VFX and Finishing

Visual Effects (VFX) is a broad term used to describe the process of merging live action footage with computer generated imagery together into a single, cohesive image. It is a merging point where art and science become equally important in creating an image that is wholly fabricated and totally believable to the human brain.

The category also covers a wide array of our creative partner’s needs. Visual effects can encompass removing a logo from a shirt, or a blemish from an actor’s body, to fully integrating a character into a live action scene. It can also mean the reverse: Taking characters and creating a world around them that did not previously exist.

This explains photo-real Visual Effects in a nutshell. However, something we do here at Sarofsky is create distinct, design-driven looks with our creative partners. One specific example that requires skilled visual effects artists is a double exposure film treatment. In a situation like this it is important that our artists have an artistic point of view and sensibility. We believe this is a major point of difference between Sarofsky and our competition. Our visual effects pipeline and talent work alongside our very creative, and often experimental motion designers. That is a very powerful combination. It means we have the pipeline to work on the biggest productions in the world but also have the flexibility and creativity associated with the art and craft of motion design.

That professional, flexible process extends throughout the entire post-production pipeline, all the way through finishing and delivery. Fit and finish is the name of the game and that means getting our files correct every single time. The versions, the aspect ratios…everything right the first time.

VFX/Visual Effects

Visual Effects is the broad term used to describe creating, manipulating or enhancing the moving picture. It is a catch-all term that encompaseses the artistic process which begins after filming. This is where the practical footage and the manipulated imagery are fused together.

Photo Real Compositing

Photo Real Compositing
Compositing is the process of taking multiple plates of footage and seamlessly merging them together. For example, one shot may call for enhancing a sky, while the next may be adding foreground elements. Another may be an involved marrying of live action and 3D-augmented plates together to create a photoreal outcome. We are often asked to update products in existing spots. When this request is made, a compositor takes the original shot and our augmented version of the new product and composites them together to make an updated version. Instances like this also allow us to update the product more easily, extending the life cycle of the spot for future versions and usage.

Double Exposure

Double Exposure
Double exposure is a photographic technique that has been co-opted by the design and visual effects community. It’s the process of taking multiple live action plates and combining them to create the appearance of the superimposition of two or more exposures.

Rotoscoping

Rotoscoping
When you want to insert or remove something from a shot, it usually calls for rotoscoping. While considered a monotonous task, any visual effects artist knows how vital this part of the process is. A bad matte can ruin a shot.

On-Set Supervision

Our Visual Effects Supervisor and our artists are eager to be on set to provide real-time solutions to any unforeseen conundrums or planning for the visual effects that will be implemented once the film is in the can. Placing tracking marks, recording camera data, measuring scene scale and shooting spherical HDR’s for 3D, assisting with additional plate creation, helping to make sure action is framed where we need it to be is all part of the supervision process. Preventing unnecessary work and streamlining the necessary work is important in order to keep the focus on the creative when post-production begins.

Finishing

Finishing is a term that refers to creating all of the versions, with the correct codes, file formats, aspect ratios and compression. Double checking timelines, comp, audio and having an eye for detail is essential for any finishing artist. (Of course this is all while you hang out in the suite and enjoy your favorite snacks.)

Clean-up

Clean-up is the art of ensuring that all of the little things don’t distract attention from the focus of the piece. Sometimes the actor has a breakout, that grip just keeps getting into the edge of the shot, or, there’s the classic boom mic dip. That’s what we’re here to help with: making that shot look amazing when, on set, things may not have gone according to plan.

Tracking

Tracking - Planar / Camera / Object: When augmenting a shot it is almost always a requirement to track the movement of something. This might be a set extension which could require a camera track, or, we might be adding a super cool face tattoo (that the actor is lucky enough not to regret having in a month). Adding new wrapped labels to a spinning cylindrical object is another instance of tracking, only in this instance we need a moving 3 dimensional piece of geometry that is the same scale and position of the moving object we’re re-wrapping. Whatever the case, a solid track is required to sell reality.

Previsualization

There are times before a shoot, where being able to see a rough conceptualization helps to inform future decisions by adding context. Working together with our production-side partners and our agency-side creative partners, previsualization helps us gameplan a strategy in order to take on a tricky shot successfully.

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