Oct 14

Great scandinavian vfx work | Kon-tiki

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Check this 10 minute demo including the vfx work for the Kon-tiki movie. VFX in order of apperance:  Storm studios (0:00-3:04), Fido (3:04-4:11), Important Looking pirates (4:12- 6:50), Gimpville (6:51-9:26)



This demo contains some of the over 500 effect shots in the motion picture KON-TIKI. Courtesy of the 4 Scandinavian VFX companies that contributed: Gimpville, Important Looking Pirates, Storm Studios and Fido. Directed by Joachim Roenning & Espen Sandberg. VFX Supervisor: Arne Kaupang. Music by Johan Söderquist.

Oct 12

Reel 2012 | Important looking pirates

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Check out this new reel from Important looking pirates packed with good stuff.


Oct 11

Making of Kon-tiki | Important looking pirates

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Have a look at the excellent work that the great team @ ILP did for the Norwegian feature film Kon-tiki. In this breakdown we will see some real eye candy and maybe one of the best “CG-Sharks” sequence ever made for the big screen. I’m again biost, so have a look and see for yourself.


In the summer 2011 ILP was awarded a massive sequence for the upcoming Norwegian feature film “Kon-Tiki” directed by Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg. The film is about the legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal’s epic journey crossing the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947.

Our sequence takes place during a major emotional peak of the movie, as the crew struggles with internal conflicts while facing a critical situation involving white sharks.

ILP delivered 58 shots in total, with plenty of hero shots and some extremely complex fully computer generated scenes.

One of the greatest challenges with this sequence was that it had to look a 100% believable in order to not spoil the emotional moment, which put incredible high demands on everything from models, textures, lighting, animation to compositing and integration of the computer generated elements into the filmed plates.

Another extremely challenging part of our work was all the effects work, such as, blood, bubbles and cutting edge water effects. We made a few 100% CG generated shots that needed to cut seamlessly with the live action footage. We used state of the art software such as Exotic Matter’s Naiad for water simulation and we also used our proprietary render engine, Tempest, for rendering additional particles and volumetric effects such as blood. But most important of all was all the hard work put down from our incredibly talented artists.

Creature work

We made a digital double of the crew’s pet parrot Lorita. The digital parrot was used for the scene when Lorita flies into the water, and also when the sharks attack her in the water. Using a digital double of the parrot enabled the directors to play out the scene in a very controlled fashion, and it makes for some stunning visual effects. During principal photography we took some time aside with the real parrot, to take plenty of reference photos and films to document the details in shape, feathers and subtle movements of the real parrot. She was then digitally reconstructed using software such as Maya and Mudbox, where we sculpted her, attached feathers and fur, and rigged her for animation.


Our work with our digital sharks begun immediately when the work was awarded. We watched endless hours of documentary films like Planet Earth to study shark behaviour and underwater photography in order to prepare for the task. We made a digital shark using Maya, Mudbox and Z-brush. Once we had made one photorealistic shark we were happy with, we started creating variations with slightly different textures and sizes. We also had to make a custom close up shark with plenty of details for a hero close up shot when the shark gets slain on the raft.


The biggest challenge for us was the high detailed water simulations that had to be created for the movie. Fortunately we had plenty of experience of liquid simulations since we where early adopters of Exotic Matter’s fluids solver Naiad. We have been their clients since the alpha days in 2008 and over the years we have done several high end commercial productions with Naiad. It still required lots of research and testing of various techniques to reach our goal. One of the major scenes is when the sharks are attacking the parrot in the water. This scene was made from scratch in the computer. The final water simulation took about a week to simulate, it consisted of hundreds of millions of particles that we used to create a surface mesh to render in V-Ray. By the end of the project this shot took up approximately 10 terabyte of disk space. It was both an artistic and technical challenge to say the least.


The compositing was done in The Foundry’s Nuke software. In addition to all compositing of CG elements, we had plenty of complex clean up work such as removing a rubber shark that was used on set and reconstructing clean plates in order to put our digital shark in the scenes. The underwater shots required careful study of references and artistry in order to nail subtle changes in color and depth haze and balancing levels in order to make our digital shark integrated with our live action plates. Additional particles and debris were created and composited to bridge the live action with our CG elements.

This was an extremely exciting project for us to work on, and we would like to extend our thanks to the all people involved in this project. Even though the production budget was huge in Nordic measures, it is still a fraction compared to the international blockbuster movies. We still feel that we managed to create some of the better sharks shots seen in film to date.


    • VFX Supervisor: Niklas Jacobson
    • VFX Producer: Måns Björklund


    • Animators: Jonas Forsman, Alexander Damm, Martin Eneroth-Johansson
    • Lead Lighting TD: Daniel Rådén
    • Senior TD: Niklas Ström
    • TD: Bobo Skipper, Björn Malmgren, Saleh Najib, Sigurd Fernström
    • Senior FX TD: Jonas Andersson
    • FX TD: Igor Zanic
    • Lead Compositor: David Wahlberg
    • Compositing: Jens Tenland, Jonathan Harris, Niklas Nyqvist
    • Compositing Assist: Adrian Dexter
  • R&D: Yafei Wu, Eric Hermelin, Pete Reilly
  • Match Moving: Patrik Wedinger, Jason Martin
Sep 30

Breakdown – International Football Billboards for TV4 Group

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Breakdown for International Football Billboards for TV4 Group. The movie is made with still image footage, camera mapping and some 3D

Sep 04

Kon-tiki behind the scenes | Important looking pirates

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Check out episode 5 of the Kon-tiki “behind the scenes” at VG homepage. This time with some of the work that Important looking pirates did on the shark sequence.

In Norwegian and spoiler alert!


Aug 14

Toyota Aygo sponsor billboards | AAO + Mad crew

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New sponsor billboards for Toyota Aygo with character animation and vfx and postproduction from Mad crew.


Client: Toyota, U.K.Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, London
Director: againstallodds
Creative Director: Kevin Grady
Producer: Fritte Colliander
Animation and postproduction: Mad Crew
Live Action: Passion Pictures
Passion Pictures Producer: Adriana Piasek-Wanski
Jul 16

Kon-tiki trailer #2

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Check out the latest trailer for the Norwegian film about the true story about legendary explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his epic crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947.

Great VFX work and collaboration on the 500 + vfx shots from Swedish vfx shops, Important looking pirates and from Fido and from Norwegian Gimpville and Storm studios.

I’m really proud to have been a part of this production, it’s going to be great to see it!

Also check out this article (in Norwegian) http://www.vg.no/film/artikkel.php?artid=10066503

English subtitles


Norwegian subtitles


Jun 19

Øyedrops | Øya promos 2012

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Super nice vfx from Oslo and Øyedrops.


Director Magnus Rye and Oslo’s Øyedrops conjure a pair of cool magic-realism VFX promos for Norway’s own massive music fest. Sound/music: Øredrops.

Produced by: Anders Pederesen
Director: Magnus Rye
Cinematography: Håvar Karlsen
Focus Puller: Espen Gulbrandsen
Camera assistant: Christoffer Krook
Grip: Erling Andresen moviebird.no
Lighting: Jørgen Werner
Matchmoving – Mads Hornsletten, Fredrik Conradi Karlsen
3D – Morten Nilsen, Fredrik Conradi Karlsen, Morten Lund.
Compositing – Mads Hornsletten
Mattepaints – Espen Sætervik, Mads Hornsletten.
Musikk – Marius Ergo
Master – Øystein Rånes
Grade – Dylan Hopkin@Shortcut