Picking up where season one ended, the second season of The Witcher is as absorbing as ever. You can catch the evolving narrative and intricate character developments unfold on Netflix now! The epic story of misfits finding their power and their belonging with one another will have you at the edge of your seat in this modernized fantasy world.
The Third Floor (TTF) London collaborated with filmmakers to visualize action throughout the season by providing previs and virtual production. Working with Production VFX Supervisor Will Reece, VFX Supervisor Dadi Einarsson and VFX Producer Gavin Round and others, The Third Floor supported the creative vision as well as new techniques that aided in planning more of storytelling action ahead of time within the show’s real sets. VFX vendors to credit for the finals on this production include Rodeo, One of Us and Cinesite.
Previs was utilized to visualize scenes and also to explore the tone for sequences. Lighting is a vital component in this production, as much of the show is stylised as dark and noir. TTF artists supported a pre-planning and ideation phase during which the teams could make decisions and frameworks based on visualized shots.
Episode 2 sees a fight between hero Geralt and Eskel, a creature called a Leshy, that has mutated from another Witcher. Eskel is now a tendrilous snaking thing awaiting Geralt in the basement lab of Kear Morhen, the Witchers’ base. As a first pass on the scene, TTF artists implemented the vision of the action as “chess piece” animation. This was then evolved into moving previs, with the team using motion capture performances to create realistic previs character and camera blocking for the Leshy. Stylized detail, including lighting and textures, was added in the final previs renders, produced as complete previs “master scenes.”
The Season 2 premiere episode saw the show’s first use of The Third Floor’s new on-set AR visualization tool Cyclops. Similar to simulcam but running entirely on an iPad, Cyclops allows show collaborators and anyone working on set or location to preview digital assets in those real-world environments from a handheld device. For a scene taking place in the courtyard of a mansion, Cyclops enabled visualization of the Bruxa bat creature together with real humans, real courtyard elements and CG set extensions. The creature’s previs animation was brought into Cyclops, where it was fed into an AR environment that locked to the set. The crew could then see where the creature was to aid their plans for filming. Cyclops was then extensively used on the show in multiple scenes.