Definition March 2023 - Web


“Turning objects or people invisible is nothing new to visual effects, but the final look we developed is unique. We went through numerous iterations” T hose experienced with the sci-fi genre will be more than familiar with the concept of ‘cloaking’. From Star Trek in the sixties to The Empire was a concept artist on the other end with the director, and the VFX supervisor who sketched out how the finished sequence should look. With the concept approved, we then got the corresponding assets.”

Strikes Back – ‘No ship that small has a cloaking device!’ – it’s a long-established trope that gets utilised when characters are trying to hide from each other. It stands to reason, then, that the process for making things vanish in 2023 requires very little effort. Well – that wasn’t the case on The Peripheral , Amazon’s eight-part adaptation of William Gibson’s visionary novel for Prime Video, produced by Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. FutureWorks from Mumbai was commissioned to bring the vision of director Vincenzo Natali and the VFX team to life across approximately 260 shots in total. The company was drafted in to create content for the production’s LED volume. Most fundamentally, it also worked to design and bring to life the cloaking technology that features prominently across the series. Of that workload, Gouri Shankar, VFX supervisor at FutureWorks, explains that creating the cloaking effects for the cars was the most challenging part. “We had 65 people working on this effect, consisting of modellers, FX artists and the CG teams,” he explains. “There

After receiving the scanned model, Shankar and his team then began to manipulate it to fit their purposes. “For cars, for example, we marked the rubber, metal, glass and plastic elements, so our FX artists could get to work making the various aspects flicker and disappear at different rates,” he states. “The lighting team then ensured that the time of day was accurately reflected in our visuals. The final blend ensured there were no unwanted shadows sticking out in the finished shot.” Of course, modern technology means scenes like this are far more realistic

TWISTS AND TURNS Starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Flynne Fisher, sci-fi series The Peripheral is set across two versions of the future



61. MARCH 2023

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