In The Midnight Sky (Netflix), lonely astronomer Augustine rides out the end of the world in his arctic science lab until he discovers a group of astronauts returning from a trip to Jupiter. Augustine must work to deter the crew from landing on the apocalyptic earth while juggling his newfound relationship with a mysterious child. THE THIRD FLOOR London used a Maya and Unreal pipeline and worked in a sequence-based/master-scene approach to visualize shots and help plan scenes using virtual production for this George Clooney-directed sci-fi film.
The master-scene approach gave filmmakers the flexibility to frame shots in an unrestricted fashion across a large section of visualized action.
“We keyed our previs cameras on their relevant storyboard frame, writing a bespoke tool to render a still from each camera at this frame,” mentioned supervisor Jen Kitching, THE THIRD FLOOR London. “With this process, the original angles from the storyboards were faithfully represented with ease and we could expand on the ideas further in Vcam.”
After doing the previs character animation in Maya, artists added lighting, FX and extra post processing on the same sequences in Unreal. The Unreal previs was then ready for virtual camera sessions in which Director of Photography Martin Ruhe scouted and lensed the scene. Shots devised in this process were then techvis’d.
Techvis studies were also applied to shots at Augustine’s Arctic complex, where production placed LED projections around the practical set. THE THIRD FLOOR London’s work was used to help figure out positions of the LED screens and to navigate any issues, such as moire effects, before the screens were built. Along with previs and vcam, techvis was also prepped for use in dramatic scenes set at a frozen lake.
You can find The Midnight Sky on Netflix December 23rd, 2020.
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