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    Behind the Scenes of Image Engine’s Stunning Visual Effects in Netflix’s ‘Lift’

    Behind the Scenes of Image Engine’s Stunning Visual Effects in Netflix’s ‘Lift’

    Netflix’s Lift is a heist action-packed comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray, released on January 12, 2024. Cyrus Whitaker (portrayed by Kevin Hart) is the mastermind behind a team of international thieves. When Interpol hires them for a daring heist, they have to steal $500 million worth of gold from a plane in the sky, before a hacker uses it to fund a terrorist attack. But the mission is not as simple as it seems, and Cyrus and his crew will have to face old rivals, unexpected twists, and their feelings along the way.

    The talented team of Image Engine created 342 VFX shots for the film, including designing a complex custom high-tech jet, authentic F-35B Lightning fighter jets, and bringing the Swiss Alps to life - every element contributed to the excitement. We'd like to offer our hearty congratulations to the Image Engine team and all others involved in the making of this film for their remarkable work.

    VFX breakdown reel for Lift

    According to Andy Walker, the Image Engine VFX Supervisor on Lift, a high-tech jet custom-built and commandeered for use in hijacking serves as a key element in the movie. The jet must be outfitted with handmade stealth paneling to achieve radar invisibility. The team worked with the director to match the interior design of the jet with a lavish and techy exterior in 3D ways. They also added a layer of stealth paneling with a “junkyard dog” look that reflected the source of the materials. The final design had a sleek shape with curved wings, dual stabilizers, and chrome trims.

    Image from Image Engine_

    Image from Image Engine

    What’s more, the Image Engine team created two F-35B Lightning fighter jets for the sequence and an AS365 DAUPHIN helicopter, which were hand-crafted by their asset team with afterburners, sonic booms, and vapor trails added by their FX team.

    Besides aircraft, Image Engine was also assigned the job of designing two hangars. The first hangar, which served as a backdrop for presenting the Private Jet owned by a wealthy tech mogul, had a dual purpose as a showroom and aircraft storage place. The second hangar was employed to transition the Private Jet into the Stealth Jet, complete with high-tech, showy modifications.

    Image from Image Engine

    Image from Image Engine

    As Andy mentioned, the team also created the mountaintop environment of the Swiss Alps and Tuscan Villa, and made some character face replacements with their 3D hand-animated version.

    "Lift was a really exciting project to be a part of." Andy said, "Once we had the core pieces to create fully CG shots ready to go, it opened up a creative playing field for the Director and Image Engine to craft the sequences to make the action as dynamic as possible. We were very happy to take on bigger and bigger challenges."

    Learn more on Image Engine’s Lift Case Study.

    Source: Image Engine


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