Find your crew, start shooting, finish editing, then comes visual effects, right? If you use this process, you’re not only putting yourself at risk of not being able to finish your vfx, but you might also be missing a lot opportunities for better vfx solutions for your film. Here we are going to talk about a good process for maximizing your VFX in film.
Soon after getting greenlit, a VFX producer should be board. He or she will go through the script, give you a rough budget and schedule, and point out some problems you might have. This is the first step for vfx in your film making process.
During pre-production, the visual effects team will work on R&D, vfx concept design, and story board or 3D pre-visualizetion. The visual effects supervisor will work with the director for the vfx shot design. This step combines the director’s creativity with the vfx supervisor’s experience to make sure the director’s vision is doable in the budget and on schedule. They also go through how and when to shot the scenes and what props need to be prepared. Concept drawings, story-boards and 3D pre-vise will be used as a guide for preparing sets or props and as a reference for cinematographer and editor as well. The VFX team will also have to do some effects testing and R&D at this stage to make sure the ideas are possible.
During filming, the VFX supervisor will be on set to make sure the green screen is set right. If the green screen has bad lighting, it will make the VFX work in post more difficult and cost more time and money. There’s also a lot of data and information needed to be collected and recorded during shooting. Such as camera angle, camera lens, clean plate, HDRI and more. Those will help a lot in the post VFX process. At the same time, the VFX team are doing R&D creating any 3D models or start working on some of the full CG shots.
After the editing is finished is the time when the vfx team gets really busy. The shots that need vfx will be scanned (if it’s not digital), organized, sent to the vfx studio and assigned to the artists. 3D items such as creatures, vehicles, or environments (whether the environments should be matte paintings or 3D will be decided by VFX supervisor) will go through modeling, texturing/shading, binding/rigging, animating, lighting and rendering. Most plate elements will be tracked and keyed out of the green screen. Some backgrounds will be replace with matte paintings. Finally, the compositors will get all the elements from the 3D renders, matte paintings and keyed plates to do the final composite. A lot of plate clean up and fixing shooting mistakes will also be done by compositors.
From this simple introduction, I hope that you got an idea about the process of VFX in film. I’ll go more into detail to explain each step of VFX production in future posts and case studies or examples to help you learn more about VFX for film. In this post, I just hope filmmakers understand how important it is to include VFX in the early stage. Hope you enjoy it and please let us know your questions or commons.