onesmalllb5.jpgThe technique behind Super Star Rajini’s European complexion in the film ‘Sivaji – The Boss’

About the Film:
The film “Sivaji The Boss” starring super star rajini is the costliest film made in india to date.

Directed by S.Shanker, Cinematography by K.V.Anand, Music by A.R.Rahman, Produced by A.V.M Productions.

About Rajini, hero of the film:
He is well known actor worldwide. People call him “Super Star” because of his unique style. He is the 2nd highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan. In this film, director Shanker wanted to change Rajini’s wheatish complexion to a white European complexion. As a visual effects company (Indian Artists) this was a challenging task for us because we guess nobody has executed this type of concept in the world. Thanks to Mr. Shanker for giving us this opportunity to execute his brilliant idea.

The Technique behind Dark skin to fair skin:
To begin with, we (Indian artists) did an in-depth study of the European complexion. We found that white skin reflects more light and has less shadow when compared to dark skin and is translucent in some areas. Therefore a simple color correction of the hero’s skin would not achieve the desired effect. For the shoot a London based young white lady with a fresh complexion and flushed cheeks was chosen and with the help of Cinematographer Mr. K.V.Anand every single shot of the hero was repeated with her because lighting conditions change in every shot. After the final edit all the 630 hero shots and 630 girl shots were scanned in 4K resolution. Each of the 9000 scanned frames ware rotoscoped to separate the body parts (face, hands, legs etc.). The white lady’s skin was mapped onto the Super Star’s image using Eyeon “Digital Fusion” software. Thus the Super Star got his glowing white complexion.

There were two difficult aspects in this project. One was matching the girl’s action with the hero’s action and the second was matching both of their body proportions during mapping. Though it sounds simple, the work involved was laborious and painstaking. Great attention was paid to detail right from the shoot until the final print. It has taken 25 dedicated CG technicians almost a year to achieve this 6 ½ min. feat.

Video 01

Video 02:

Video 03:

Click any image to examine larger:




V.Srinivas M mohan (vfx supervisor)
T.K Jayakumar
New No. 9, 3rd Street
Kumaran Colony
INDIA. Pin: 600 026.

Email: [email protected]

33 thoughts on “Digital Skin Grafting using Eyeon “Fusion””

  1. Harry.Hingorani

    I am a VFX supervisor and work in RedChillies…
    I have seen this movie in theater….these shots are flawless..
    I think its a great job what you all have done….India has started doing a great work in VFX…


  2. Thats a good start for India ! I like the way things are moving up with the quality !
    Congrats !
    I wouldnt say “Flawless” this technique has been used right from “Doctor Dolittle’s talking animals to the recent digital facelifts for X-Men-3.It has been around for 10 years now and was done in fusion/inferno back in the day and had more of CGI integrated in it.
    This may be an ideal cost effect way too !

  3. V.Srinivas M mohan

    Thanks Harry.

    USA theater information,for those want to see in BIG screen


    City Venue

    Bay Area Park Theatre
    New Jersey CinePlaza @ Columbia Park 12
    Ashburn(Brambleton) Fox Cinemas @ Brambleton
    Atlanta Galaxy Cinema Theater
    Austin AMC Theaters @ Barton Creek Mall(Barton Creek 14
    Bay Area Camera 3 Cinema
    Bloomington The Princess Theater
    Boston Entertainment cinemas (Fresh Pond)
    Boston West Newton Cinema
    Boston (Belmont) Belmont Studio Cinema
    Cary / Raleigh Galaxy Cinema
    Cedar Rapids Galaxy 16 theaters
    Chicago Bloomingdale Court Theaters
    Cleveland Parma Theater
    Columbus Screens at the Continent
    Coral Springs (Miami) Coral Square 8 Movie Theatre
    Delware Cine Center 3
    Denver Harkins 18 Theaters
    Des Moines Varsity Theater
    Detroit Detroit Desi Cinema
    Indianapolis The Artcraft Theatre
    Indianapolis IMAX Theater
    Irvine Woodbridge Movies 5
    Little Rock Riverdale 10 movies
    Los Angeles Laemmle7
    Los Angeles Plaza 3 Cinemas
    Madison West Gate Theater
    Memphis Forest Hill Cinema 8
    Milwaukee Oak Creek Value Cinema
    Minneapolis Brookdale 8 Theater
    New Haven Cine 1-2-3-4
    New York Kew Garden Cinemas @ Queens
    New York Silver Screen Theatre
    New York Bombay [email protected] Queens
    Orlando Colonial Promenade
    Phoenixville (PA) Colonial Theater
    Pittsburgh Screen works 14 (Star City Cinemas )
    Portland Cornelius 9 Cinema
    Rhodes Island Patriot Cinemas – East Providence
    Sacramento Guild Theater
    San Antonio Northwest 14 Theatre
    Seattle Totem Lake Cinema
    Seattle AMC Renton Village 8
    Silver Spring (VA)(MD)P and G Wheaton Plaza 11
    Spring Hills(Tampa) Touch star Cinemas,SpringHill8
    St.Louis Wherenbergh St. Charles 18 cine
    Tampa Muvico Centro Ybor 20


    New Jersey CinePlaza @ Columbia Park 12
    Alabama Rave Theaters
    Cleveland Parma Theater
    Denver Regency Tamarac Square (Formerly Madstone)
    Detroit Detroit Desi Cinema
    Hartford Parkade Cinemas
    New Haven Cine 1-2-3-4
    Phoenixville (PA) Colonial Theater
    Pittsburgh Star toplist City Cinemas
    Portland Valley Theatre
    Seattle Totem Lake Cinema

  4. I’m an NRI (non-resident-indian) and never heard of that guy(rajini), but anyway, looks like nice fx work, but it’s complicated to judge on little, mudgy youtube videos.
    BTW, a common lack of the indian fx/animation or whatever is, that they never seem to have proper reels on their sites (same with indianartists). I mean stills as representations for movies? Hello?

  5. V.Srinivas M mohan

    The processes of DIGITAL SKIN GRAFTING

    * We choose the female reference because of soft skin, fleshy cheeks and absence of shave line.
    * We shot the reference girl for all the shots with same action and lighting condition, since we have to graft the same skin.
    * Each and every frame of the hero’s skin portions was separated with the Rotoscoping process.
    * The speed of the action of the hero and the reference girl was matched. This was a difficult task because no two persons act similarly.
    * We used Grid Wrapping technique to match both the expressions. Again this was difficult as well as time consuming task.
    * We have used nearly 80% of the reference girl skin on to the hero’s skin without loosing his expressions.

  6. I saw it on the film… pretty cool stuff… although I didn’t understand how your method worked… neat work… appreciate it 🙂

  7. that was really neat work in the movie. Hats off to you guys and wish indian movies reach more and more in terms of technology

  8. very cool effect! but my question is: if the girl is only used as a source for face informations, why do she wear only a bikini on set?

  9. V.Srinivas M mohan

    Apart from the reference, the girl was used as a background group dancer. That is a costume for BG dancers.

    Coming to the technical issue, we worked on 4k resolution. For the roto work we used Combustion from Discreet along with Fusion. Since we worked on 4k DPX LOG files, for Film Look we used CINESPACE from Rising Sun Research. Thanks for the nice tool.

    Vfx supervisor

  10. Dear Srini & Jaya Kr.,

    Amazing work! You guys have done a commendable work…your contribution in Film tasting overwhelming success is a a necessary ingredient.

    Three cheers for Indian Artist Team at Chennai!

    Navin Saran
    project coordinator
    Firefly Creattive Studio

  11. Being a fusion/shake compositor myself and having worked on a CG and live-action features, I appreciate the complexity of the work you have done and the results you have achieved. The issue is not how it was done, but how seamless and impressive the shots look on screen,… and on that front, you guys did well. Good work…well done guys!

  12. Actually I tried to get that look with the jpgs provided on those sites…. perhaps I misunderstood something, but … besides the enormous roto-work, it looks like a 10 minute ColorCorrection-job to me. Although “white skin reflects more light and has less shadow when compared to dark skin and is translucent in some areas. Therefore a simple color correction of the hero’s skin would not achieve the desired effect” … a good setup would have perhaps saved some bucks ;o). Anyway ..great job!

  13. Great work guys. Just like to know the investment in something like this. You had 25 dedicated CG technicians who took almost a year to complete 6 ½ min part of a three hour movie right (correct me if I am wrong)? So, how much did it cost?

  14. Who put the "complex" in "complexion"?

    Wouldn’t this have been a job for the makeup department? Even if they were to get it almost perfect then do digital touch-ups it wouldn’t have been as costly or as labor intensive. There are so many TV and film references where dark skin has been turned light that the technique hardly seems groundbreaking. Congratulations on taking a simple task and making it a huge deal.

  15. I agree to the comments of “7even”, this job could have been done by color correction..! itself, and i still dotn understand how they did it by skin grafting, cant get the logic.! anyways good work..!

  16. Hi im satheesh from chennai. I’m proud to be one of the member in that team….. we work hard more then one year.. we get nice result!!!!!!!!

  17. Hi, Am into visual effects for past 10 yrs & had worked in more than 150 Indian movies including Sivaji & Dasavataram (12th Century seq & Mukunda song). Right now am working for the hollywood VFX gaint ILM. I would like to throw some light on this crappy article, which’s misleading not only the public but also some of the visual effects pro’s.
    I bet, this indeed was done by roto & color correction. Noway anybody can do the way they say they did it. The girl & rajni are are matching even in a single frame (expession-wise, movement-wise, proportion-wise..). Leave off his face… They never showed how they matched the hands & palms when both of them are acting in two extremely different ways.
    The making video & the explanations are just hoax to gain cheap popularity. The making video is done with just a single frame of the white girl & a single frame of rajni… just a warp of the girl to match the shape of rajni’s face & then a dissolve to color corrected rajni… so cheap & so obvious. Even a multimedia student can do sucha making video. If this is done by the so called “skin grafting” (sounds more like a medical term) bull-shit, they should’ve shown a more elaborate making.
    If u happen to watch the song on TV, watch out carefully to see amount of light-bouncing sources used to lit up rajni in the reflections of his coolers. More-over, if u look at the jpeg images, they’ve color corrected rajni to look darker so as to exaggerate their actual work. Rajni never looks so dark in any of the scenes in the whole movie (any movie for that matter).
    This video & the images are nothing more than a hoax. People who knows abt visual effects could easily make it out…
    However I really appreciate the amount of roto work involved in the color correction process. Very tiring process indeed. Hats off guys!!

    1. Thank you mo___,
      I didnt noticed that they darkened rajinis face. It was cool anyway.
      I am also intrested in CGI. alright are you sure that there is no easy way like a modded object tracking or something ?.
      I cant believe they ,,, you all rotoscoped for about 5 min video on 24 fps
      7200 frames individually liquified……….in 4K ?
      Its beyond something.

  18. K.L.V.Ramana-space multimedia

    seen the movie ur job is superb,fentastic,marvelous,mindblowing, ihave never seen this kind of tough work in my experience

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