I would like to send a big thank you to Bruce Woloshyn
for having taken a few hours of his time to show me all
of the facility at Rainmaker Animation & Visual
Rainmaker Animation & Visual Effects
is a big visual effects company in Vancouver, where visual
effects are producered for TV shows such as Stargate
SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis, Dark Angel,
Dead Like Me, Smallville, The L
Word and many more. The company has also worked on
a lot of movies such The Da Vinci Code, Elektra,
I, Robot, Garfield, Antitrust
and Firewall, . . . Check their website at: www.rainmaker.com
For full credits, check here: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0003502
Before my arrival, I was expecting a big building, with
several floors, and actually I was surprised when I first
saw it, only 2 floors! But very large! So, after a few
minutes in the lobby, Bruce arrived and we began the visit!
The second floor was dedicated to visual effects and post-production
and the first floor to visual effects and the motion picture
laboratory. We began on the second. There were a lot of
rooms with tons of cables, computers, and machines everywhere!
I first entered to one of their high definition film transfer
suites, where you can control the transfer of motion picture
film to HD television. Then, in the transfer machine room,
several "HD transfer machines",
and the central routing system that moves the final product
of everything made in the building.
The console of one of their
high definition film transfer suites
Tthe actual HD tranfer machine
The central equipment room for post production
& dubbing services
Then, the next room was the central equipment room for
post production & dubbing services, where I saw a
small part of an upcoming episode of Stargate:
Atlantis while transferring.
Just a door from there was the main videotape vault, where
are stocked all the episodes from every show currently
in production at Rainmaker. In only 2 isles, all the HD-Cam
Masters of Stargate SG-1 were
before my eyes ... The original videotapes from which
everything comes from! The next couple of isles were dedicated
to Stargate: Atlantis. I had
the opportunity to take the original master tapes in my
hands! All the episodes of Stargate SG-1
& Stargate: Atlantis are
post-produced at Rainmaker.
Me with the HD-Cam Masters of:
Stargate SG-1: Children Of The Gods
Me with the HD-Cam Masters of:
Stargate Atlantis: Rising
Close-up of the HD-Cam Masters of:
Stargate Atlantis: Rising
Bruce Woloshyn with the HD-Cam Masters
of: Stargate Atlantis: Rising
another set of rooms: the high definition edit
suites, where I was able to sit at the main console!
The room is used for editing television shows and commercials
and is totally soundproof.
After that, Bruce showed me their own "home
cinema theatre", where we can watch everything
in either 35mm or 16mm motion picture film or high definition
video, a real home cinema with popcorn!
place was the working area, where all the artists create
the special effects for motion pictures, a lot of people
working on the biggest upcoming movies! And just in front
of the door stands an artifact from I, Robot,
actually the only non-3D computer artifact of the big
robot destroying the house where Will Smith was visiting.
And the first room after that was the bar! A very luxury
bar! All the hallways of the building were covered of
posters, one was signed by Jessica Alba (Dark
quick visit to the rooftop were you can enjoy a nice view
of Vancouver and where people can have a break when it's
not raining. Actually everybody says that in Vancouver,
there's always rain ... but during my entire 10 days trip,
I never saw a drop of water!
The first floor .... the floor of Stargate
visual effects done at Rainmaker and the motion picture
laboratory! Firstly, a room, the room where is the black
chamber and where all the reels are developed. Impressive,
a man must do everything in the TOTAL darkness, not even
the red lights from the photo laboratories. The man must
know by touch alone what he is doing...
The motion picture laboratory
The working area of
the Stargate artists!
The other rooms are similar with the ones from the second
floor, editing rooms, etc.
Now, the working area of the Stargate
artists! A big place where I was pleased to meet Wes
Sargent, lead animator and the man that
created many of the 3D models for the Stargate
television series! Atlantis, Puddle Jumpers,
Wraith Darts, all his work, and sometimes so
detailed that you can't even see it on TV! Even more detailed
than the sets model (for the Puddle Jumper).
Then, Bruce showed me a demo reel of Stargate,
the "before-and-after" of several scenes from
Stargate: Atlantis, especially the ones from episode "Grace
Under Pressure", where I saw all the steps from
the on-set shot to the final product. The whale was actually
a combination of a humpback whale and a manatee. Some
details of the crash of the Puddle Jumper into the sea
cannot even be seen on standard definition TV, such the
water drops soaking on the hull of the ship. Some other
scenes from "Trinity", at the end of
the episode, where the Puddle Jumper is escaping, with
lots of explosions were also impressive. Actually most
the explosions are real explosions! A camera put in a
secure room filming from the bottom a big "BOOM"!
One piece of a destroyed Hive ship was made from ... a
finger! And the scene from "Orion"
where the ship is blown out of the hangar by the volcano
took 1 month to do! And if you look at that hangar, earlier
in the episode, you will recognize some ancient writings,
try to decrypt what is written, same for "Metamorphosis"
with the machine of Nirrti, all are ... just try to discover
that by yourself!
And that was it! Very interesting visit! Thank you again