For Giggle Technical Director Mark Wallman (Dr.Who, Aliens v Predator) Holby presented a different set of challenges from Narnia or Hogwarts. Creating a lorry crash meant the scene had to look as real as possible, keeping the viewer focussed on the story and characters rather than the CGI. Here’s what we did and the finished scene in all its glory.
They key to getting the scene right was being able to collaborate with the Casualty team from early in the process. The Giggle team, headed up by Steve Garratt, worked with the show producers and episode director Ian Barnes (recently Oscar nominated for his short film Wish 143) well in advance.
Head of Post Production and VFX Al Wynn (Sky Sports) was one of the three strong Giggle team who attended the shoot on “The Road to Nowhere” just outside Bristol. Light references and photo references all helped Mark and Al work together to make the scene as real as possible. Traditionally a scene like the one in “The Gift of Life” would have meant using two or more lorries and still having no guarantee the shot would turn out how the director envisaged it. Our CG lorry takes direction very well, and always hits its mark!
Mark’s 3D work was carried out in Maya, and the shots were composited in Nuke and After Effects where Al added smoke, sparks and shadows, removed road markings and created cars coming the other way.
“Working with Giggle means that a weekly show like Casualty has cost effective access to feature film quality CGI.” explained Steve Garratt, MD of the Giggle group ” We have worked very closely with the Casualty Post production team to create a workflow that allows for maximum flexibility whilst still keeping to fixed budgets (agreed in advance), which is almost unique in the CGI/VFX world. This means CGI and VFX can be budgeted for along with all the other elements in the show”.