ADG Perspective

July-August 2021

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Page 76 of 99

A R T D I R E C T I O N F O R V I R T U A L P R O D U C T I O N S | P E R S P E C T I V E 7 5 The production field has started to populate with many vendors that offer in-house digital asset building, alongside the Art Department, final pixel load optimization for the LED screens or both. Some of my favorite ones are Magnopus, Happy Mushroom, Lux Machina, Mold 3D, and departments or subcompanies of legacy VFX or previs houses such as The Third Floor, Digital Domain, DNEG, Weta Digital and Lucasfilm. The politics for managing this expanded design department, with its classical nucleus and several digital satellites hierarchically and financially under different jurisdictions, are delicate. Traditionally, the control over the previsualization flow has been a touchy issue between Art and VFX. Adding an asset-building vendor and the LED stage control complicates the situation. Due to a rare synergy between Jon Favreau and the Production Designers Doug Chiang and Andrew L. Jones, The Mandalorian is, in my experience, the gold standard of this interdepartmental integration. Since all the preproduction and production of season two happened in 2019 and 2020, before the COVID closures, we had the luxury of having four departments (Art, Virtual Art, Previsualization and VFX) under the same roof and on local networks that could interface directly. The stages were also in the same building compound, and the visual checks and balances happened flawlessly. D. FINAL LED STAGE SHOT. E. FULL VFX SHOT (NOT AN LED STAGE SHOT). D E Disney Disney

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