3D World

Black on Black

There were many chal­lenges in­volved with light­ing venom in a night-time en­vi­ron­ment

- Iceland · Belgium · Paul Franklin

“It’s black on black a lot of the time,” ob­serves Venom vis­ual ef­fects su­per­vi­sor Paul Franklin. What de­fines a black-painted metal ob­ject is not the di­rect il­lu­mi­na­tion but the re­flec­tions of the en­vi­ron­ment around it. “What we needed to do was to dress the re­flec­tions into the sur­face in or­der to give us a read on the shape. Ini­tially we were driv­ing it from the HDRI maps that we cap­tured on the lo­ca­tions on set, but Venom came out look­ing like a highly pol­ished 1950s car driv­ing down the strip in Ve­gas. He was a glit­ter­ing gal­axy of lights, which didn’t make him ap­pear par­tic­u­larly threat­en­ing be­cause he ended up look­ing like a Christ­mas tree some­times!” Franklin con­tin­ues: “We ended up light­ing him in much the same way you would light a car for a com­mer­cial, where you’re us­ing big re­flec­tion cards and bounce pan­els to care­fully cre­ate re­flec­tions that sculpt to the shape of the body. Then we added a sep­a­rate set of low-light re­flec­tions from the en­vi­ron­ment; this gives us the def­i­ni­tion on the sur­face so we’ll be able to see his physique and all of the in­tri­cate or­ganic pat­tern­ing that moves over his sur­face.”

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