MUMBAI: Tata Elxsi Visual Computing Labs (VCL) worked on over 800 shots for Yash Raj Films’ Tara Rum Pum, to tell the story of a NASCAR racer who scores over life with help from his family.
VCL also created the montage of Ma bear, Pa bear, Ta bear and Ra bear dancing along the ice-cream mountains, strawberry waterfalls and chocolate rivers, and captured it in a three and half minute long theme song, which reflects a fantasy world interspersed with animated bears and real life actors dancing in meadows and rafting down rapids.
Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerji and the two children were shot on a chroma background for the duration of the song. The shots were staged and blocked, keeping in mind the space required to accommodate four huge bears in the frame. Often in the song, Saif and Rani clap hands with the bears as welll as interact with the animated characters. For this purpose, four stand in dancers were used so that the interactions could be timed correctly. In the post-production process, these dancers were then replaced with the CGI bears, say sources in VCL.
While 12 artistes animated the dancing bears, another team of artistes worked on the 3D backgrounds, the fur artists clothed the bears in rich fur and the compositers put all of this together giving life and form to the entire song sequence, they say.
The scenes shot in the stadium which had Saif race and compete, formed a major portion of the movie and also the most exciting ones. By using a mix of live action plates and CGI crowds, VCL packed the stadium with frenzied fans screaming and cheering wildly. It wasn’t easy, especially since the Director of Photography shot the speeding cars with the most complicated camera movement. Hence, using a crowd generating software, VCL actually modelled stadium agents, to sit in the stands and scream, boo, cheer and react to the race drama as it unfolds. The stadium agents were then multiplied using the software’s brain to randomise and populate the stadium to capacity, which is filling 50,000 seats with a CGI generated crowd.
The excitement builds up with over 40 cars speeding on that track vying for the number one slot. The primary few cars, 10 to 12 were shot live, but the rest were added into the shot as CGI models.
The effects of the smoke and fire and sparks were all done in CGI. The lapboards that keep score were also generated in CGI and a lot of the signs and hoardings had to be cleaned up and replaced with the film sponsor’s brands.