I can say this project was great fun, watching the edit evolve and seeing it alive was a great opportunity and felt very lucky to be part of it, Probably the best bit is the fact that the effects were there to drive the commercial and immerse you in the game which is the ultimate goal of it so if there is a key role to fit is this one creating the stadiums and populating them with crowds.
As you can imagine shooting a real game is just out of the question so we had to do all the shooting in 2nd/3rd rate stadiums and substitute all the stadiums for the correct ones which were filmed on real games from the outside of course, then flame composite panoramas from these which in 3D would be remapped so we could get some perspective.
But the logistics of the shoot were quite something, not only we needed an special camera light enough to be mounted on the helmet of a footballer (semi-pro) but also should be light to be carried around, needed to have high definition capabilities and the image should be good quality enough to be shown in today’s super-high standards of HDTV.
We found a camera called SI2K mini that was mounted on a helmet with an special lens to achieve the quality of image we needed and also recording the footage on a laptop that was loaded onto our player so he was as free as possible to interact without having cables wiring him to video station, what is known as an umbilical cord.
The biggest challenge was the actual process of downloading and reviewing the footage given that it did not have time code, something that further complicated the task.
To make it worst we found out this was the only possibility, one that used the infamous rolling shutter mechanism and gave us ever distorting images that looked like yell-o, funny enough our work was easier thanks to the fact the edit was so fast so we did found ourselves on a good possition.
The volume was enormous, we did a ton of shots and some were hand tracked but thankfully we have a bunch of very skilled artists that can deal with these things.
In addition to this a something like 23 shots where fully CG from the edge of the pitch outwards so you can see a huge amount of Massive work with our new improved Mental Ray pipeline.
Brain development was done along with new outfits to match the references we had and special attention was paid on the stadiums themselves to add the right amount of detail and grittiness so they look real.
And a little gift for those who arrived till here.
Director: Guy Ritchie Agency: 72andSunny Production: Anonymous Content Independent Films Task: Lead CG Artist, Crowd TD