“Tippett Studio Creates “Hell L.A.” & “Vermin Man” in “Constantine”” by Tippett Studio

  • ©Francis Lawrence  Tippett Studio


SIGGRAPH Video Review:




    Tippett Studio Creates “Hell L.A.” & “Vermin Man” in “Constantine”




Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Tippett Studio


    Guided by senior visual effects supervisor Craig Hayes, Tippett Studio turns modern-day Los Angeles into an imaginative post-nuclear environment of hellish proportions. The fiery urban landscape comes to life with scorched streets and ominous blazing skies. Over 25 shots contain 80 -100 stand-alone elements including procedural fire, cloud, and dust elements, completing the nightmarish digital backdrop. “Realistic” CG demons populate the city of scarred build-ings, created by applying textures to 3D geometry, while props like cars and signs are textured to look realistically distressed.

    The Vermin Man, a highly complex sequence added late in the show, portrays a fight between John Constantine and a moving body of swarming creatures. Vermin Man’s face and body contain 14 different creatures, including snakes and centipedes for cheekbones and lips, flies for rotting teeth. and spiders and rats for “fillers.” Forty-five hero bugs create the rig, allowing animators to form his facial expressions, and the “fabric” of his coat is woven with 100,000 termites.

    Key to animating this character is the proxy particle system created by the effects department. This tool is essential to efficiently block out timing, direction, and volume of smaller swarms created as Constantine strikes Vermin Man.


    Custom AMD workstations, custom AMD render farm, SGI CXFS file servers.


    Modeling, animation, and dynamics: Maya. Rendering: RenderMan. Compositing: Shake. Custom software: Custom plug-ins, custom Prman shaders, RIB and RIB Archieve generation tools.

Additional Contributors:

    Director: Francis Lawrence

    Producers: Lauren Shuler Donner, Benjamin Melniker, Michael Uslan, Akiva Goldsman, Erwin Stoff, Lorenzo di Bonaventura


    Visual Effects Supervisor: Mike Fink


    Senior Visual Effects Supervisor: Craig Hayes

    Visual Effects Producers: Amy “Hollywood” Wixson, Jason Heapy

    CG Supervisor: David (grue) DeBry

    Visual Effects Plate Supervisor: Brennan Doyle

    Visual Effects Associate Producer: Athena Yvette Portillo

    Lead Animators: Simon Allen, Dovi Anderson

    Lead Lighting Artist: Julien Schreyer

    Lead Compositors: Dan Cayer, Matt Jacobs

    Lead CG Effects Artist: Daniel Rolinek

    Lead Texture Artist: Renee Binkowski

    Lead CG Modeller: Joseph E Hamdorf

    Matchmove Supervisor: Christopher Paizis

    Lead Rotoscope Artists: Rex Markle, Kenneth Voss

    Visual Effects Editor: Sarah Schubart

    Visual Effects Digital Color Timers: Adam Gerardin, Matthew Tomlinson

    Animators: Jason Armstrong, James W. Brown, Chuck Duke, Aaron Gilman, Julie Jaros, Michael Kitchen, Michael Leonard, Brian Mendenhall, Guido Muzzarelli, Jess Vickery, Character Riggers, Matthew Muntean, David Richard Nelson, Peter Newsome

    CG Lighting Artists: Mimia Arbelaez, Aharon Bourland, Howard Campbell, Conrad Chu, Russell Darling, Krystin Johnson, Lissa G. Klanor, Steven Quinones-Colon, John Rader, Ben VonZastrow, Davy Wentworth

    Compositors: Misty Segura Barbour, Daniel Bryant, Michael Clemens, Chris Gibbons, Aruna Inversin, Jonathan Knight, Chris Morley, Alexandra Papavramides-Pierrre, Gerard Benjamin Pierre, Ari Rubenstein, David Schnee, Mark Siew

    CG Effects Artists: Uma Havaligi, Nathaniel Hunter, James Jackson, Andrew Young Kim, Rosa Lin, Clear Menser, Konstantin Promokhov, Ralph Sevazlian, Melissa Tseng

    Texture Artists: Paul Campion, Ruth Caspary, Bradford deCaussin, Nathan Stinus Fredenburg, Sara Simon

    CG Modellers: Sven Jensen, John Koester, Paul Zinnes

    Matchmovers: Devin Breese, Tyler Ham, Dong Yong Kang, Kirk Larkins, Eric Marko, Stephen Moros, Charles Schwartz

    Rotoscope Artists: Kane Brassington, Shelley Campbell, Lucinda Chee, Robert Dorris, Ramona Martinez, Ross Nakamura, Daniel Riha

    Visual Effects Coordinators: Chris Hall, Kristy Marie King, Naomi Ruth Raine

Animation / Video Overview: