DF: Could you tell us how Fido Film got involved in this project?
JT: Fido Film were brought in
early on in the production as we were not only the lead vfx-facility
but we were also one of several co-producers of the movie. The shooting
of the movie took place both in Kalix in northern Sweden and in Ystad
down in the south. In Kalix we shot both exteriors and interiors, all
of the exteriors were shot at night with the temperature crawling down
to around minus 20 degrees celsius. At times the cameras broke down due
to the cold... fortunately for us all of the VFX-shots were scheduled
to be at the beginning of each take so they were usually taken care of
before it got to cold. In Ystad there were all set?s that we worked on
so there we had more control over the shots, even though time was
always a concern as the production deadline came closer and closer
Fido were also involved in doing
a pilot for the film, used to raise money and also to do a proof of
concept to try out some ideas the team had on the digital as well as on
the prostethics and make up work that had to be done. When the
production finally got a go and the post production were about to start
none of the digital artists involved in the pilot were still at the
company though. But that?s not necessarily a bad thing, since me and
the new crew could reference the work that had been done for the pilot
with fresh eyes and use that as a springboard to push things even
further. On top of this we also put in some of our own ideas into the
mix as well.
DF: How many people work on the digital VFX shots?
JT: Our core team on the digital side looked like this:
1 (and a half :)) modeller
2 texturing and rendering artists
2 compositing artists
The team grew and shrunk
according to the needs of the project. On top of this we also had our
creative director and two persons working full time making sure that
everything ran smoothly, made sure the scheduling worked out and that
shots were delivered on time. I don?t think we could have done this
without the meticulous planning they set up.
DF: How many time did you have to finish the shots?
JT: We began the digital
production in October. Prior to that our workshop had been busy
designing and creating a lot of cool and gory stuff to be used in
camera. After getting some precious extra time for the final shot we
delivered the final frames in mid January. Just days before the final
act was going to print... So all in all it was a pretty tight time
DF: I wonder how you manage to track
and substitute the faces of the actors for the digital ones, could you
explain the process.
JT: The tracking was solved by
making a 3d-reference object in REALVIZ ImageModeler, based on notes
from the shoot with measurement references, matching the tracking
markers on the actors? face as closely as possible. With one vertice at
every tracking marker correctly placed in 3d-space we could then use
this mesh in MatchMover Pro with the ?elastics? tool to lock the
3d-mesh to the actor?s movement. This track was then brought into Maya
where we could do some additional adjustments and tweaks where needed.
After the animation, lighting
and rendering was done it was all put together in Shake. The actors
faces were warped and painted out were needed to reveal more of the
background, since in most of the shots the CG faces were more narrow
and ?sunken in? than the actors. For one shot we also replaced the
whole head (the shot of the old guy leaning towards the fence), so
there we had not only a full CG head but full CG hair as well. While on
the shoot we made sure to get clean plates for all of our VFX shots so
that we easily could replace any part of the original plate with one
without the actors in it. The blend between the CG and the live action
plate were achieved with some clever masking techniques taking the best
from both worlds, rendered 3d-masks were refined and perfected with the
help of Shakes 2d-masking tools. Careful attention were then made to
make sure that the colors of the CG face blended in with the rest of
the make-up that the actors had on set.
Digital Head Replacement | Original Plate
Digital Head Replacement | Wireframe mesh
Digital Head Replacement | Final Shot
DF: How many VFX shots were on the movie?
JT: Fido Film did 55 digital vfx shots, then there were additional
digital work done by another studio in Russia as well. Fido Film did
all of the character based shots.
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