How to Cre­ate More Time, Part 2 of 2

Animation Magazine - - Opportunities - By Martin Gre­bing

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]

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