Computer Graphics World

Edition 2 2020

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42 cgw e d i t i o n 2 , 2 0 2 0 At either end of the street and off the side streets is greenscreen. The bridge spanning the river, seen at one end of the street, was created in post, along with the train crossing the bridge. And, uphill from this street lies the rest of the city, which is CG as well. However, Episode 3, "Kingdoms of the Moon," is a stand-alone flashback that pro- vides history and context on Philo and Vig- nette's relationship, and how the refugees have come to be in their current situation. The story line takes viewers out of Carnival Row and back 10 years in time, to when Philo and Vignette first met. The episode begins with Philo leading fellow Burgue soldiers into a Fae refugee village in the kingdom of Anoun, in the Tirnanese Highlands, where they have come in peace and plan to establish a defense post. The Mimasery, a holy place, is a preserve for the religious and educated, and now serves as a shelter for the Fae escaping from the war. The soldiers are wary of the magical beings, but not Philo. He and Vignette, the steward of the sacred library there, become friendly and have a short-lived affair, during which time he shares his secret with her – that his wings were shorn off when he was a child so that he could live a better life. When an invasion by the evil Pact soldiers begins, there is mass confusion and Philo and Vignette become separated. Told Vignette would die for him, Philo agrees to have the message relayed to her that he was killed in battle so she would escape to safety. "It was a great opportunity to build a universe unto itself within this one episode," says Paterson. "We're seeing the home world of the faeries and the war that led to the situ- ation we see in the city during the series." This particular episode was submitted for this year's Emmys, in the Outstanding Visual Effects category, but did not make the final cut. It is written by Travis Beacham and directed by Anna Foerster. History in the Making While the typical Carnival Row episode contains around 200 VFX shots, "King- doms of the Moon" has approximately 450, encompassing partial- and all-CG charac- ters; large, expansive CG environments and digitally-augmented sets; as well as a big airship battle. Image Engine and ILP were the two lead vendors on this flashback episode: Image Engine was tapped for the creature work, while ILP handled the big digital environments, the CG faeries and their 3D wings when the faeries are practical, and the battle. According to Paterson, the VFX team used practical prosthetics as much as possi- ble throughout the season. This was true for the faeries' wings as well as the horns and hooves of the Pucks as they mingle together in the crowded streets. In Episode 3, the village is filled with faeries, whose wings were a combination of practical and visual effects by ILP, a midsize VFX facility in Sweden. The wings are practical when the characters are walking around and the appendages are tucked to their bodies. Sometimes the wings had to be refined digitally, but as soon as the wings begin to move, they are transitioned to CG replacements. (Nick Dudman, special effects designer, devised a system for easily removing the practical wings in the series, and then a green tracking cube was placed on the back of the costume.) According to Niklas Jacobson, visual effects supervisor at ILP, the CG wings had to look very specific, with an oily, semi-trans- parent feel. And, they had to blend seam- lessly with their practical counterparts. Even the animation was delicately balanced so Final comp of the CG wing added to the shot. Wings with gray lighting. Film plate before digital faerie wings were added.

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