goes behind the scenes of the visual effects work in three TV shows – The Day of the Doctor, Almost Human and Richard Hammond Builds A Planet:
The Day Of The Doctor, recently proved to be an enormous hit worldwide, both on television and in cinemas. For the studio behind the show’s visual effects, Milk, that wasn’t a bad start for the first ever piece of work seen by an audience.
Many of Milk’s artists in London are in fact veterans of Doctor Who, having worked on the series previously in The Mill’s TV department. This time they were called on by the BBC to create a wide range of effects including 3D paintings, Dalek saucers, portals, vast cities and space battles – all in stereoscopic 3D.
Set in 2048, Fox’s new series Almost Human isn’t necessarily a future sci-fi show, but there are, certainly, glimpses of hyper-realistic tech. That’s where visual effects supervisor Jay Worth comes in. He oversees the creation of cityscapes, futuristic cars, holograms and robot augmentations for the Bad Robot production, which follows detective John Kennex (Karl Urban) who, as part of a new police policy, is paired with a lifelike ‘MX’ android.
“The challenge we had on this show was that it might be set 35 years in the future, but how futuristic do you make things?,” says Worth. “We had these amazing humanoid robots, but at the same time people still drive cars and still talk on phones. It’s been a balancing act of how much is too much.”
The premise of Richard Hammond Builds A Planet was to have the popular TV presenter atop a mile-high tower orchestrating the coming together of elements to form the universe – Sorcerer’s Apprentice-style. Simple, right? In the end, the tower in fact needed to be two miles high and the planet creation represented months of planning, on-set shooting and complicated visual effects by Lola Post Production.
In order to create the most dramatic shots of Hammond on the tower, Lola inserted both a live action version (shot on greenscreen) and a digi-double. “The digital Hammond came in really handy both for wide shots and also to integrate him into the tower and environment,” says Lola head of 3D Tim Zaccheo. “We had him cyberscanned by sample & hold and they gave us back a model with displacement and texture maps to then put materials on him and rig him.”
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