There was a moment when we thought the tenis legend Venus Williams was going to be hanging out on set with us. Sadly, she wasn’t. But having the honour of working on a movie where she was one of the Executive Producers was still pretty amazing.
Game, Set, Love introduced us to the world of VFX crowd extensions. Our main goal was to recreate the audience for the tenis stadium, and extend the set to recreate the full stadium. The stadium shots were filmed indoors with green screens, so we ferociously started researching every single way to make it happen. We stumbled upon a “Ted Lasso” VFX breakdown, and how Barnstorm VFX worked around the challenges of crowd extension through the pandemic’s lockdown. Genius. So, now what?
On set, we got around 75 background actors to perform 3-4 different poses on the green screen and film those. We then keyed out the greens in post-production and replicated the extras across the stadium, changing their clothing digitally.
Since the perspective of the extras didn’t quite match what was on screen, we applied some CG with AXYZ, Unreal and a bit of composing. For the close-up shots, we used roto and plates. And there you go… the stadium is packed and cheering up like it’s the real deal. Success!
In the end, a combination of techniques, incredible skills and artistry, and teamwork made our first experience recreating crowd extensions possible. And let’s not forget we also got to set-extend everything. Phew!
Timeless Pictures for Hallmark Channel
Crowd extension and set extension through CG and tiling, raindrops
118 (100% digital)
Unreal, Nuke, Mocka Pro, AXYZ