Written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski, Matrix: Reloaded unfolded through a variety of multi-media; film, DVD game and 'The Animatrix', a series of animated short films to which Animal Logic contributed the raining code title sequences.
Creating nearly 300 shots for the directors across all the media, the Animal Logic team worked for more than two years on the projects. For Reloaded, the team completed ten sequences, which included building entire 3D characters The Twins, who are able to fully interact with the live action stars when in their CG phasing states.
Animal Logic created effects for the action packed 'Freeway Chase' sequence, which sees The Twins hand to hand in mortal combat with Morpheus; explosive motorbike scenes known as 'Trinity Assault'; complex 3D morphs known as the 'Agent Takeovers', plus a large array of other 3D and 2D effects encompassing 3D pre-visualisation to multilayered compositing and digital grading.
The Twins have the unique ability to semi-dematerialise (known as 'phasing'). When they phase, their bioluminescent vaporous bodies are unaffected by solid objects like bullets and swords, but at the same time can still do harm by emitting hot phosphorous vaporous trails.
The Animal Logic team created 30 Twins phasing shots across the Freeway Chase and Chateau Melee sequences and each shot was different in terms of the environment, lighting and the action or performance of The Twins. In the final vision, the audience sees The Twins manoeuvre without effort between different worlds within The Matrix, giving them an unpredictable and dangerous quality.
The Virtual Control room is an operational centre within The Matrix. It controls data relating to the mothership 'The Nebuchadnezzar' and other ships docking in Zion's bays. The creation of 'the construct's' holographic environment was undertaken by Art Director Grant Freckelton.
Described in the brief as an air traffic control system, Freckelton incorporated this idea into his look frames. Once the audio for the sequence was delivered, Freckelton began producing a convincing environment around the actors, who had been filmed against a blue-screen.
Working with Animal Logic's VFX Designer Toby Grime, a panel for each of the key console operators was created. In the background, additional operators undertake diagnostic tests on the docking bay, monitor fuelling-systems and man the guns.
HAIL OF BULLETS / TRINITY'S ASSAULT / AGENT TAKEOVER
In this scene, Neo faces a 'hail of bullets' that he is able to make fall to the ground by simply raising his hand. The effect is designed to once again illustrate Neo's growing understanding and use of his superhuman capabilities.
The high action stunt sequence which tops and tails the film is known as 'Trinity's Assault'. The scene involves a number of motorbike stunts shot against blue-screen, involving complex rigs for camera, the bike and Trinity. In one shot, Trinity charges off the roof of a carpark, flying across the the city skyline and then back-flipping off the bike mid-air, before it plunges into a bunker and sets off a massive explosion.
Signature effects from the original Matrix film, the 'Agent Takeovers' are even more convincing in Reloaded, as it is further fine-tuned. The audiences watch skin and facial features of the 'Agent Takeover' characters stretch beyond all normal human proportion, their contorting faces transformed and manipulated in the 3D realm as the Agent just below the surface emerges through a painful metamorphosis.