3D World

Mak­ing gotham city

COSA VFX’S Joseph Bell sheds some light on cre­at­ing the gritty re­al­ism of Gotham City…

- fyi

How COSA VFX cre­ated Gotham

Ashow like Gotham: Rise of the Vil­lains lives and dies on sell­ing its char­ac­ters, so COSA VFX had its work cut out when it was asked to build the big­gest per­son­al­ity: the city of Gotham. “COSA’S shots run the gamut from sub­tly ‘Gothamis­ing’ real-life New York City lo­ca­tions to cre­at­ing 100 per cent com­puter gen­er­ated build­ings and en­vi­ron­ments,” ex­plains ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Joseph Bell. “The ex­te­rior of Arkham Asy­lum, for ex­am­ple, was filmed out­side a real hos­pi­tal in Staten Is­land, and then ex­ten­sively mod­i­fied by adding CG roofs, sculp­tures, and weath­er­ing. As the se­ries pro­gressed, COSA built CG as­sets for more and more of the lo­ca­tion, un­til we had the abil­ity to cre­ate en­tirely com­puter-gen­er­ated shots of Arkham fea­tur­ing dy­namic cam­era moves, with­out any prac­ti­cal pho­tog­ra­phy.”

While per­haps not con­tain­ing the same vol­ume of VFX shots as Warner’s The Flash, Gotham still packed an im­pres­sive 1,500 VFX shots across the first sea­son’s 22 episodes – and Sea­son 2 has con­tin­ued this in­ten­sive run. Some­times this has meant build­ing upon real-life shots, but other times, it’s meant gen­er­at­ing en­tire CG lo­ca­tions from scratch to add depth and an au­then­tic at­mos­phere to the show’s dark tone. “The show has a gritty, nat­u­ral­is­tic feel that re­quires seam­less and con­vinc­ing vis­ual ef­fects,” says Joseph. “We’ve tried to set and sus­tain a very high bar in terms of the qual­ity of the im­agery, se­quence af­ter se­quence, week af­ter week. If we’ve done it well, the au­di­ence won’t no­tice some of our best work, be­cause it looks so real.”

Work­ing on a episodic TV show poses unique chal­lenges. The scripts for fu­ture episodes are usu­ally writ­ten just a few weeks be­fore the fin­ished ones are due to air on TV. Flex­i­bil­ity mat­ters, so the team at COSA turned to ftrack.

“An episodic TV show like Gotham is like a marathon made up of sprints,” says Joseph. “Work­load fluc­tu­ates con­stantly from one episode to the next, and the vis­ual ef­fects team is prep­ping one episode even as they’re start­ing work on another and fin­ish­ing a third. It’s great that ftrack en­ables us to as­sign crew to Gotham – and all our shows – in a very flex­i­ble way. It’s also great for track­ing the small­est de­tails on the largest projects, which is ex­actly what a sea­son of Gotham needs. Ex­plore COSA VFX’S work by vis­it­ing www.cosavfx.com

We had the abil­ity to cre­ate en­tirely com­puter gen­er­ated shots of Arkham…

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 ??  ?? A real hos­pi­tal was used for the ex­te­rior of Arkham Asy­lum. The im­ages be­low show the lo­ca­tion af­ter it was ex­ten­sively mod­i­fied by VFX
A real hos­pi­tal was used for the ex­te­rior of Arkham Asy­lum. The im­ages be­low show the lo­ca­tion af­ter it was ex­ten­sively mod­i­fied by VFX
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 ?? Joseph bell ?? Joseph is ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer at COSA VFX. The team have been Emmy-nom­i­nated three years in a row, in­clud­ing a nom­i­na­tion for Gotham in 2015. www.cosavfx.com
Joseph bell Joseph is ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer at COSA VFX. The team have been Emmy-nom­i­nated three years in a row, in­clud­ing a nom­i­na­tion for Gotham in 2015. www.cosavfx.com

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