Hercules

In the 2014 film HERCULES, starring Dwayne Johnson, the King of Thrace and his daughter seek the Greek demi-god’s help in beating a tyrannical warlord.

The “Rhesus battle” sees Hercules and his crew of hired mercenaries, recruited by Cotys, King of Thrace, help defeat Rhesus’ army. The resulting battle was one of the biggest in the film.  Following Cotys’ army’s earlier defeat, a more prepared and trained unit is now ready to take on Rhesus’ army once again. The two armies meet at a location surrounded by mountains to the north, forest to the east, a vast cliff to the west and Mount Asticus looming over the battlefield from the south.

Rhesus’ dynamic and rampaging army is polarized by Coty’s controlled, ordered and symmetrical ranks. Rhesus’ armies were mainly achieved using a combination of standalone animation. The Cinesite team did a three day motion capture session, capturing all pertinent action for the soldiers including carrying shields, fighting, advancing, firing arrows etc. Data from preferred takes was attached to rigs, then worked into the selected live action shots.

The dark, mysterious and menacing surrounding environments were created based on supplied art department reference. Production VFX Supervisor John Bruno wanted apparent depth, but also for the environments to remain sharp and not look painted. A traditional matte painting approach was used to create the northern environment. For the east, “Speedtree” was used to generate a small forest for one principle shot and assets from that forest were used in about 15 other shots. For the south, matte paintings were projected onto geometry to give multi-layered depth and parallax.

  • Release date: 25.07.2014
  • Studio: MGM, Paramount Pictures
  • Director: Brett Ratner
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