DEFINITION September 2022 - Web




“That morning look takes the most time in the schedule because you can’t just throw a bright orange or yellow light in and hope for the best,” agrees Abou-Khazaal. “There’s an aesthetic to the golden hour which needs to come through on-screen. Blue sky and white clouds are something we see every day, so people recognise that faster – same with night-time – but we don’t witness many sunrises in the year. Clouds must sit right, with the sun coming through convincingly. Morning atmospherics – especially dew – were the toughest.” “One particularly difficult sequence for lighting was when the sun rises over the mountains, as Ladybug and The Elder (Sanada) are talking,” says James. “A massive orange light stood in for the sun on-set, which we had to replace and match to for our CG environment. We placed the mountains to match perfectly with that on-set sun reveal. It’s an intimate dialogue scene, so we didn’t want the exterior world to take too much attention, making it all about the strong silhouettes and bold sunrise.” Overcoming obstacles is an essential part of VFX. In (virtual) reality, little can’t be achieved, which is why greater focus is placed on seamless integration between live action and CG. DNEG went above and beyond to make sure the switch was undetectable. “We started with plates shot on highways running through various Japanese cities. These had to be sped up and stabilised to work for a 300km/h Shinkansen train, giving a great reference for our stylised, full-CG settings to match to,” James explains. “Unreal and Clarisse helped generate our CG environments for the LED walls, to hit a specific style. For example, passing through sections of Tokyo with more bold colour blocking and signage. For post, we started with assets created in our CG city and significantly expanded that to include

RIGHT ON TRACK Only the platform and its travellers are of the real world here, with the remaining shot a CG creation, trains and all. Blending this digital artistry with actual physical sets is crucial to the process

“It’s an intimate dialogue scene, so we didn’t want the exterior to take too much attention, making it all about the strong silhouettes and bold sunrise”

BRIDGING THE GAP Real footage of gorgeous Japanese scenery combines with full-CG environments seamlessly

“OSM data gives you a blueprint of street positions, building layouts and heights, tree placement and more. From there, we could manually dress trees and street props, or alter the style of buildings from modern to traditional – all to give a final level of realism and style. Clarisse was once again used for the sheer number

a huge variety of elements. This covered us for anything from Tokyo at night, to rice fields in Maibara, to a traditional plaza on the outskirts of Kyoto. “Because we had to create over 30km of track, we utilised Open Street Map data in Houdini to quickly populate huge areas of cities and villages,” James continues.

69. SEPTEMBER 2022

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