SA/US collab on Bollywood film


The ground-breaking visual effects in the 2011 Indian sci-fi thriller Ra.One were the result of a collaboration between US-based Synthespian Studios, Red Chillies VFX in Mumbai, and South African digital content creation studio Luma Animation.

Inspired by a television commercial in which children are seen using a remote to exercise control over fellow humans, the movie represents a significant visual effects breakthrough for India’s thriving film industry.

Produced by and starring Shahrukh Khan and directed by Anubhav Sinha, Ra.One was launched on 26 October 2012 and went on to win the National Film Award in the special effects category.

Jeff Kleiser, owner of Synthespian Studios, was appointed as VFX Supervisor for the film, overseeing the post-production process involving stereoscopic 3-D conversion and VFX.

In May 2011, Synthespian’s brought Luma on board to help realise some of the most complex cubic transformation sequences in the film. A number of challenging effects were required, one of which needed to depict digitally enhanced cubes, which were to converge to form one of the film’s major characters. One of the film’s key visual set pieces, a rain damage sequence in which the protagonist’s life is slowly depleted by falling red evil rain, was created and rendered by Luma.

Paul Meyer, MD of Luma, was thrilled to be part of a project that was able to offer the team extensive international exposure.

“Being part of this project and being able to work with Jeff and his team has been a groundbreaking experience for Luma,”says Meyer. “This opportunity allowed our team to showcase, on an international level, Luma’s expertise and skill in VFX production and animation.’


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