Tag Archives: ITV

Beecham House‘s VFX take viewers back in time

Cambridge, UK-based Vine FX was the sole visual effects vendor on Gurinder Chadha’s Beecham House, a new Sunday night drama airing on ITV in the UK. Set in the India of 1795, Beecham House is the story of John Beecham (Tom Bateman), an Englishman who resigned from military service to set up as an honorable trader of the East India Company.

The series was shot at Ealing Studios and at some locations in India, with the visual effects work focusing on the Port of Delhi, the emperor’s palace and Beecham’s house. Vine FX founder Michael Illingworth assisted during development of the series and supervised his team of artists, creating intricate set extensions, matte paintings and period assets.

To make the shots believable and true to the era, the Vine FX team consulted closely with the show’s production designer and researched the period thoroughly. All modern elements — wires, telegraph poles, cars and lamp posts — had to be removed from the shoot footage, but the biggest challenge for the team was the Port of Delhi itself, a key location in the series.

Vine FX created a digital matte painting to extend the port and added numerous 3D boats and 3D people people working on the docks to create a busy working port of 1795 — a complex task and achieved by the expert eye of the Vine team.

“The success of this type of VFX is in its subtlety. We had to create a Delhi of 1795 that the audience believed, and this involved a great deal of research into how this would have looked that was essential to making it realistic,” says Illingworth. “Hopefully, we managed to do this.  I’m particularly happy with the finished port sequences as originally there were just three boats.

“I worked very closely with on-set supervisor Oliver Milburn while he was on set in India so was very much part of the production process in terms of VFX,” he continues. “Oliver would send me reference material from the shoot; this is always fundamental to the outcome of the VFX, as it allows you to plan ahead and work out any potential upcoming challenges. I was working on the VFX in Cambridge while Oliver was on set in Delhi — perfect!”

Vine FX used Photoshop and Nuke are its main tools. The artists modeled assets with Maya and Zbrush and painted assets using Substance painter. They rendered with Arnold.

Vine FX is currently working on War of the Worlds for Fox Networks and Canal+, due for release next year.

London’s Milk VFX house expands to Wales

London-based Milk VFX is opening a second studio in Cardiff, Wales, to support its expanding roster of TV and feature film projects, such as ITV’s 13-part warrior drama Beowulf and Thunderbirds are Go, FX’s The Bastard Executioner, Hartswood/BBC’s Sherlock, as well as the feature film Poltergeist and the recently completed Insurgent, the second offering in the Divergent series.

Milk’s new studio is located at the GloWorks building in Cardiff Bay — the Welsh Government’s flagship center for creative industries. Milk will open at the end of April with 20 artist seats and will begin work immediately on projects including the upcoming ninth season of the BBC’s Doctor Who and Hartswood/BBC’s Sherlock Christmas Special 2015. The new studio will share seamless communications and workflow with Milk’s London office via Sohonet.

VFX supervisor Sue Land will manage the new studio, reporting to Will Cohen, Milk’s CEO and executive producer. Milk has already recruited a number of key crew locally and will work closely with the Welsh Government and Creative Skillset to maximize opportunities to hire and train local talent as the studio grows. Milk has received the support of the Welsh Government as part of its program to foster the creative industries in Wales.

“Wales has a growing reputation as a great location for the film and television industry, and the Milk team are excited to be part of it,” reports Cohen. “The Welsh Government has been extremely supportive. They have helped us to locate our premises and talked us through the various options for new business support in Wales. They are passionate about growing the infrastructure and it is infectious!”

And regarding the move to Cardiff in particular, he says, it was “a natural choice of location, given our long-term relationship with BBC Wales, as the BBC Roath Lock Studios are just opposite GloWorks, where Milk’s studio will be located. Milk’s new Cardiff hub will share seamless communications and workflow with our main London studio — enabling us to replicate its boutique style service.”

Milk’s location in Cardiff will use the same tools as its London location, including Maya, Houdini, Arnold, Golaem Crowd, Yeti, Mari, Nuke, Ocula, 3D Equalizer, Deadline, RV, Shotgun and some proprietary offerings.