Queen of the Jungle

January 10, 2014

Mirada on Creating the VFX for Katy Perry’s “Roar”


The music video for Katy Perry’s single, “Roar,” may have been shot at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, but it looks like the heart of the jungle thanks to an assortment of trained animals and the impressive array of visual effects created by Los Angeles-based Mirada. Working with Motion Theory directors Grady Hall and Mark Kudsi, Mirada had just three weeks to do all of the post-production for the nearly five-minute video.


Mindful of the challenging schedule, Mirada made the most of that time by employing a variety of software and hardware, including CINEMA 4D, After Effects, Houdini, Nuke and Flame.


In all, there were 139 shots in “Roar” that incorporated visual effects, including 2D animation, matte paintings, particle effects, 3D and a lot of heavy compositing.


One of the most striking visual effects in the video happens when Perry stoops by a pool of water and breaks into Roar’s empowering chorus for the first time. As she sings, blinking fireflies move gracefully around her before coming together in the air to form the head of a roaring tiger. After first studying footage of how fireflies move and light up and dim back down, Mirada opted to use CINEMA 4D to create different iterations of the fireflies because the 3D software would allow them to make changes quickly and easily.


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