In 2011, under the art direction of Chris Grun, I helped design some of the effects in R.I.P.D. during post-production. The film, an action/sci-fi/comdey blockbuster scheduled for Summer 2013, involves 'deados'--undead monsters disguised as humans--whose monster form needed to strike the fine balance between grotesquely scary and ridiculously funny, while respecting the film's PG-13 rating. I was primarily involved with the design of the main villain, Hayes, played by Kevin Bacon. Rhythm & Hues provided headshots of the actor, to which I added a variety of effects, until I arrived at a design that both kept the actor recognizable and added to his evil persona. Below is my final design followed by shots of Hayes as he appears in the film
The following are variations on the design of soul-killer bullets in action--special bullets used to kill deados. Because this type of ammunition is used by both sides of good and evil in the film, the bullet effect had to look neither heavenly nor hellish. I aimed for a bright blue trail that was distinguishable from the typical Star Wars-inspired laser, but provided other choices as well. Shots of the bullet on screen can be seen below my design sheet
Once deados are hit with a soul-killer bullet, they dematerialize into a vortex of dust with the bullet hole at its center. I helped design this visual transformation, once again with respect to the PG-13 rating and tone of the film. Below is my proposed approach followed by the effect as it appears in the film.