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Mortal Kombat


In Warner Brothers’ Mortal Kombat, MMA fighter Cole Young (played by Lewis Tan) seeks out Earth’s greatest champions in order to stand against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. The videogame adaptation film is helmed by award-winning Australian commercial filmmaker Simon McQuoid, making his feature directorial debut.

Production side VFX Supervisor Chris Godfrey partnered with MPC VFX Supervisor Jason Billington and VFX Producer Thadiwe Philips who led over 580 artists within the MPC team to craft 442 shots for the video-game live action feature. Artists from studios across the globe, including Adelaide and Bangalore, worked together over the course of 15 months to capture Simon McQuoid’s vision.

The art department based at Technicolor’s Preproduction studio in Culver City, Los Angeles began working with McQuoid in the early stages of development. Senior Concept Artist, Ivan Khomenko, lead the early stages of character development including Cole Young.

A fundamental focus for the MPC team was to create VFX that honored the history of the game but felt true to the world of the hero and his journey. The story has weight, power and pathos as well as moments of grandeur therefore it was important the VFX reflected that. From building large scale environments, to delivering magical FX to epic battle scenes, MPC delivered both fantastical yet grounded visual effects.

One notable part of the film that MPC was involved with, was bringing the character Jax’s iconic bionic arms to life. MPC Animation Supervisor Matt Everitt said the following about the experience: “The bridge fight sequence was a real test for the integration of Jax’s arms. Broad, dynamic movement through the fight required the intricate structure that connects the mechanical elements to the biological forms to work from all angles and in all situations. We replaced the entire torso in CG and time was spent putting the rig through its paces with broad calisthenics tests to ensure the musculature was true to that of Mehcad Brooks.” The MPC team paid special attention to the arm movements to make sure the audience would understand Jax’s unparalleled strength. “Jax needed to feel strong and powerful so we paid particular attention to the weight and timing of each punch, block and swing to give the arms a true sense of force and power.” says Everitt.

In the ‘Sea of Spikes’ scene, MPC overcame the challenges of an intricate combination of plate, CG performance and FX simulation to create an explosive feel that didn’t go beyond the realms of reality.

Simon McQuoid
Warner Bros. Pictures
MPC VFX Supervisor
Jason Billington

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