Make Your Impact: VFX

Collider Studio was tasked with bringing to life the entirety of the VFX within the ADF’s Make Your Impact campaign. Directed by renowned director Rupert Sanders (Ghost in the Shell, Snow White and the Huntsman), the tri-service campaign was one of the ADF’s largest campaigns ever undertaken and involved a huge degree of planning across the Army, Navy and Air Force divisions. The naturalistically-styled stories feature a full spectrum of military personnel on and off duty and were shot over nine days at multiple locations around Australia.

A suite of highly detailed CG assets were created by Studio in careful consultation with ADF military advisors to support the majority of in-camera moments and heighten the drama. The Collins Class Submarine, a Black Hornet surveillance drone, a firing AGM-88 Harpoon missile on the wing of an F-18 Super Hornet and a CubeSat (a miniature satellite used by ADF Space Command) were all created by Studio.

One of the most challenging sequences of the campaign was the Aurora Australis story. Based on real accounts of Australian submariners, Studio needed to capture the moment a submarine makes its way across a remote part of the Southern Ocean, under the spectacle of the Aurora Australis. We were challenged with augmenting a daytime set shoot into a night scene with complex CG ocean, CG set extension and real Aurora and sky elements.

An entirely bespoke mock video game sequence was created to feature in a clip showing ADF personnel having a friendly interdisciplinary competition. The split-screen sequence mimicked popular fantasy racing games and featured two teams of playful vehicles in an outback-like setting.

Director Rupert Sanders wanted a highly unexpected shot to follow one of the moments featuring an F-18 Super Hornet making a hard right bank. We created the effect of mounting a GoPro camera under the F-18’s wing to show how a harpoon anti-ship missile would launch from a jet travelling at 1200 knots. Lighting, movement and setting were all created to match the previous live action shot and we worked closely with ADF’s fighter pilots to get critical feedback on the realism of the missile’s attachment and launch sequence.

The Black Hornet drone is a small reconnaissance drone used by the Australian Army to provide forward surveillance to its soldiers. We knew it would be almost impossible to shoot the sequence comfortably on the day due to its size and speed so the team undertook the planning and execution of the tracking, CG and compositing for this moment.

One of the story concepts needed to communicate the ability for the ADF divisions to work together to deploy a force anywhere in the world. Live action plates of the C-17 Globemaster were shot at Amberley Air Force base in Queensland and Studio created a complete rebuild of a remote landing strip. Boxer tanks and personnel were then reintegrated into the red earth environment.

Where shooting was not possible, Studio used existing ADF footage and carefully replaced and improved skies and integrated additional look elements to fit within the campaign feel.

An important aspect of this project involved creating bespoke UI designs for shot ideas featuring in-situ screens such as space command or satellite link up story-telling. You can see more of how we designed these elements and the process behind this aspect here >