LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

FuseFX & mocha: VFX for Walking Dead, Empire, AHS & More

COW Library : Art of the Edit : Imagineer Systems : FuseFX & mocha: VFX for Walking Dead, Empire, AHS & More
CreativeCOW presents FuseFX & mocha: VFX for Walking Dead, Empire, AHS & More -- Art of the Edit Feature

FuseFX is an award-winning visual effect studio with a flagship facility in Los Angeles and outposts in New York and Vancouver. The 100+ member team juggles over 30 television episodics a season, while also working on features and commercials. Current credits include: FOX's Empire, ABC's Agents of SHIELD, AMC's The Walking Dead, SyFy's The Magicians, CBS's Zoo, and FX's American Horror Story.



CGI & VFX Showreels HD: "Studio Show Reel" - by FuseFX



Imagineer Systems recently sat down with Brigitte Bourque, Digital Effects Supervisor and a 20 year industry vet, to learn more about the work FuseFX does and how mocha fits into their pipeline.

Imagineer Systems: What's your role at FuseFX?

Brigitte BourqueBrigitte: As Effects Supervisor, my role is to ensure my shows are organized to maximize time and quality of work for our clients. I work closely with producers to manage and plan out courses of action depending on what the work requires to hit our deadlines. That can take a lot of planning, foresight and sometimes preemptive measures if things don't go as smoothly as you'd hoped.


You work on both television series and films. What's the biggest difference between the two?

There are interesting differences and similarities between working in film versus television. The two outlets are merging in the level of difficulty and time schedules. Television has become very sophisticated over the past decade. Many companies have gotten into the field of creating original content: from the cable channels that we are familiar with, to newer players such as Netflix and Amazon.



American Horror Story


The shows are high quality and are gaining huge viewership. The problem for us is that they have tight turnarounds while demanding this higher level production value. At the same time, I've noticed the film work we do now demands a turnaround that you might typically associate with a television schedule -- with the added burden of having more temp screenings. One thing both television and feature share is that our clients expect us to provide top value for their budgets. That is what FuseFX excels at.


AmericanHorror_BulletFuse


How does mocha come into play with time constraints?

Since time is of the essence in all of our jobs, mocha is an essential tool in our production pipeline. The compositor is the steward of the work we are entrusted with. That means getting the work out on time and on budget. Every one of our compositors uses mocha Pro to help make that happen.

We are constantly transferring data between mocha and Nuke -- to the point where it is hard imagining having one without the other. Despite the difference in their effects, the similarity of shows like Zoo, The Walking Dead, and Empire, is time. Having tools like mocha working in tandem with Nuke pays dividends in time.  This is of enormous benefit to both ourselves and our clients.



Empire is filmed in Chicago, although it is set in New York.


FuseFX works on a wide variety of TV series. What areas do you commonly use mocha for?

We rely on mocha Pro for shows which contain mostly "invisible" effects such as green screen background replacement and monitor inserts where you hope the end result is one that the viewer doesn't even notice has been done. On shows such as Empire, some of the VFX work is just as demanding as our other shows where the effects are front and center such as The Walking Dead. You want everyone to assume Lucious is standing fifty floors over New York City; that they are at the New York Stock Exchange; that all those flashy background monitors just happened to be playing perfectly in sync; and that there really were fifty thousand people at the concert.


EmpireFuse

On Black Sails I used mocha to do everything from tracking in double-imaged spyglass reflections to extensively modifying moving shorelines and tracking in backgrounds complete with multiple levels of parallax. My team does a lot of driving comps. mocha lets us stabilize and track in backgrounds quickly. We also use it to corner-pin in dirt passes, wiper marks and reflections to the windshields. mocha gives us, and our clients, a great deal of control over the final look of the shots.

Of course, they aren't all "invisible effects". We are responsible for a lot of "blood effects" since dressing characters with practical blood and gore is messy and time consuming to do on set. For instance, I apply bullet wounds which can move with the organic surfaces of the unfortunate gunshot victims. The ability to seamlessly match-move these onto the characters is crucial to achieving these very graphic and gory story points.


In The Walking Dead, Season 6, Glenn and Nicholas are surrounded by Walkers.


On shows like Zoo I assume most viewers know the birds aren't really attacking innocent bystanders and that actors aren't really sacrificed by elephants.


Speaking of Zoo...the second season is airing on CBS right now. Any examples of how mocha is used?



Zoo - Season 2 (Preview) The Threat Has Evolved


On a recent episode of Zoo our excellent group of cg artists created an elephant that gives chase to our shows' protagonists. As the deadline was closing in, there was a request to change the timing of tranquilizing darts hitting the charging elephant. Using mocha, this last minute change was a simple fix. Tracking the undulating surface of a running elephant, I was able to track on patches of skin. We could change the timing without sending the entire shot back to animation and lighting. Instead of adding an extra day to the schedule, we did it in 20 minutes! mocha saved us from going over budget and saved the unwitting client a potential overage. This simple example is played out on all our shows.


Learn more about FuseFX.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our feature on FuseFX - an interview with Eric Hayden, Visual Effects & Compositing Supervisor.

Download a free 14 day trial of mocha.




Related Articles / Tutorials:
Art of the Edit
Always Be Editing: Sculptors & Bricklayers Revisited

Always Be Editing: Sculptors & Bricklayers Revisited

Do you edit like a sculptor, or like a bricklayer? It seems a simple enough question, but as longtime editor, post house owner, and VFX software developer Simon Ubsdell shows, the implications for how this affects the way you edit can be profound. His advice, regardless of where you land on the spectrum? Always be editing.


Simon Ubsdell
Art of the Edit
Indie Film Sound Editing: A This Guy Edits Tutorial

Indie Film Sound Editing: A This Guy Edits Tutorial

ACE Award-nominated picture editor Sven Pape ("This Guy Edits") speaks with Sundance Award-winning sound editor Ugo Derouard on The 5 Five Steps of Audio Post Production: Sound Editing, Spotting, Dialog Editing, Sound Design, and Sound Mixing, paying special attention to the specific needs of, and techniques that can work best for, independent filmmakers.

Tutorial
Sven Pape
Art of the Edit
TV Workflow Supervisor Kylee Peña: The Benefits of Pressure

TV Workflow Supervisor Kylee Peña: The Benefits of Pressure

TV workflow supervisor Kylee Peña (Jane the Virgin, Colony) visits Adobe's "Make It" talk show to chat with host Jason Levine about the evolution of motion picture workflows, from the days of film and tape to our modern digital world of crazy-high shooting ratios and constantly evolving technology. She also expounds on the upside to creative constraints and tight deadlines. And don’t miss the lightning round!!!

Feature, People / Interview
Cow News
Art of the Edit
The Science of Editing: Look Closer -- The Mind of a Film

The Science of Editing: Look Closer -- The Mind of a Film

When you ask an editor what they DO in the edit suite, the answer is often something like, "Well, it's intuitive." To become better editors, though, we need to be more specific. Editor, author, and professor Dr. Karen Pearlman breaks down the process into five specific steps that editors must take in order to turn a mass of material into something coherent. You can learn to hone the specific skills of observation and self-awareness that distinguish editors from other observers, and make unexpected connections that move stories in compelling new directions. Sven Pape of "This Guy Edits" presents his conversation with Karen in the form of a powerful video essay that you will find illuminating and inspiring, and will be able to start using right away.

Tutorial, Feature, People / Interview
Sven Pape
Art of the Edit
Film Editing: Should You Edit Scenes to Music?

Film Editing: Should You Edit Scenes to Music?

Music can elevate the emotion of a film scene. As a film editor, should you first cut to music or focus on dialog and visuals alone? In this tutorial, This Guy Edits shares his point of view by example with a rough cut using some temp music by Max Elto.

Tutorial
Sven Pape
Art of the Edit
More Than One Path to Success: Senior Editor Mae Manning

More Than One Path to Success: Senior Editor Mae Manning

We talk a lot about things like “accessible tools” and the “democratization of video production” -- what has this meant for the emerging talent whose creative development has taken place largely, or even entirely, within this democratized landscape? Mae Manning is one such editor, who taught herself to edit music videos, and caught the eye of a local production company. Several years later and now their Senior Editor, she cuts corporate and industrial training videos, promotional videos, sketch comedy, short films, and everything else that gets thrown her way. Mae’s story is an inspiration for anyone that thinks there is only one path to success in the industry.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Art of the Edit
How To Create Better Live Surgical Broadcasts

How To Create Better Live Surgical Broadcasts

Greg Ondera produces, directs, and edits medical video programs specializing in surgical procedures. From his wide ranging experience in the medical sciences and broadcast arts, Greg shows you how to create better surgical broadcasts.

Editorial, Tutorial, Feature, Business
Greg Ondera
Art of the Edit
Being an Advertising Editor: The Ins & Outs of Agency Work

Being an Advertising Editor: The Ins & Outs of Agency Work

Katie Toomey takes Creative COW members inside the world of the advertising editor, where being a generalist means you are often not only a video editor, but a designer and audio editor, problem solver, as well as tech support professional. Join Katie as she takes you inside her world.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Katie Toomey
Art of the Edit
The Science of Editing

The Science of Editing

Sven Pape, aka @ThisGuyEdits, joins Dr. Karen Pearlman -- former President of the Australian Screen Editors Guild and a three-time nominee for Best Editing at the Australian Screen Editors Guild Annual Awards -- for a provocative look at "Editor's Thinking," a cognitive skill set that you can use to improve your screenplay before you start principal photography of your film.

Tutorial, Project
Sven Pape
Art of the Edit
Film Editing Tutorial: How To Crush The First Notes

Film Editing Tutorial: How To Crush The First Notes

It's happened to you. The first cut sounds noisy, has compression artifacts, actors aren't giving their best performances -- and the director has notes about all this and more. Follow along as Sven Pape from "This Guy Edits" works through some of these very issues on the film he's working on, with tips on how deliver exactly what YOUR director is looking for.

Tutorial
Sven Pape
MORE
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]