Monday, July 1, 2019

ARTICLE: Good Omens Behind the Scenes


In this month's Definition Magazine, head of grading Gareth Spensley and VFX creative director Dolores McGinley both spoke to writer Chelsea Fearnley as part of a deep dive into the Good Omens colour and visual effects. 

Gareth Spensley, Head of Grading 

"DOP Gavin Finney used a lot of technical film references, and he wanted me to incorporate the specific look of film stocks and processing techniques, as well as the look of classic adventure movies, crossed with more British adventure references. The desire was to give the series a timeless, courageous feel. Finney wanted it to feel like it was bedded into nostalgia, so the audience would feel comfortable with the quite fantastical biblical story line."

"The show had some multifarious flashback scenes, and under Gaiman's direction, Finney wanted to create distinctive looks as we jumped through different time periods". "This was a gift and a joy to grade as a colourist. I think we covered every trick in the toolbox: period film print LUTs, complex colour crosstalk layers and classic ideas such as heavy desaturation as we zipped from the Garden of Eden to Noah's Ark, and from ancient Rome to Blitz-era London."

"The biggest scene I did was replacing the sky in the majority of that last episode, I shot sky plates for the sequence as the story required the imagery to hit specific narrative beats; charting a red sky that signalled Armageddon. We chose to do this in the grade as it gave the production the most complete perspective of the 30-minute showdown scene. Some shots were finally composited by the VFX team, where CGI was already required, or the tracking became too difficult to achieve in Baselight, But overall, the Baselight was brilliant for this type of client request."


Dolores McGinley, VFX Creative Director

"We have a relatively small in-house VFX department, so we often affiliate with larger VFX houses, working closely alongside them where we can. It was great to work with Milk studios and its incredible team on this project."

Since Molinare provided the final picture post, McGinley and her team were able to start compositing the picture after the lock, using NukeX and Autodesk Flame, which is supported by Mocha and PFTrack, for tracking software and Maya and V-Ray for 3D. 

"Working closely with Spensley, we were in a lucky position to be at the heart of the project when and where required."