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Fantastic Beasts' VFX workflow
employs previs and postvis

By Daniel Restuccio

Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is considered by some a Harry Potter prequel and by others
an entirely new J.K. Rowling franchise. Filled with nearly 1,500 VFX shots, this live-action, CG and character-driven movie put a huge emphasis on prepro and established the increased role of postvis in the film’s visual effects post pipeline.  

For the film’s overall visual effects supervisors, Tim Burke and Christian Manz, it was a family reunion of sorts, reteaming with many of the companies and individuals that worked on the Harry Potter movies, including director David Yates and producers David Heyman, Steve Kloves, J.K. Rowling and Lionel Wigram.

According to Manz, one of the most significant aspects of this film was how visual effects were integrated into the story from the very beginning. The direction from Yates was very clear: “Make things fantastic, but not fantasy.” For every creature design presented, Yates would ask, “What would be the story behind that creature? What would that character do if the audience saw it from one moment to the next?” Says Manz, “It all had to work to support the story, but not be the story.”

Manz feels that this movie speaks to a new way of storytelling with VFX. “Visual effects is now a part of that filmmaking and storytelling team rather than being the guys who stick in everything afterwards.”

Starting in January 2015, while Burke was busy as VFX supervisor on The Legend of Tarzan, Manz worked with Framestore animation director Pablo Grillo, a Framestore art and animation team and a group of freelance concept and previs artists doing creature development and scene design.

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Quick Chat: Freefolk US executive producer Celia Williams
By Randi Altman

A few months back, UK-based post house Finish purchased VFX studio Realise and renamed the company Freefolk. They also expanded into the US with a New York City-based studio.

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Quick Chat: Xytech COO Greg Dolan

Greg Dolan has seen tremendous change in the industry during his career. After a tenure at New York City’s Post Perfect, where he was CIO, Dolan switched to the vendor side of the business.

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Sundance 2017: VR for Good’s Rise Above
By Elise Ballard

cineSync updates: iOS
app, enhanced security

Arrival, La La Land among winners at 67th ACE Eddies

Stranger Things sound
at SoCal's SMPTE/AES
By Mel Lambert

Corey Stewart joins Harbor Picture Company as CTO

HPA Tech Retreat takes
on VR/AR at TR-X

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