repost from Jonny Elwyn blog

Grading and VFX on Elysium


Personally I really enjoyed District 9, even if I didn’t totally ‘get it’ as a film. (I mean I understood what it was all about, but I wasn’t sure if I totally connected with it.) But I’m incredibly excited to see director Neill Blomkamp’s next effort which looks, in a word, awesome.

Elysium Visual Effects


FXGuide has a fantastically detailed write up on the production and its VFX workflow. The article covers the miniatures, CGI and design work involved in creating the film’s futuristic world both on planet earth and inside the titular Elysium. A brilliant read.

Elysium was shot on RED EPIC cameras by DOP Trent Opaloch using anamorphic lenses (resulting in a resolution of about 3.3K that was then mastered at 4K for release). Filming took place on location in Mexico City and in Vancouver. Interestingly, Muyzers says they used an ACES color pipeline for the production. “Neill could sit in the theater at Image Engine and be confident they would look the same in the theater with an audience. And the same at the DI house – it was a unified color workflow.”

Colour Grading Elysium


The Coloristos have a brilliant hour long audio interview with Andrea Chlebak on how she got started in the business, using Baselight and grading Elysium. It’s a fantastic interview because as colorists they know all the right questions to ask to get into the nitty gritty of working on a visual effects heavy hollywood film.

Below The Line News has a good but short article on Elysium’s colorist Andrea Chlebak and her work on bringing Elyisum to the silver screen with Baselight.

In the final grade, Chlebak used Baselight to create a nuanced color palette between Earth and Elysium. “A lot of the film’s aesthetic was rooted in photography and art direction, so I took cues from those approaches and explored a number of different directions,” Chlebak said. “Using ACES kept all aspects of the production rolling at the same time, allowing us all to really push the process and get a really terrific, seamless result.”

Studio Daily has a much more in depth interview with Andrea and the DI process.

We needed a lot of time because we needed to step away and come back with fresh eyes. Starting early on while they were still cutting, Neill could step away from that environment, where he was looking at dailies color, and come into the DI suite and be in a whole new world where he could take the opportunity to experiment with some looks and further articulate his vision. He called it an honest approach — he wanted the image to feel honest and not like it had been graded. That’s a tricky order. – See more at:

Elysium Making Of Featurettes

Thanks to Behind VFX you can check out all of the available behind the scenes featurettes/EPK’s available for Elysium, including the soundtrack, although you might want to hold off watching them too much if you want to enjoy the film for all its worth.