DOUBLE NEGATIVE ATTACKS MILLENIUM BRIDGE FOR HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
Double Negative provided stunning visual effects for the new Harry Potter film the Half-Blood Prince, including the devastating Death Eater attack on London's iconic Millennium Bridge.
Starting with the Dark Mark towering menacingly over London, Death Eaters issue forth from it, plunging down into London spread out below, where they weave furiously through the streets of London into Diagon Alley before re-emerging later back out to the city. Lightening announces the arrival of the Death Eaters as they swoop down over the dome of St Paul's Cathedral before twining themselves around Millennium bridge, becoming invisible as they do so.
The entire central area of London was modelled at several levels of detail. The primary source of reference was an extensive set of aerial and ground-based photographs supplemented with street plans and manual ground surveys. Outlying districts were created from photography projected onto simple geometry whilst the central zones of Trafalgar Square and Charring Cross were modelled by hand at the highest levels of detail. Hundreds of vehicles and thousands of CG pedestrians were added with an in-house crowd tool.
The shots of the tourists on the bridge were shot on location on a cheerful, sunny day and the sky was replaced by ominous storm clouds shot from Double Negative's central London roof. The Death Eaters were required to become 'invisible' to the muggles and they come in and out of view in a half transparent, displacement effect, whooshing by, followed by speed trails until they become visible again.
As the bridge starts to move it becomes fully CG for wide shots and has a partial set build for close ups. Once the bridge collapses into the water, all the plate water has been replaced by CG water generated by proprietary software dnSquirt.
The huge sequence was completed by an amazing team lead by CG Supervisors, Phil Johnson (bridge) and Gavin Graham (water) and 2D Lead Julia Reinherd.
Double Negative also worked on the opening titles, the Burrows Attack and the painfully beautiful Pensieve sequence amongst others.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince opened on July 15th 2009.