epic space battles to life. From the previsualization team orchestrating the complex maneuvers of duelling warships, to the high-velocity destruction and explosive effects, the team strived to capture the drama and scientific authenticity that defined those key moments. 

“Everyone who worked on the series had a clear vision of the story and the world we were creating. Having built a solid team over six seasons, we met every challenge head on, while taking on the collective mission to push boundaries and test the limits on what we were able to create, all in the service of a great story,” says VFX Producer Kayden Anderson. “The whole team rose to the occasion and consistently delivered season after season.”

All assets were modelled in Maya and rendered in Redshift.

Showrunner for THE EXPANSE is Naren Shankar, with the VFX team helmed by VFX Supervisors Bob Munroe (S1-2), Bret Culp (S2-6), Robert Crowther (S4-5) and VFX Producers Krista Allain (S2-6), Sarah Wormsbecher (S3-5). Manny Danelon served as Producer and Lewin Webb, Co-Executive Producer. Alicia Hirst and Gary Mueller helmed Post as Post Production Executive and  Co-Producer respectively.

The Expanse, set in a colonized solar system, begins with the governments of Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt locked in long-standing conflict. The crew of the Rocinante—an illegally salvaged warship—stumbles onto a vast conspiracy and a mysterious alien technology that threatens to upend the balance of power and the fate of humanity. The Expanse is a high-action, realistic sci-fi adventure that broadens the vision of humanity’s path in the future as well as a deeply-felt examination of the most critical, raw, and pressing issues of today.

The Hugo Award-winning series is based on the hugely popular science fiction novels by James S.A. Corey, and was developed and scripted by the Academy Award-nominated writing duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. The executive producers are Naren Shankar, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Laura Lancaster, Sharon Hall, Sean Daniel, Jason Brown, Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck, Dan Nowak and Ben Roberts. Shankar serves as showrunner for all seasons. The Expanse is produced by Alcon Television Group.

Rocket Science is an Emmy nominated boutique visual effects studio collaborating with filmmakers to create stunning visual imagery utilizing artistry, science and technology. Located in Toronto, Canada, notable credits include Eric Kripke’s Emmy nominated superhero series THE BOYS (Amazon), the epic video game adaptation HALO (Paramount +), Steve Blackman’s UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Netflix), and features such as Neil Jordan’s GRETA (Sidney Kimmel) and David Cronenberg’s feature CRIMES OF THE FUTURE.

RSVFX is currently in production on Tim Burton’s WEDNESDAY (Netflix), Mike Flanagan’s Edgar Allan Poe adaptation FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (Netflix), Rian Johnson’s POKER FACE and Jean-Francois Richet’s THE PLANE (Lionsgate).

Visit rsvfx.com