Exclusive: see how Proof previs’d that insane freeway chase in ‘Fast X’

Watch the reel first here at befores & afters.

The spectacular vehicle chases in Fast X are ones that combine a huge amount of stunt driving, special effects and visual effects work. They also incorporate significant previs and postvis work. One of the vendors responsible for that side of the filmmaking–as well as even final shots–was Proof.

Here, Proof’s UK previs and postvis supervisor Dafydd Morris (the US supervisor was Ranko Tadic) tells befores & afters specifically about the previs involved for the film’s third act freeway chase, which also includes a plane and helicopters. We previously talked to DNEG about their final VFX work on the sequence.

Check out Morris’ explanation of the previs, and then watch the exclusive reel, below.

Dafydd Morris: One of the most fun sequences to create the Previs for was the highway chase sequence. As the Previs Supervisor I am involved with the sequence from the inception of the idea right up until the moment it’s shot. When we start on a sequence like this the Director might have a very rough idea of moments that he wants. We will quickly generate overviews of these different beats of action to help him visualise them.

If you take for example, the moment that Dom jumps off the highway causing the two helicopters to collide. The director knew he wanted Dom to Jump from one highway that was higher to one that was lower but didn’t have a location. One of our environment artists will create a fictional environment to see what this might look like. Once we have that we will animate the beat as one piece of animation and render it from one camera as an overview for the director to see. This can be really useful to help understand how big the director wants this jump to be and how he wants this action to play out.

As well as these overviews being used by the Director they will also be used to inform the locations department what kind of environment they are looking for. The Stunt Supervisor will also get involved to offer their expertise on how they will practically shoot it. The VFX supervisor will use it to breakdown what will be cg and what will be in camera. We will keep iterating the overview until it’s an accurate representation of what is going to be happen on set.

Finally, we will start creating the actual shots. The director may have ideas he wants to see and we will get panels from the storyboard artists. We also get the opportunity to put forward our own ideas for shots. We will make an edit out of these shots and then go through the process of iterating the edit until the Director is happy. The edit we create is then distributed to all the departments on the film to act as a guide for what the Director wants.

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