Color Cubes ups the ante for VFX in Television with Aahat3 & CID

Amongst many business models that exist in the industry, Mumbai based Color Cubes VFX has carved a niche for itself by focusing on doing innovative effects for TV serials, the latest work being on Aahat 3 and CID where it has worked on as high as 100+shots on a single episode!!!

Commenting on Aahat 3, Color Cubes VFX Partner and VFX supervisor, Himanshu Bandiwadekar shared with AnimationXpress.com, “The new format is packed with visual effects. For each story of Aahat we have a shoot pre-production meeting to discuss the execution of the shots. The first episode had approximately 100 VFX shots from complex rig removals to morphing sequences and particle simulation. We had a few shots where the protagonists face would morph in to another face and morph back to normal while reciting the dialogues. We shot both characters rendering similar dialogues and matched them for morphing sequences. In another sequence we had a shot wherein the artist standing before the mirror would have a completely different reflection as the camera was zooming in, we shot the reflection on a chroma and tracked it according to the shot while compositing.”

Being an episodic serial, this horror show has a new story every week.

“For the episodes on 9th and 10th February, we had approximately 70-75 visual effects shots each in which we had created surreal environments with bursting clouds, lots of matte-cutting and camera tracking. The most difficult part was the matte cutting of the eyes of the female protagonist ghost and tracking the hollow eye sockets. We also used particle systems to create the storm in the climax sequence. We used trackers to shoot the headless sequence, so that we could track the flesh with the neck.”

Explaining the VFX work in previous episodes of CID, Himanshu said, “In one of the episodes of CID, we have developed a game interface and animated the characters which are quite on the lines of role-play games like Counter Strike and Hitman. The plot of the story was Deja Vu where in, the virtual sequence and set were supposed to match the actual location. The whole sequence was choreographed in a creative brief with the director. We used the help of storyboarding to keep a resemblance between the live action sequence and the virtually designed sequence.”

“We have digitally recreated a virtual replica of the actual set. It was a very difficult sequence because it required almost two minutes of character animation and this difficult task was achieved in a span of five working days (and nights). Whole animation was done by three animators” he further added.

The team at Color Cubes has nine members comprising of 3D modelers, animators, lighting and texturing artists, storyboard artists and compositors.

Speaking about the coming week’s episodes of Aahat3, Himanshu said, “Next on Aahat3 we have to create a man eating tree. We made quite a few options (sketches) of the tree for the creative producer before finalizing. The digitally created tree would have limbs like creepers which would catch on to its victims and gobble down its victims. The tree has a character and is the protagonist in the episode. In one sequence where the possessed girl turns her entire head towards her back, we shot the sequence on chroma and placed her on turntable to achieve a smooth rotation which could be composited on to her body.”

Commenting on the challenges faced Himanshu said, “One of the most challenging sequence is the rig and rope removal shots where in the possessed girl is elevated during her possession. We shot lot of camera movements where in the rig and rope would be needed to be removed. We have used Mokey to remove rigs and ropes in these moving shots.”

On a concluding note, Himanshu said, “Our greatest advantage is that although we are a small team we specialize in our area of work and love to multitask on our assignments. Such multitasking cuts out the handicap of not having a large task force. Our strength comes from being a closely knit team. The very name of our company suggests that like a cube we have different dimensions and versatility.”

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