How to Create More Time, Part 2 of 2
ontinuing our discussion — begun last issue — of how to make the most of your time as an independent animator.
This fall, when The CW premieres new episodes of its hugely popular series Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash and its spinoff DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, fans can look forward to more visually dynamic, movie-quality special effects.
The die-hard viewers of these action-packed live-action shows have come to expect beautifully rendered visuals and fantastic effects on a weekly basis. So it’s up to visual effects supervisor Armen Kevorkian and his team of talented artists and designers to keep the visuals popping and ready to go on a weekly basis.
Kevorkian, who is the executive creative director at Hollywood-based Deluxe’s Encore VFX, has the superheroic task of delivering about 120 VFX shots per episode for each show. Along with his team of 130 artists and support staff, the VFX supervisor often finds himself racing against time to produce the demanding shots each one of the comic-bookbased series demands.
“We usually have about three weeks to finish every episode,” says Kevorkian, who got his first break working on Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise. “It was a bit of a challenge in the beginning, but when you find out what the scripts are like ahead of time, and have more time to work on the demanding special effects, then you feel that there’s always a way to accomplish those tasks.”
Since all three shows are shot in Vancouver, it is crucial for the team at Encore to be in constant communication with the series’ exec producers to get all the last-minute changes and details for the weekly episodes. “They tell us about the episodes’ villains or scenarios that demand a lot of effects, and I’ll give them visuals of what I think something should look like,” Kevorkian says. “There’s a lot of back and forth, but they give me some freedom to just experiment before I show them anything.”
Early discussions about CG characters such as Gorilla Grodd or King Shark for The Flash help the VFX team get a head start on the special visuals. The team knew, for example, that the season two premiere of Supergirl was going to be especially demanding. “I can tell you that we did around 160 VFX shots for that one show, because Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) shows up, and he joins forces with Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) to save the Earth.” (We did press him for more details, but that is all the tight-lipped pro was able to tell us before the show airs.) New Characters and Plot Twists The 2016-17 season also will offer crossover episodes, in which we see characters from The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow mingle, as well as a musical crossover outing between Flash and Supergirl. In addition, characters such as Miss Martian, Mon-El and Metallo will be showing up in the second season of Supergirl.
Meanwhile, the third season of The Flash will center on the Flashpoint timeline after Barry (Grant Gustin) goes back in time to save his mother from Reverse-Flash. When Barry starts forgetting parts of his old life, the Reverse Flash (guest star Matt Letscher) taunts his nemesis and tells him that there will be serious repercussions for Barry and the ones he loves if he continues to live in this alternate universe. There should be all kinds of dazzling VFX in store for fans of Legends of Tomorrow as well,
And then there is a little company named CapturingReality, with its product RealityCapture, which appears to put all of the essentials into one robust package.
Reality Capture can derive meshes from LIDAR data or from photos — lots of photos, the more the better (which is the case with ReMake as well). But RC can get a more refined mesh when using both LIDAR and photos. It has math going on to align the photos to the point cloud, and be able to refine the data set, including filling in holes where the laser may not have hit. Pretty fancy stuff.
And the processing
Strahan and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Special features for DVD, Blu-ray ($39.99) and Blu-ray 3D ($49.99) include Scrat: Spaced Out mini-movie, “Ice Age: The Story So Far,” “Scratasia: Scrat’s Solo Adventures,” “Mysteries of the Scratazons,” “Star Signs of the Animal Kingdom,” “The Science of It All: deGrasse Tyson deBunks,” “Figaro” singalong, and image gallery. There’s also a 4K Ultra HD ($39.99), and wow is it highly defined.
[Release date: Oct. 11] covetous empire, it’s up to Nyx (Aaron Paul), and his team of elite magic-wielding soldiers called the Kingsglaive, to stop them.
A Blu-ray version is also available for $26.99, with both versions including featurettes “A Way with Words: Epic and Intimate Vocals,” “Emotive Music: Scoring the Kingsglaive,” “Fit for the Kingsglaive: Building the World” and “To Capture the Kingsglaive: The Process.”
[Release date: Oct. 11]
The King of Pigs (2011) begins moments after the brutal murder of a woman by her husband, a once-successful businessman, before flashing back to his school days and the abusive class system of lowly student “pigs” dominated by the rich kid “dogs” that affected him for life. It was nominated for an award at Cannes and took three prizes at the Pusan fest.
[Release date: Oct. 18]