After what seems like an eternity of promising it’s on its way, the VFX reel has arrived. A fair amount of this is new to the site. Some of the new content relates directly to previous posts on TV shows that have been on in the past year.
This is a breakdown of a short sequence made for an ITV drama called The Fattest Man in Britain. The taxi has a rig following it that holds the camera in a fixed position above the taxi, looking down on it. Unfortunately this kind of rig needs stabilising and in this case 2 cables were run to the front of the taxi. A slight issue there is that the 2 cables were now visible in 4 separate shots.
I tracked each shot in Syntheyes bringing the 3D data into Softimage. Simple 3D geometry was put in place with camera projected textures, individually airbrushed so that the wire was removed in each. When rendered and comped with mattes, the cables were no longer an issue.
Following on from the previous post, this week’s episodes of Waking The Dead on BBC1 focussed on the story of Gemma, a girl raped twice then thrown off a bridge, and somehow surviving with a few broken bones and a shattered pelvis.
I worked on one shot for this, the falling stunt Gemma. A digital stunt double works out cheaper, and safer than a real one.
Being how she is seen at a distance I was able to get away with modifying a pre-existing female model straight out of Poser. I reduced the detail level to something managable, altered the overall shape to match the adjacent shots and set about animating using a slightly modified default rig in Softimage. Once that was cleared as being fine, the hair and clothes were added, the whole lot rendered out and passed on to Sascha for compositing.
[no longer on iplayer]
Series 8 of Waking The Dead started last night on BBC 1, here in the UK.
Around the 17 minute mark, 2 people go inside a building and get many cg flies thrown in their direction, created by my fair hand, animated one at a time in XSI, composited in After Effects by Sascha Fromeyer of The Green Apple variety.
More to come on this show… Hopefully show reel rights, who knows?
Film 4’s Frightfest was on again this year at the Empire in London’s Leicester Square.
I was one of a few freelancers lucky enough to work on Tom Six’s ‘Human Centipede’, a thoroughly odd concept for a film. I briefly mentioned this in a previous post, incorrectly referring to it as the Human Caterpillar. I guess a caterpillar does seem slightly cuter than a centipede! The rough premise for this is that a surgeon, previously separating siamese twins for a living, is now collecting people to build a centipede where each person’s mouth is stitched to the anus of the person in front. Yup. You read that correctly.
My part in this was to fix a few things in After Effects that couldn’t be sorted on set. The lady above is having her teeth removed in order to facilitate the passage of waste from the person in front. In that instance is was up to me to remove teeth from the 3 shots involved. The rest was mostly tracking stuff, and a few blood spatters, but there were a couple of time consuming shots involving animating a load of rain drops on a car window. The shots were filmed out of sequence on a night when it genuinely was raining, but some were missing the obvious rain drops one expects from having just driven through rain. The best bit about this was Tom Six saying something like “Rain from a rain machine always looks shit. Nothing like rain,” a statement I highly agree with. Lovely guy. The kind of person you wouldn’t expect to come up with a film about stitching people together in a chain.
BBC iScience, which had already won the award for most interesting project I’d worked on, won the 2009 Royal Television Society Award for a television program for use in schools. I didn’t know this was up for an award so it’s a pleasant surprise! Here’s what RTS had to say:
“…a well-produced entry which stimulates, challenges and moves students to engage in both hard and soft science in a way that would definitely add value to the classroom experience.”
Presumably this Prof. Tanya Byron saying this as she hosted the night.
Congratulations to all involved at Illumina Digital!
For a look at clips of the show, click here. I did all the cel-shaded animations, DNA mutations and anything involving little molecules flying about, colliding, causing pollution and so on.
I remember many of the science programs at school being old OU recordings on wonky VHS tape, played via ageing Ferguson Videostars. iScience trumps these on many levels, so the award is a well deserved accolade. I actually did all 3 sciences at school in GCSE and still learnt things producing work for this show.
The RTS have a list of all winners on their official site.
Last night was the Television BAFTAs, this being the time of year when shares in sequins go through the roof. The Best Drama Series Award went to Wallander, produced by and starring Kenneth Branagh.
So how does this relate to me in the slightest? I did a couple of VFX sequences in that I’ll have you know! All being well, one of them will be in the show reel I am currently piecing together. There was a lot of fog at one point, some of which is 3D fog created in XSI’s ICE engine then composited in After Effects, the aim being to cover up gaps in the smoke machine’s efforts.
Check out the rest of last night’s winners and losers at http://www.bafta.org/awards/television/tv-noms-2009,709,BA.html