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Radium/Reel FX create fireworks for Katy Perry

November 16, 2010
Radium/Reel FX create fireworks for Katy Perry

SANTA MONICA — Radium/Reel FX, Santa Monica/Dallas (www.radiumreelfx.com) recently worked with director Dave Meyers of @Radical Media to create the visual effects featured in Katy Perry’s Firework music video. The studio also handled online and finishing for the project.

The video features Perry inspiring hope in several individuals who are in troubling situations. It reminds them that everyone has a fire inside — it just needs to be ignited. 

Firework was shot using a Red camera over four nights in various locations around the city of Budapest, Hungary. Radium/Reel FX VFX supervisor Kevin Althans and producer Leigh Mergehenn traveled to Budapest for the shoot. Althans worked closely with Meyers in planning the logistics of both capturing practical effects during the shoot and preparing for the extensive post CG effects.

Upon return from Budapest, there were approximately three weeks to edit, finish and deliver the video. The final look of the fireworks was achieved using custom Houdini plug-ins, written by 3D effects artist Anthony Chappina. The solution generated the dynamic fireworks, which were combination with 2nd Unit plates of practical fireworks in Inferno. 

Over 40 staff artists at Radium/Reel FX’s two locations worked around the clock for two weeks to generate the more than 60 effects shots. Tools included Houdini, Maya, Particular for After Effects, with compositing happening in both Nuke and Inferno. Beauty work and final finishing was performed using Inferno in both Dallas and Santa Monica.

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