VFX is the true HERO in ‘ZERO’ | Sidharth Iyer

It’s nearly the end of the year and 2018 has clearly belonged to content-driven cinema as far as Bollywood is concerned. Be it the runaway hit of the year Andhadhun, or a family comedy in Badhaai Ho, the spy thriller Raazi and even an experimental piece of cinema like Tumbbad.

2018 also witnessed film critics having a field day all round the year writing off major tentpoles 2.0, Race 3, Thugs of Hindostan and most recently Zero. And while the story, screenplay, and direction did fall flat for the Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) starrer tentpole, the character of Bauua – all 4’6” of him – did manage to create a special place in the audiences’ hearts!

Red Chillies Entertainment just dropped a near 7 minutes long Zero | VFX – Behind The Scenes video and the finesse with which the visual effects has been used in this project will leave you dumbstruck.

1600 VFX artists globally along with 600 VFX artists in-house at Redchillies.VFX have worked tirelessly over the last 15-18 months right from pre-production to post-production. The reason why this project required the involvement of so many artistically gifted professionals can be broken down into numbers.

1600 VFX artists globally along with 600 VFX artists in-house at Redchillies.VFX have worked tirelessly over the last 15-18 months right from pre-production to post-production.

Imagine a movie which has a run-time of 2 hours 44 minutes = 164 minutes = 9,840 seconds. Now here is where the numbers get serious; each second of screen time is comprised of 24 frames (heard of the term 24 frames per second?), so what that means is 9,840 seconds x 24 frames = 236,160 total frames. And as SRK goes onto explain how each shot needed to have 5 separate passes, so that the VFX team has enough information required to create the character of Bauua; which means 236,160 x 5 = 1,180,800 total frames!

The creative brilliance of VFX Supervisor Harry Hingorani and VFX Producer Keitan Yadav along with the set-production prowess of Wasiq Khan and the visual sensibilities of DOP Manu Anand is what gave life to the character of Bauua.

There have been many moviemakers in Hollywood who have relied on VFX techniques to create memorable characters like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit, Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or even Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger.

The Making of Gollum

The Making of Benjamin Button

The Making of Steve Rogers (aka Captain America)

While Gollum was created primarily through capturing Andy Serkis’ facial and body movements through performance capture, Benjamin Button and Steve Rogers were made possible through a combination of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) and face replacement techniques respectively.

The Redchillies.VFX team had the laborious task of creating the character of Bauua from SRK’s life-like performance. They did this through a 4 stage process – as very rightly explained in the VFX – Behind The Scenes video that has been released – first was through pre-visualization, which involved a lot of research and development to get the look right for Bauaa and this was further supported by the production design elements to facilitate the performances. Next aspect was to introduce a new camera set-up called the Techno dolly, which is an easily maneuverable, technically advanced camera to capture all the action as it happened from various angles to give as much information as possible for the VFX artists to work on later. And finally, the post-production which had to put everything together and show Bauua as he goes about his life as a vertically challenged individual, who lives life King size!

From giving us G.One in Ra.One, Gaurav Chandna in FAN and now Bauua in Zero, the team at Redchillies.VFX certainly is the real ‘HERO’ for the Indian Visual Effects industry! Keep raising the bar!

The Making of Ra.One

The Making of Fan

About the Writer


Sidharth Iyer is a young Media Professional, who has carved a niche for himself in the field of Media and Entertainment. Over the course of time, he has worked on numerous strategies thereby creating value for various brands at large. He constantly strives to deliver stellar marketing plans that propel the brand and its products towards success.

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