Post Magazine

February 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 51

PRIMETIME 15 POST FEBRUARY 2016 they rebuilt some of those locations to the best of their abilities, like the al- leyway. They rebuilt it on a stage and we would set extend the end of it. The apartment was on a stage. They had to recreate what they had shot in the pilot on a stage here in Vancouver." What was the production and post schedule? HUTCHESON: "It was an extremely tight schedule. We started shooting in March (2015) and had to have all 10 episodes completed by the middle of October. It was a really, really tight turnaround. We had about three weeks per episode for VFX after the director cut." I understand the pilot and series were shot on Red cameras? HUTCHESON: "For the series, they shot 6K. The visual effects were finished at 2K, and they were up-rez'd, just because there wasn't enough time to send files around at that size and within our time schedule. But the rest of the series was finished in 4K." Which Zoic locations contributed to the VFX? HUTCHESON: "LA did the pilot. Zoic Vancouver did a good chunk of the work here, along with a couple of other vendors as well." [Editor's note: Those in- cluded Artifex Studios, Atmosphere VFX, Psyop, CG Factory and CVD VFX]. Jeff, what were Zoic's VFX tools for this series? BAKSINSKI: "It was pretty standard. We use Maya for most of our modeling, lighting, texturing and animation. We use a package called Phoenix for dynamics. For example, when you're looking at the airport sequence and the jet engines are having their liquid nitrogen pouring out — that's a thing called Phoenix. That's an interesting reference too, because we were on-set that day and [director David Semel] was like, 'Do you remember The Right Stuff? There is a sequence in The Right Stuff where they are filling the rockets with liquid nitrogen. That was a key look that he wanted for the airplanes. "We also use Nuke as our compositing package, [and] V-Ray for rendering. We are all V-Ray. For a lot of crowd simu- lation, that's actually a package called MiArmy. There are literally thousands of people on those streets. There are people online for the movie theatre and walking in the background. We usually had 200 to 300 extras for a lot of the street shots, and then after that we had to go to CG because it became impossible." How big of a team did Zoic have working on it? BAKSINSKI: "For the pilot, we did that in six weeks, so you were probably looking at 20 to 25 people, with some people ro- tating on and off. I'm not sure what it was for the series. It was probably a bigger crew because they had a lot less time." HUTCHESON: "If I remember correctly, Zoic [Vancouver] had about 15 or so on and off, and then probably four other vendors working on the show as well of about the same size. That was mostly due to the schedule. [It] was so tight. I needed, on Episode 2, to have more Zoic, and I'd have Episode 3 working with a couple of other vendors just to try to alternate as much as I could…just to meet the deadlines." You ran into unexpected VFX challenges? HUTCHESON: "Because of the sub- ject matter, it actually introduced more visual effects than you might think. The locations would find out what we were doing and what they were shooting… One was a government building here in Vancouver, and when they found out that they would eventually put a big Swastika on the top of it, they were like, 'No, you are not using our building.' We had to go and shoot in an empty section of a university, and the building then became 100 percent computer generated." BAKSINSKI: "Same thing on the pilot!" HUTCHESON: "In the last episode, they actually go to Berlin and shoot some stuff. They were actually going to put big Swastika banners on the flagpoles going down this major street in Berlin, and Amazon was like, 'No, you are not going to do that.' Suddenly it's a visual effects shot...They were not expected visual ef- fects shots, but you have to roll with it." BAKSINSKI: "We also ran into cultural issues. The San Francisco shots that you see were actually shot in a heavily Chinese populated neighborhood. And we're now telling people we are going to start putting up Japanese logos all over the place. 'Your little city is now Japanese-occupied San Francisco.' There were store owners that backed out. There's a shot where the main hero walks across the street in front of this police- man, and this banner is there. Originally, a lot of those and the other blocks in there were going to be set dressed. And at the end of the day, we had to track all of that and replace the entire thing. Our main block that we were on was set dressed, but that was all we could do." (L-R) Baksinski and Hutcheson: The series' subject matter created unforseen VFX challenges.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - February 2016