Recreating the British War at Fort McHenry


xRez Studio’s Eric Hanson and BlackboxFX collaborator Ethan Summers have just completed a number of visual effects shots for a film produced by Aperture Films depicting the British war of 1812 at Fort McHenry on the eastern seaboard, where the Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key in reaction to the bombardment of the fort.

The film is presented in a custom 3456 x 1080 projection at the new re-designed visitor center at Fort McHenry National Historic Park in Baltmore, MD. The work ranged from bringing historic paintings to life, to augmenting live-action RED footage, to entire CG recreations of the fort battles. The rendering was performed in Next Limit’s Maxwell, which handled the high polygon counts with ease while rendering complex environmental lighting. xRez contractor Kai Solberg provided additional architectural modeling.


An additional animated sequence was created which traces the physical changes of the fort from present day back to 1814, which is projected in the visitor center onto a custom horizontal circular display.