‘Challengers’ VFX artists show how they did that tennis ball POV scene

ChallengersA tennis movie starring Zendaya, Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor isn’t the first movie that comes to mind. visual effects. But the film makes surprising use of them: One shot in particular, a 24-second volley between the two heroes in cannon view, used extensive digital and practical effects, as VFX supervisor Brian Drewes did. It is explained in X.

According to Drewes, the live boards were shot with doubles in five hours on a 30-foot technocrane with an Arri Alexa LF. 23 individual shots were combined to create the final sequence.

“High-detail LiDAR and photogrammetry scans of the tennis court environment were captured to help create the final models. Over 100 actors and background extras were also photo-scanned to fill the stands of our CG environment,” said Drewes.

CG was then used to correct the camera movement and correct the time of day. Drewes added that the stuntmen’s faces were then changed “with a combination of full CG heads and additional photography”.

So why are you doing all this? The sequence is designed to convey the speed, chaos and passion in sports, fitting the overall themes of the film. It’s also just a cool and exciting way to convey what would otherwise be an ordinary tennis match.

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