Check out this amazing & insightful VFX Breakdown “The Witcher” by the talented team at Framestore. For more information, please see the details and links below :
Framestore delivered an extensive range of VFX for the much talked-about Netflix series The Witcher. Based on the Witcher Saga series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski, the series features magic and fantastical environment which Framestore was charged with bringing to life.
One of Framestore’s main roles on the show was to help establish the look and feeling of The Continent, the world that The Witcher inhabits with a series of digitally enhanced and fully digital environments. As the creative studio’s role grew, it became responsible for the design of several locations including the dark and gritty city of Cintra and the cliff-side fortress of Aretuza and an Elven stronghold.
To develop the look and feel of the environments, Framestore worked with its internal creative development and art departments, using the production designers’ initial concept art as a starting point. For the three-tiered walled city of Cintra, it developed everything from the layout of the city right down to tiny details like the way tiles are laid on the buildings’ roofs. The CG asset of Cintra was built to showcase the location with an incredible level of detail before the team degraded the asset, essentially destroying it for a huge battle in which it’s attacked by the show’s Nilfgaardian army.
As well as Cintra, the team also designed and built the exterior location of Aretuza and an Elven Keep completely in CG, using these assets and a series of digital matte paintings to both create the series’ beautiful establishing shots and to replace views from interior locations’ windows. It also built a perilous mountain ledge location which live action plates of the series’ actors were composited into for a sequence in which the series’ heroes must traverse the treacherous landscape.
Talking about the project, Pedro Sabrosa, VFX Supervisor at Framestore said; ‘For a fantasy series like The Witcher, environments and locations serve the purpose of needing to set the scene very quickly. If they don’t immediately look right then the illusion of the world that’s trying to be built can be immediately broken and audiences won’t be engaged.’
Framestore also added several VFX elements to a fight sequence in which Geralt of Rivia takes on the brigands of Blaviken in typical Witcher fashion. This included work on weapons, blood and gore and magic effects, all roles which were continued throughout the series that takes place in a world of magical beasts and powerful abilities. For scenes featured throughout the series, the effects team produced everything from fire and fog effects to weather enhancements of various kinds.
It also visualised the magical abilities of several characters, delivering VFX including firebombs, live worms and an ash disintegration effect, as well as magical mist and smoke generation.