Feature Film VFX




BlueBolt created 126 VFX shots for Napoleon, Ridley Scott’s epic depiction of the rise and fall of iconic French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (Joaquin Phoenix), for Apple Original Film.

Led by VFX Supervisor Henry Badgett, BlueBolt’s work supported Scott’s vision of Napoleon’s 1793 Siege of Toulon and his violent suppression of the Paris Riots two years later.

Henry collaborated closely with overall VFX Supervisor Charley Henley to interpret Scott’s storyboards and ensure BlueBolt’s work recreated the immersive, visceral tone required. BlueBolt’s VFX work for both sequences was also informed by reference paintings and engravings of the events from the period.

The Siege of Toulon was one of the first major Napoleonic battles, in which Napoleon demonstrated his tactical genius by leading an attack by night on an English stronghold previously deemed impenetrable. BlueBolt created 90 shots split between the daytime ‘before’ and the dramatic night time battle in the Port of Toulon.

Creating a plausible and consistent geography for the Toulon Harbour environment was a major challenge on the show. Filming was done at several locations in Malta including a set build surrounded by blue screen. BlueBolt’s brief was to tie these separate locations together with 3D and DMP environment work, to replicate crowd, to add the British fleet in the harbour (including CG sailors) with a fully rigged recreation of the British fleet in the Mediterranean - including HMS Victory - and to enhance the battle with a wide range of FX work which climaxes with the explosion of the ammunition-carrying ship ‘Iris’.

The Paris Riots cover the historical events of the ‘13 Vendémiaire’, the name given to a battle between the French Revolutionary troops and Royalist forces in 1795. This battle was part of the establishment of a new government and a major factor in the rapid advancement of Bonaparte's career.

BlueBolt’s brief was to extend the environment, replicate the crowd, add CG crowd and then apply riot-control cannon grapeshot fire into the crowd. All shots were filmed at Greenwich Naval College in London, a filming location that the BlueBolt team were familiar with from previous projects. In extending the environment, the challenge was therefore both to present a new look at a familiar location, and to work sympathetically with the architecture whilst adding to it to create a new Parisian street look and feel.



VFX Supervisor - Henry Badgett
VFX Producer: Theodore Burley
CG Supervisor: Nic Birmingham
Compositing Leads: Tiago Faria/ Graham Day
DMP Supervisor & Environment Lead : Tamara Toppler


Nuke, Maya, Houdini, 3DEqualiser