[ #film #vfx #Makingof #Framestore #Vicon ] A crash landing, a bruised hero, a crowd about to swarm. For Framestore , Blade Runner 20...
With nearly 300 VFX shots in production, Framestore already had a lot on its plate. Besides the Trash Mesa environments and crowds, Framestore’s Montreal facility was responsible for creating a deserted Las Vegas – designed with Syd Mead – and a glitchy, holographic shell for a computerized assistant named Joi (Ana de Armas). The idea for motion capture emerged later, almost on a whim.
>> See Also: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword | VFX Breakdown“Montreal was considering options for the Trash Mesa sequence. The environments and character models were done, but the shots weren’t,” said Richard Graham, studio manager for Framestore’s Capture Lab. “They needed people to populate the wide and aerial shots they were working on. Our job was to provide realistic skeletal data and a variety of motions to the animation team so they could apply diverse crowd motion across their digital crowd. The only hiccup was, we were in London.”
Graham and Senior Mocap TD, Gerardo Corona Sorchini decided to use Vicon’s Shōgun, Epic’s Unreal Engine and a little proprietary tech to create a live link between Montreal and the Framestore Capture Lab in London. Now, anything captured by the Vicon cameras could be streamed in (almost) real-time to Framestore Montreal’s cinema room, where the supervision team was standing by waiting to offer notes or call out new moves.
“Shōgun has been built from the ground up to run in real-time, supporting multiple actors and props across small or large systems,” said Tim Doubleday, entertainment product manager at Vicon. “This fits perfectly into the expanding world of virtual production where the focus is about getting live data onto film-quality assets on set in real-time.”
“Vicon makes the best motion capture systems on the planet; it feels like all other companies are just playing catch-up,” added Sorchini. “With the cameras, you have a robust system that is precise and stable, while the software is presented in a really wise and clever way. Every year, it gets better and better.”
Shōgun enjoyed its inaugural run at Framestore on the Blade Runner 2049 project, replacing their long-running Blade system. Released last April, Shōgun is Vicon’s flagship entertainment software, built for the needs of high-end productions. On Blade Runner 2049, it allowed Framestore to batch process all of their data, removing the need to convert their files, which saved the company hours of unnecessary labor.
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