Fin Design + Effects

Behind the scenes

In collaboration with award winning director Guan Hu and Huayi Brothers Media, Fin has bought to life the grim, visceral story of “The Eight Hundred”.

Based on the heroic defence of the Si Hang warehouse in WW2’s 1937 Battle of Shanghai, this pivotal stand marked the downfall of Chinese forces against the Japanese. Over four days and four nights, 400 valiant fighters held the last line of defence against the waves of enemy forces. Overtime this epic, bloody sacrifice became legend, that legend became the story of “Eight Hundred Heroes”.

Over the course of 6 months, working with international vendors and a continuously changing schedule, Fin’s VFX team contributed 165 shots to this period war epic. For VFX supervisor Louis Laflamme-Fillion, balancing drama, aesthetic and the harsh realities of war was paramount – requiring full utilization of the Fin pipeline.

As well as enhancing and digitally dressing the elaborate set, a complete portion of war-torn Shanghai was constructed in Maya. Using on set data, our artists were able to construct a period accurate representation of Shanghai and the devastation experienced over the course of the war. In addition to these individual city builds, asset sharing and cooperation with other vendors, specifically Dneg and RSP, was essential for the seamless integration of several sequences and environments.

Enlarging the peril, Houdini was utilized adding elements of snow, smoke, fire and blood. Other components included creature animation, bullet wounds in Maya, detailed DMP, texturing with final refinement in Nuke.

Fin’s combination of these elements creates a raw, guttural atmosphere that takes ‘The Eight Hundred’ audience on an emotional journey through history.