VFX Supervisor Rangi Sutton explained, “This was the first time we went on virtual reconnaissance, opening Google Street View and wondering the streets to find how Adaline’s neighbourhood would really look. This gave us a fairly true & very authentic, few blocks of San Francisco Chinatown, without having to leave the studio in Brisbane.”
During an especially poignant Age of Adaline moment, Adaline is found at the scene of a car accident. During this three-minute scene, Cutting Edge designed and animated snowflakes and snow cover. Handcrafted snow pieces would appear at very precise moments, or track with a camera. Cloth simulations were constructed for flakes that needed to brush against solid objects. While mid angle and wide shots would have particle simulations running, producing eddies of wind and draft.
“We ended up with a dozen ways we could describe how snow might be created for a given shot,” Rangi said. “We had snow splatting against car windscreens, which would be wiped away by wiper blades. Snow settling on peoples shoulders and hair before subtly melting away, and snow falling through the focal plane and being lit by torchlight,” Rangi said.
Rangi notes that the use of snow throughout The Age of Adaline heightened the tensions during disaster scenes while remaining a backseat to the action.