Mike Seymour, Jason Diamond and Matt Wallin discuss the visual effects in the 2012 version of Total Recall.

Listen to Mike Seymour’s in-depth fxpodcast with Dneg’s Head of Lighting & Rendering Philippe Leprince about the studio’s adoption of a new physically plausible lighting setup for Total Recall.

You can also read Ian Failes article on fxguide, Keeping it real: Total Recall.

Show Notes:

Director: Len Wiseman
Cinematographer: Paul Cameron
VFX Supervisors and Companies:

Main facility: Double Negative
Peter Chiang -- Overall VFX Supervisor
Adrian de Wet -- Client VFX Supervisor
Graham Jack -- Dneg VFX Supervisor
Vanessa Boyce -- CG Supervisor
Jordan Kirk -- CG Supervisor
Victor Wade -- 2D Supervisor

Other facilities:
Prime Focus
The Senate VFX
Baseblack
MPC
Buf
Lip Sync Post
Legacy Effects

Total Recall (1990)

Johnny Cab

Doggiecam Systems

Neill Blomkamp's Tetra Vaal

Physics for Animators write-up on fxguide from Siggraph 2012

Siggraph 2012 Principles of Animation Physics

Avengers Panel write-up on fxguide from Siggraph 2012

Esri CityEngine software

fxpodcast on Dneg's new lighting pipeline

The Making of Cookie Monster's 'Share It Maybe'


Thanks so much for reading our article.

We've been a free service since 1999 and now rely on the generous contributions of readers like you. If you'd like to help support our work, please join the hundreds of others and become an fxinsider member.

  • woodenspoon blarg

    On the issue of the clarity of high frame rate. I think an issue is missed, our eyes do not view the world as clear and crisp as a film image, if you look into human visual system and perception its all sorts of strangeness, most of our vision is out of focus, only a small area in the center is really focused, our vision shuts off every time we move our eyes, so super smooth is not super real, and every seems to feel that the high framerate is wrong, but they seem to want to excuse it as some accident, and kind of deny their feeling. Perhaps the 24 fps was a happy accident that created a visual medium that was compatible with our vision in some strange way. Film is not like audio where audiophile improvements approach reproduction of reality. Film is an artistic take on reality, the colors grading and the rest show that its not about reproducing reality, and that even such a goal would would even be pleasing is questionable. I think it maybe a happy accident that 24fps mimics or is compatible iwth our visual system in some way that lets us immerse ourselves into the world of the story without triggering a bad or questioning response…maybe this is another uncanny valley thing.

    • Excellent comment. It will be interesting to see how people respond to the higher frame rate films (Hobbit) that are coming later in the year. Personally, I wasn’t crazy about it for narrative story telling. For certain kinds of films I could see it being used to good effect, but not sure that its the “future of cinema”.