Following our work on the original series of The Witcher, we were excited to see the project return in the shape of the prequel, The Witcher - Blood Origin, starring Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2). This time around, we were asked to create Previs on the show with a view to assist with the set and creature exploration. Working with VFX Supervisor May Leung, the in-house team was led by Previs Supervisor Faraz Hameed.
The main sequence featured an attack on a walled environment by a terrifying flying creature. The art department was using Unreal Engine to design and explore sets, this allowed for a shorthand when it came to understanding the environments. The NVIZ team set to work creating a virtual camera area to explore the set build and shoot. This would inform the Director, DOP, art department and stunt team with pertinent information needed to make the best decisions on build, action and choreography.
As part of the visualisation process, NVIZ also created animation exploration of the creature, bringing further insight into its presence and how it moved for the stunt team. Again, this information was invaluable for planning the performance. In fact, the whole virtual production process was so successful that it streamlined the volume of Previs that was required!
The work on Blood Origin is a lesson in the many advantages of well executed visualisation. The knowledge gained in this process was crucial, not only to solving creative issues, such as camera angles, set build and performance questions, it also played a large role in reducing unnecessary costs by flagging up areas of conflict within the planning; saving time and resources that might otherwise have been put to waste.
The Witcher: Blood Origin is available to stream on Netflix.