DEFINITION April 2022 - Newsletter


MIND’S EYE Pre-vis was crucial in allowing key members of the production to conjure up a clear image of their villain, prior to live-action cinematography

Carnage’s tentacles were doing, so they need to be seen.” Like final VFX work, post-vis is highly technical in nature. Physical effects, such as explosions or tearing off prison cell doors, are present in the plates, and these details are based around pre-vis. What remains is a process of bringing the as yet disconnected parts together convincingly. “When plates are sent to us, the first thing we do is integrate them into our

systems. We use 3D Equaliser for camera tracking, which gives us advanced tools like LiDAR data. It captures all the information from set and transforms it into a 3D computer model, which is completely to scale and provides an accurate visualisation of CG elements. Actors and props can be scanned for digital doubles, too. “There are actually already thousands of digital assets in place, which were built

earlier in the process – environments and actors, vehicles, props, the symbiote aliens themselves in this case, and their tentacles – and those are brought into Maya to work with. The tentacles alone required a lot of complex character rigging,” Chamney tells us. “We had to work out how they would extrude and stretch, and what their tension would be. All these elements are put through our rigorous publishing system, to make sure they’re fit for use.” Although major film editing is accomplished by a distinct team, as it would be with any non-VFX production, some must be done on full-CGI shots just the same. This responsibility also fell to The Third Floor. “We used Avid to edit pre-vis and post- vis content, to convey the unfolding story in shots that were often entirely virtual. Many moments saw the symbiote creatures extending off Tom Hardy or Woody Harrelson’s bodies, but others had CG characters fighting in CG environments.” In his closing thoughts, Chamney takes a moment to consider the evolution of roles such as his, which have come hand-in-hand with the evolution of visual effects technology. “The interesting thing about visualisation is that nobody except the filmmakers will see it,” he says. Still, there’s no doubt that it’s crucial to the success of many blockbusters – with scenes that are so complex, they couldn’t possibly be completed without it. “Initially, visualisation work was about solving VFX problems,” Chamney concludes. “Now, it’s there for virtually every department and, ultimately, the benefit of the story.”

“Initially, visualisation work was about solving VFX problems. Now, it’s there for virtually every department and, ultimately, the benefit of the story”


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