Post Magazine

February 2017

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BITS & PIECES 4 POST FEBRUARY 2017 LONDON — The Crown, available through Netflix, is a royal gem. It provides a history lesson about the still-reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II as she uses a steady yet firm royal hand while on the throne, even when those around her may act less than regal at times. The production covers the queen as a 25-year-old newlywed in 1947, as she is faced with a declining empire during an unstable political time, and follows her to the present day. The Crown is expected to span 60 episodes over six seasons. Season 1, which has garnered a great deal of attention (recently receiving a Golden Globe for Best TV Drama Series), depicts events through 1955. Claire Foy, who plays the role of the queen in Season 1, also received a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama. Indeed, the series is a realistic glimpse into this royal's life, yet visual effects were required nonetheless. This duty was completed by One of Us, which was the sole VFX provider, covering all 428 effects shots over the first season. The facility is also han- dling the work on the second season. ENVIRONMENTS The VFX are primarily focused on creating a believable world to sup- port the narrative. It was exclusively invisible, photoreal work, including digital set extensions, environments, crowd replication, CG aircraft and a re-creation of Buckingham Palace. Among the range of environments One of Us created was one required for the coronation sequence in Episode 5. Shot on a greenscreen stage at Pinewood, it needed to look like the famed Westminster Abbey. It was not possible to film or take photos inside the sacred locale, even for reference, making it even more challenging to replicate the grandiose scale of the abbey. Alternatively, the artists had to use online and archival information for reference during the reconstruct. Next, they used Ely Cathedral as a base on which to build the abbey for the scenes, following filming at the cathedral for the royal wedding in Episode 1. "So for the coronation, we ended up with an amalgamation between the two architecturally," says Ben Turner, VFX supervisor at One of Us. Other main environments includ- ed the Downing Street rooftops in Episode 4 and the Buckingham Palace courtyard, which appears throughout the series. For the work, the artists used Autodesk's Maya and Banzai Pipeline's Enwaii for the pho- togrammetry. Compositing was done with The Foundry's Nuke BUCKINGHAM PALACE The 3D crown jewel for the series was in fact Buckingham Palace, a 3D model comprising 202,333 polygons. FIT FOR A QUEEN Digital Crowd replications

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