Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., one of Bollywood’s biggest production houses, and director Sabbir Khan have entrusted Prime Focus with the Visual Effects and Digital Intermediate for their movie ‘Baaghi’ starring Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor. The studio has a long standing relationship with Prime Focus, having previously commissioned their services for Salman Khan starrer ‘Kick’, which became one of the biggest blockbusters of 2014, as well as for Sabbir Khan’s previous movies ‘Heropanti’ and ‘Kambakkht Ishq’. In fact, Prime Focus was honored for its spectacular VFX work on ‘Kick’ at both the IIFA Awards 2015 in Kuala Lumpur and at the Screen Awards 2015 in Mumbai.
The team at Prime Focus was led by VFX Supervisor Arijit Ghosh, alongside VFX Producer Devarshi Thakkar, Compositing Lead Somesh Ghosh, CG Supervisor Yogendra Tonke and Line Producer Shruti Anand. Arijit was called in while ‘Baaghi’ was still in the early stages of the production to supervise all the chroma and action sequences during the shoot in Kerala. He also spent 10 days on set supervising the key fight sequences in Bangkok.
The main scope of Prime Focus’ work on ‘Baaghi’ comprised of set extensions and rain enhancement, along with chroma-key work, monitor inserts, motion graphics, compositing and muzzle flashes. For the song ‘Cham Cham’, which was shot entirely in the rain, adding CG rain enhancements in slow-motion proved particularly challenging, but the team worked hard to refine the CG effects and the sequence worked to great effect. In total more than 300 VFX shots featuring rain enhancements were delivered.
Various structures in the film were also digitally extended. The shots ranged from the relatively easy, such as adding floors to buildings or extending stairs, to the much more complex: for example, the creation of CG backgrounds while extending the number of floors and indoor sets. Motion graphics were also delivered to introduce the chief antagonist of the film – Raghav- through Google searches and newspaper articles.
Another major challenge was creating the lighthouse sequence where the surrounding environment needed to be simulated. The expanse of the sea, mountains, beach and the encroaching forest became part of the CG environment.
“Our biggest assignment in the film was cable clean-ups - most of the cables were quite thick and it required the addition of background details post cleanup,” said Arijit. “More than 100 VFX shots comprised of cable and harness clean-ups.”
For the train sequence - where Ronny (Tiger Shroff) and Sia (Shraddha Kapoor) meet for the first time, and shot entirely on chroma – 63 VFX shots were delivered. ‘Baaghi’ also incorporated CG elements in the action sequences. In one major VFX shot the protagonist hits another character with such ferocious strength that it leads to dislocation of the victim’s bones, shown via an X-Ray effect – a technique previously employed in ‘Kick’, which served as a reference for the sequence.
The DI of the film was completed by Prime Focus colorists Ken Metzker and Makarand Surte. “A lot of time went into enhancing the look of the film to ensure it was different from other action films and yet would help tell the story while enhancing the emotional content.” said Ken. “With ‘Baaghi’, DoP Binod Pradhan, in his element, has reached new heights of cinematographic excellence. His photography is breathtaking, especially in the action sequences.” The film was graded entirely using the ACES pipeline.
A total of 25 artists from Prime Focus worked hard to deliver 518 VFX shots for ‘Baaghi’ in a span of 60 days. ‘Baaghi’ released on 29th April under the banner of UTV Motion Pictures and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, and grossed ₹72 crore nationwide in the first two weeks of its theatrical run.