LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Milk Creates Half-Face Man for Debut of Doctor Who Series 8

COW Library : TV & Movie Appreciation : Milk VFX : Milk Creates Half-Face Man for Debut of Doctor Who Series 8
CreativeCOW presents Milk Creates Half-Face Man for Debut of Doctor Who Series 8 -- TV & Movie Appreciation Editorial

Milk VFXMilk VFX
London, UK
CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


The hotly anticipated 80-minute Series 8 episode was simulcast and screened in cinemas globally on 23rd August, which served to add to the challenge of quickly producing high quality VFX shots for both home viewing and the silver screen.

The focus of Milk's work for the piece was the sinister and mysterious "Half-Face Man" – the principal villain – who appears throughout the episode. Milk replaced one entire side of the actor Peter Ferdinando's head in 87 of the 117 digital shots produced by Milk.


Milk created the CG hollow cage-like structure which makes up the missing half of Half-Face Man's head.
Milk created the CG hollow cage-like structure which makes up the missing half of Half-Face Man's head.


Milk created the CG hollow cage-like structure which makes up the missing half of Half-Face Man's head as well as the visible internal workings of his head which resemble the mechanics of a clock, with moving cogs, pistons and rotating mechanical parts.

The tracking of the face replacement required extreme precision by Milk's match move team lead by Amy Felce. To assist with this critical element, the team took a 360 degree photo scan of actor Peter Ferdinando's head and subsequently created a highly accurate 3D model of his head. This mesh then helped our tracking team to lock-in reference points to his natural head shape.

The character's costume included a top hat to which Milk added tracking markers. The team also added markers to the bridge of the actor's nose and the centre of his forehead, which allowed them to accurately matchmove all the rotations and translations of the head. Once the movements of the head were tracked, they were able to line up the accurate 3D model to the live action head.


Doctor Who Series 8: The character's costume included a top hat to which Milk added tracking markers
The character's costume included a top hat to which Milk added tracking markers.


The asset build for the internal workings of the Half-Face man's face involved creating CG cogs and pistons for which Milk built a fully automated rigging system. Each shot was then animated to add movement and detail to the mechanism as well as animate and line up the CG eye with the actor's natural eye-line and movement.

In addition, a full-scale physical model was also built for use on set both for a small number of shots and as lighting reference for the VFX team. It was essential to light Half-Face Man's CG face absolutely accurately – matching it perfectly to the on set lighting environment in order to ensure the complete believability and consistency of the character throughout the episode.

Will Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of Milk VFX said: "The most exciting challenge of 'Deep Breath' was realising the 'Half-Face Man', not least because of the sheer number of shots. We heavily relied upon all aspects of Milk's pipeline in order to successfully achieve a photo-real look that allowed the audience to totally engage with the character. Ben Wheatley and the production team made it a hugely enjoyable collaboration. He worked very closely with us to enable us to achieve work that we are very proud of."

Will added, "In order to achieve this, we photo-scanned all the different environments the Half-Face man appeared in. This provided our lighting and rendering team (lead by Darren Byford) with a virtual set in which to work. Combined with the reference from the practical dummy and high-resolution photo reference we were able to gather a wealth of information to work with."


Doctor Who Series 8: The production team relied upon all aspects of Milk's pipeline in order to successfully achieve a photo-real look that allowed the audience to totally engage with the character.
The production team relied upon all aspects of Milk's pipeline in order to successfully achieve a photo-real look that allowed the audience to totally engage with the character.


Ahead of the compositing process, Milk's roto prep team had the monumental task of cleaning up all the tracking markers, removing the prosthetic make up, creating a hollow head, and finally building up the missing bits of the Half-Face man's hat and collar – in every single shot.

The compositing team then worked in each environment to finalise the look and accuracy of Half-Face man's CG head.

Says Will of the extra efforts, "Creating a believable human main character with half a CG face is always challenging, however director Ben Wheatley made it a hugely enjoyable collaboration."

To add to the magnificence of the visual treats of the new Doctor Who storyline, Milk also designed and created a completely gorgeous and believable T-Rex for the opening sequence.


Doctor Who Series 8: The T-Rex and Big Ben.
The T-Rex was the same height as Big Ben.


The team made certain that the T-Rex was the same height as Big Ben in order to create the dramatic opening moment for this episode as the camera pans round to reveal that the dinosaur is in the central London cityscape – which was also created by Milk.


Doctor Who Series 8: Deep Breath
Stunned onlookers look eye to eye with a marvelous creative as large as Big Ben.


The Victorian London cityscape included CG builds of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and St Paul's, along with wide fly-over views of the Thames as the episode reaches its climax.


Doctor Who Series 8: The Victorian London cityscape included CG builds of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and St Paul's, along with wide fly-over views of the Thames.
The Victorian London cityscape included CG builds of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and St Paul's, along with wide fly-over views of the Thames


Milk is currently in production on the new 12-episode eighth series of "Doctor Who" featuring Peter Capaldi for the BBC and the new TV drama "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell", a seven part mini-series (7 x 60') due to be broadcast on BBC One in the UK in 2015. On the feature film side, Milk has recently completed work on Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' "Hercules" for director Brett Ratner.

Milk recently won a British Academy Television Craft Award for its work on the BBC's "Doctor Who" 50th anniversary special: "The Day of the Doctor." [Editor's note: Read our coverage of Milk's VFX work for the special here.]

During its debut year Milk has completed work on the BBC's two most recent landmark "Doctor Who" TV specials: the 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor" and the Christmas special "The Time of the Doctor;" the third series of Hartswood Films' "Sherlock;" Sky's TV special – "David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive 3D"(Sky/Atlantic), Fox's 24: Live Another Day and feature film "47 Ronin."


Twitter: @MilkVFX

MILK VFX CREW:
VFX EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: WILL COHEN
VFX PRODUCER: JENNA POWELL
VFX SUPERVISOR: MURRAY BARBER
VFX SHOOT PRODUCTION MANAGER: DAVE JONES
VFX CO-ORDINATOR: NATALIE REID
CG SUPERVISOR: DARREN BYFORD
2D SUPERVISOR: LUKA LESKOVSEK
HEAD OF MODELLING: SAM LUCAS
HEAD OF RIGGING: NEIL ROCHE
HEAD OF ANIMATION: DAVID BENNETT
HEAD OF FX: JAMES REID
HEAD OF MATCHMOVE: AMY FELCE
HEAD OF DIGITAL MATTE PAINTING: SIMON WICKER
LEAD TD: JAMIE STEWART





All images ©BBC


About Milk

Launched in June 2013, BAFTA Award-winning Milk is an independent London based, boutique visual effects company, focused on creating highly innovative and complex sequences for high end TV and feature films.

Founded by award-winning VFX Supervisors and Producers, the team has created TV effects for Doctor Who (BBC), 24: Live Another Day (Fox), Sherlock (Hartswood Films), Ice Age Giants (BBC), Sinbad (Sky), Skins (Channel 4), Merlin (BBC), Endeavour (Mammoth Productions/ITV), and David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive 3D (Sky/Atlantic)and for feature films: Brett Ratner's Hercules (Paramount/MGM), Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal), Les Miserables (Universal), Dredd 3D (Entertainment Films) and 47 Ronin (Universal).

Milk is currently working on TV projects including the new eighth series of Doctor Who (BBC); the forthcoming drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – a seven part mini-series (7 x 60') due to debut on BBC One in the UK in 2015. On the feature film side, Milk is working on Universal's upcoming Dracula Untold and Scott Free's Get Santa and recently completed work on Alex Garland's Ex-Machina, which isset for release in 2015.

Milk won a BAFTA Television Craft Award 2014 for the team's work on the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special: Day of the Doctor.

Milk is located in Fitzrovia and has the capacity for 100 artist seats. www.milk-vfx.com

 

For more on Milk at Creative COW, visit these interviews...

Building The World of Hercules

Building The World of Hercules
Hercules achieved an epic look on a relatively modest budget through careful and clever CG environments. Together, Method Studios and Milk VFX are two of the companies that helped create a full, realistic world for Hercules, from the sky, to the Acropolis, to the sea.





Milk Explodes All Over London For "24"
Milk is working with Fox as the lead VFX studio on "24: Live Another Day" -- currently airing on Sky 1 in the UK and around the world -- to create a mix of CG and effects work for the heart-stopping series, as it celebrates its debut year in business.



Doctor Who 50th Anniversary-Milk's VFX for Day of the Doctor

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary-Milk's VFX for Day of the Doctor
When The Mill in London decided to close its TV and Film Department, the staff decided to open up VFX house Milk. They brought with them a first, very challenging job, which was begun at The Mill: creating stereo 3D effects for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. Here's how the newly launched company took charge to create some memorable VFX.





Related Articles / Tutorials:
TV & Movie Appreciation
Favreau, Technicolor & MPC Make The Jungle Book Come Alive

Favreau, Technicolor & MPC Make The Jungle Book Come Alive

Todd McCarthy, veteran film critic and historian, in his review of director Jon Favreau's new, stunning adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book declared, "...the visual effects team led by Robert Legato and (MPC's) Adam Valdez has both created sumptuous settings that look as lifelike as any CGI ever presented in a studio feature and integrated both humans and animal characters in them in seamless ways."

Editorial, Feature
Jon Favreau
TV & Movie Appreciation
VFX Legion | Hardcore Henry breakdown reel

VFX Legion | Hardcore Henry breakdown reel

Remote post-production and visual effects studio VFX Legion has released its breakdown reel for the incendiary Hardcore Henry. The reel reveals the work that went into the first-person perspective action film, from augmenting violence to stitching shots together into one continuous sequence.

Editorial, Feature
COW News
TV & Movie Appreciation
Renaissance Masters Go 3D with Nuke

Renaissance Masters Go 3D with Nuke

VFX legend Steve Wright helped Italy's Sky 3D tackle an epic project, as Italian all-3D television station set out to present the city of Florence and the masterpieces of Renaissance art housed in the Uffizi Gallery in a spectacular stereoscopic 3D movie shown in 60 countries around the world. While the majority of the film was shot stereoscopically, Steve's challenge was to use Nuke to present some of the world's most precious artworks fully dimensionalized. Here's how he pulled it off.

Editorial, Feature
Steve Wright
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Sisterhood of the X-Files Fandom

The Sisterhood of the X-Files Fandom

As the first show to create a rabid, real-time internet fandom, devotion to "The X-Files" has been growing in intensity with each year since the original series finale, with a fanbase that is clever, thoughtful, and largely female. Not that there's any shortage of male X-Philes, but there's a generation of women who was inspired to technical careers by the Gillian Anderson's Dana Scully. Kylee Peña is among them, and additionally very specifically inspired by the production values of "The X-Files" to build a career in the technology of TV storytelling in particular. Here's Kylee's look at what it has meant to be a female fan of the art, technology, and empowerment of "The X-Files" in the 21st century.

Editorial, Feature
Kylee Peña
TV & Movie Appreciation
Peter Doyle: Supervising Visual Colourist at Technicolor

Peter Doyle: Supervising Visual Colourist at Technicolor

Peter Doyle, Supervising Visual Colourist at Technicolor, shares details of his upward spiraling career. His deep technical knowledge allows for a perfect blend of creativity and productivity in equal measure. Here he talks about his career, his aspirations, and his involvement in productions right from the outset.

Feature, People / Interview
FilmLight
TV & Movie Appreciation
Introducing Ultron: Trixter Builds The Avengers' Biggest Bad

Introducing Ultron: Trixter Builds The Avengers' Biggest Bad

At the heart of Marvel's biggest Avengers movie yet lies their greatest threat yet: Ultron, a self-constructing robot intelligence bent on destroying all of humanity. Munich's boutique-scale Trixter Film was given the critical task of introducing this epic-scale character, which they undertook from concept art through design, mocap, animation, compositing, and output.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Walk: Largest Use of Cloud Computing in Film History

The Walk: Largest Use of Cloud Computing in Film History

Award-winning VFX Company Joins UPP and Rodeo FX to Recapture the Legendary Walk Between the World Trade Center Towers. Lead VFX vendor Atomic Fiction needed a more efficient way to do the compute-intensive, and traditionally very expensive, processes of rendering. The company used their cloud-based software Conductor, which allows artists to offload the processing from their own computers and send it to the cloud. By the end of the project, Atomic Fiction had completed 9.1 million hours of processing in the cloud, which equates to over a millennium of processing time!

Editorial, Feature
Shaina Ostroff
TV & Movie Appreciation
Milk's Epic VFX For Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Milk's Epic VFX For Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, the acclaimed bestselling epic novel of magical realism set 200 years ago, was adapted by the BBC to a 7-episode miniseries that was itself quite epic, with over 1000 effects shots handled by London's Milk VFX. Creative COW's Tim Wilson spoke with Milk CEO Will Cohen about his team's work on the series, starting with his own enthusiasm as a fan of the novel. To use that word once more, it's an epic conversation about adapting novels, carefully managing budgeted creativity, and collaboration. Books, televised cinematic storytelling, VFX, good conversation, and magic: if any of those is your cup of tea, you won't want to miss this.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
FuseFX & Emmy-Nominated Work for American Horror Story

FuseFX & Emmy-Nominated Work for American Horror Story

Burbank-based effects house’s freaky work for hit FX series continues to draw accolades.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
FuseFX
TV & Movie Appreciation
Pixels: Going From 8-bits to Epic is No Game

Pixels: Going From 8-bits to Epic is No Game

Classic video game characters like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong sent by aliens to destroy Earth? No worries! Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks are on the case. It turns out that integrating 8-bit characters into a world recognizable as our own is a lot harder than it looks. It was also a lot of fun for everyone involved, and hearing about it from the two VFX supervisors will be a lot of fun for you too.

Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
MORE
© 2016 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]