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Terminator: Dark Fate Director Spills Tea On Adobe Workflow

In its sixth instalment, Terminator: Dark Fate follows The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), with the other films occurring in an alternate timeline. With such big shoes to fill, VR Zone had an exclusive opportunity to get up, close and personal with key production staff who made this movie possible in the edit.

Present at the movie screening hosted by Adobe was Blur Studio founder and Dark Fate director Tim Miller, along with Blur Studio editor Julian Clarke, ACE, associate editor Matt Carson, and visual effects director Jon Carr. A press conference and Q&A was held after the screening.

In an industry where Avid’s composing software is mostly used, Terminator Dark Fate joins the growing collective of movies created on Adobe’s ecosystem of creative applications. These include Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, Audition and Mixamo. 

Tim Miller explains that the work required in post production for Dark Fate is three times that of Deadpool 2, an earlier Blur project. To this end, software had to continually be improved, something the editorial team of eight worked closely with Adobe on. 

Improvements to the software will not be confined to a white-glove build, and will be made publicly available at a later date.

Among the improvements made was a reduction in the time it took to open a reel in Adobe Substance – around 15 seconds as opposed to the 5 minutes it took before. With high turnover times for batch demos used by modellers, and the futuristic, heavy textures and other VFX used on the movie, Substance has been satisfactorily improved despite the high expectations by the editorial team.

The project had a total of 2,300 VFX shots, which the team collaborated on. While for security reasons, the team used 128TB of locally-networked solid state memory accessible by fully-specced Mac Pro desktop stations, Adobe’s creative applications have also improved collaborative capabilities via Creative Cloud.

Key filmmaking techniques were also used in production like controlling camera shake, repositioning, keyframing and split screens. Actor Gabriel Luna, in his role as the terminator Rev-9, reprised both in-person and motion capture roles. A much younger Arnold Schwarzenegger was also featured as a CGI character. Linda Hamilton, who had acted as Sarah Connor in the previous Terminator films, also returns with a vengeance.

Director Tim Miller believes that apart from the rendering required for the younger Arnold Schwarzenegger, the turbine fight scene had been the most challenging in terms of VFX.

Terminator: Dark Fate is out in cinemas and reprises the most memorable characters in the Terminator franchise, including Arnold Schwarzenegger as  T-800 and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. 

Ian Ling
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

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