Our VFX Supervisor Alex Pejic spoke to Ian Failes for an article in VFX Voice about our work on The Witcher. Read it in full in the latest issue of the magazine online here: https://bit.ly/2xd6NB6
Cinesite was responsible for visual effects related to the Striga, which Geralt battles. Here, both a practical prosthetic suit creation and a completely CG creature were utilized for final scenes. “They shot everything, but there were some safety and physical limitations with what could be done practically,” outlines Pejic. “We ended up with a hybrid version of the creature. Certain shots were kept as is, but we’d sometimes trim down or extend particularly parts of the body.
“We body tracked every single shot where we had to do those adjustments, and also built a fully 3D creature,” says Pejic. “Then, with a specific script that we created in Nuke, the walk was blended between the plates and CG elements to create this particular look. A number of shots also involved a fully CG creature where we wanted the animation to be a little ‘crazier.’”
Cinesite’s creature work continued with the green and dragons seen later in the series. Gold, in particular, presented a number of design hurdles for the team, as did the various components making up the dragons, including alligator-like features and wings. “It was a major challenge to make it look gold, but not look ridiculous,” admits Pejic. “But I don’t think it had been done before – I don’t remember having seen a golden dragon in any other work.”