LipSync gives Stardust a healthy glow

LipSync Post has just completed work on Stardust, the largest project to go through its dedicated VFX department to date.

LipSync alone completed over 180 shots in a six-month period for the film, including some hugely impressive hero sequences and the signature ethereal glow that surrounds the central character of Yvaine.

The development of this effect, which the character experiences whenever in an emotional state, needed to be spot on as it is used in over 80 shots and therefore went through 55 separate iterations before the team at LipSync and director Matthew Vaughn had a subtle, angelic glow that they were happy with. LipSync also had to work collaboratively with other post houses on crossover shots involving the character and glow.

Possibly the most complex sequence was the 1,600-frame opening shot, which underneath a narration from Sir Ian McKellen features a long pull back from the moon down the barrel and through the lens of a giant astronomical telescope – including lens distortion effects - and into live action plates set in an observatory. Much of this was built in CG using a mix of Maya, mental ray and PhotoShop, with all the elements finally comped together in Shake.

"Stardust is our biggest and highest profile job to date," says Stefan Drury, head of LipSync VFX. "To get Neil Gaiman’s vision up on screen required us to use the complete VFX toolbox from green screen, through matte painting, rotoscoping, compositing and 3D, and we’re delighted with the results."

Featuring Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Robert de Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Peter O’Toole amongst a stellar cast, Stardust was released in the US on August 10 and will be seen in Europe in the autumn.

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