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LAB+ | JUICY WORKSHOP 6: THE LIBERATOR

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In our LAB+ series of articles we are giving production companies, post houses, music houses, CG & VFX artists, an opportunity to demonstrate transparency in their technical set of skills bringing to light their most interesting projects and collaborations.

SHP+ 的LAB+系列还在进行中。在这一系列的文章中,我们为制作公司、后期制作公司、音乐公司、CG&VFX 艺术家等,提供了一个展示他们技术能力极其透明的机会,以介绍他们最有趣的项目和合作。


SHP+ continues with sponsored series of articles by JUICE, a renowned polish Visual Effects & Sound studio that very soon will open its new office doors in Shanghai. Previously in “JUICY WORKSHOPS” we have written about several super challenging projects: the exciting commercial done for Chinese Cnice, Transphere – the first ever Japanese short film created with IMAX technology, Unconquered – animated long format war film, etc… This time we are going to dive into most compelling project JUICE has ever done. The LIBERATOR is the first-ever TV series to be produced using the Trioscope Enhanced Hybrid Animation (EHA) that offers a new kind of visual language.

SHP+继续JUICE赞助的系列文章。JUICE是一家著名的波兰视觉效果和声音工作室,即将在上海开设新的办公室。之前“JUICY WORKSHOPS”系列文章仔细讲述了几个超级挑战项目的后期制作过程, 包括纳爱斯国内广告影片、日本第一部IMAX技术短片Transphere、以战争为主题的Unconqured动画长片等项目。这一次我们要深入JUICE最引人注目的项目。《解放者》是首次使用 Trioscope 增强混合动画(EHA)制作的电视剧集,这项新技术,也诞生了新的视觉语言。

THE LIBERATOR 解放者

Produced by JUICE and Trioscope Studios, The LIBERATOR tells the true story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War: the battlefield odyssey of maverick U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment from Oklahoma. They fought for over five hundred days until the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.

《解放者》由JUICETrioscope工作室联手制作,这部影片讲述了二战时期最血腥,最戏剧性的胜利征途: 传奇美国陆军军官菲利克斯·斯帕克斯和他来自俄克拉荷马州的第157步兵团,在战场上浴血奋战长达500多天,直到解放了达豪集中营,堪称是史诗般的作战经历。 

“I have been working together with Grzegorz – the director for years, to articulate the unique look and feel of the series. At first it was just the two of us but later, with the entire Juice team, we were able to create a proof of concept. The technology allows us to preserve the authenticity of the emotions by the real actors, and let CG take care of every detail–even the smallest—on the screen. We created a new original visual language”

—— Michał Misiński (Juice), art director and 2nd unit director of the series.

“为了充分表达这部剧的独特风格和感觉,我和导演Grzegorz已经共事了很多年,一开始只有我们两个人,但后来,得益于Juice团队全员的加入,我们才能够具象化我们的概念与想法。这项技术让我们可以即保留演员的真情实感,又能利用CG去处理屏幕上大大小小的每一个细节。我们创造出了一种全新的原创视觉语言”

—— Michał Misiński (Juice), 《解放者》艺术总监和副导演

How to create CGI hybrid animation for NETFLIX
如何为NETFLIX创作CGI混合动画

Challenge#1: If you’ve ever shot live action scenes with real actors and then rotoscoped them into an animated environment, one of the things that you lose almost immediately are the emotions. Roto-ing simply flattens the nuanced facial expressions that could make or break a line. Often, you’d have to add those later in post.

挑战一:如果你有过类似的拍摄经验:用真正的演员拍摄真人动作场景,然后把他们转描到动画场景中,你肯定注意到了转描后,演员的情绪突然都被淡化了。因为转描会使面部的微表情变得平缓,而这些微表情正是体现演技重要的方式。所以通常都得在后期把这些细节加回去。

Challenge#2: A question we asked ourselves constantly was: where is the fine line between the look and feel we are after, and realistic details? For example, with creating actual existing cities or vehicles, which look like that and nothing else. So, finding that fine line of artistic interpretation and real existing details was the most challenging aspect.

挑战二:我们经常问自己的一个问题是: 我们如何去平衡,去取舍风格和感觉与体现真实感的细节?比如创作真实存在的城市或车辆,原汁原味,会不会缺少艺术性?因此,找到艺术诠释和真实感的微妙平衡是最具挑战性的方面。

Challenge#3: Another challenge was combining all CG elements with live footage. Unlike any other production we did before, the style was directing both. So, finding a perfect balance between achieving visual\artistic style and having fast turnaround (render times and changes) was the priority from day one.

挑战三:另一个挑战是将所有CG元素与实景拍摄镜头结合起来。与我们之前做过的其他作品不同的是,这部电影的风格是同时导演这两个方面。因此,从拍摄的第一天开始,我们的重心之一便是要在视觉艺术风格和尽快制作完成(渲染时间和变化)之间找到一个完美的平衡。

SOLUTIONS
解决方案

Trioscope Enhanced Hybrid Animation is a proprietary animated drama engine that fuses live-action with animation for a groundbreaking moving graphic novel experience. The workflow combines 3 elements:

Trioscope增强混合动画(EHA)是为将动画与真人表演相结合而诞生的,它好比一个高效运转的引擎,为剧集体验带来了前所未有的动漫感染力和逼真度。它的工作流程结合了3个元素:

ON SET – stylized makeup, wardrobe, props & main set elements

在拍摄现场 — 风格化的妆发,着装,道具与主要的拍摄元素

IN CG – creating all the stylized environments

使用CG — 创作出所有风格化的场景和环境

In CG/COMPOSITING – stylizing the footage by cartoonizing and adding croschathes

使用CG及影像合成 — 通过卡通化和添加阴影线来编辑画面

With Trioscope EHA the actors were made up in greater contrast. In the raw footage they already looked a lot like animated characters and when we brought them into the environment, the transition was so smooth we barely needed to add in any expressions. This helped preserve the original acting with greater fidelity. The advantage of having real actors on set rather than creating them in CG, means that their motion and emotions feel infinitely more natural and nuanced.

使用Trioscope 的EHA,演员的妆面反差更明显。在原始镜头中,他们已经看起来很像动画人物了,当我们把他们带到环境中,过渡也非常丝滑,我们几乎不需要添加任何表情。这有助于更忠实地保留好原本的表演。使用真实的演员在现场拍摄,而不是用CG创造人物的优势便是他们的动作和情感的流露,都无比地自然,充满细节。

Probably a great use of the technology is the ability to make changes to the story line often during shooting. When creating the scenography in CG, budget that is typically allocated to the organization and logistics of each location could go to the actual shoot. The production took place in Łódź, Poland. The city, whose thriving textile dye industry was gutted during the war, provides a compelling backdrop for the exterior action. Once again, the use of the Trioscope technique allows us to add any kind of detail to create immersive scenes without having to dress up entire streets.

这一技术的一个重要用途或许是在拍摄过程中改变故事情节的能力。在CG中创建场景时,通常分配给每个地点组织和后勤的预算可以用于实际拍摄。本次的拍摄地在波兰罗兹。这座城市繁荣的纺织染料工业在战争中被摧毁,它为外景动作的拍摄提供了一个引人入胜的背景。同时,使用Trioscope技术,我们就可以按需添加各种细节来创造沉浸式的场景,而不需要去装扮整条街道。

Thanks to this solution the LIBERATOR could take place in as many as 50 different locations in one episode for example. The director could easily add all those story-supporting scenes that would make a live production exponentially more expensive. What’s more, designing a set with literally a bunch of blue boxes allowed us to shoot as many takes as needed without the fear of destroying an expensive prop, or blowing up a painstakingly created set design which would have been very costly.

得益于这个解决方案,《解放者》甚至可以在一集剧情中辗转50个不同的地点。导演可以很轻松地添加任何剧情所需的场景,而不用像实景拍摄那样去担心成本成倍增加。更重要的是,用一堆蓝盒子设计一套场景,可以让我们想拍多少镜头就拍多少,而不用担心破坏昂贵的道具,或者炸毁某个非常昂贵且精心制作的布景。

CONCLUSION
案例总结

The key to the success was a tight cooperation between Supervisor, Lead Artists, Art Director and Director. The learning curve was fairly steep with every sequence getting exponentially better than the previous one and eventually each chapter had outdone the one that ensued, thus raising the bar ever higher. To be fair, we must admit that the final look exceeded our best laid plans and demonstrated the value of instilling trust between all the working components in this production and treating it not so much as a factory project but as an artistic adventure.

其实,成功的关键在于主管、首席艺术家、艺术总监和导演之间的紧密合作。我们的学习曲线是相当陡峭的,每拍一步都比上一步好得多,每一小节都比上一小节更出色,如此进行,标准也是水涨船高。实话实说,最终的成果远超我们一开始最好的预期,这也体现了建立信任的价值,该项目的所有小队,部门之间都建立了信任,大家对于项目的态度也因此改变,认为这是一次艺术的冒险,而不是一次流水线,程式化的制片。

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