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Zoic Studios – Featured LBB Online

Creepy crawlers, blood, gore, horror…the fun VFX we don’t normally get to promote for obvious reasons yet remains a speciality of Zoic Studios. Halloween is a special time where some of favorite type of work shines through. LBB online featured some of our talented creative directors and asked for their perspective on crafting dynamic VFX for horror and the major differences.

The feature can be found here :

We’ve highlighted some of our favorite snippets below :

The Relationship between Make Up and VFX

Question from LBB:

The most impactful VFX tend to be a mix of practical special effects makeup techniques combined with computer generated visual effects. Can you tell us a bit about the symbiotic relationship between makeup artists and VFX teams? 

Creative Director Ian Fenton :

The key to a successful partnership between VFX and practical make-up is communication. Concepts for characters and FX can follow many different routes; from the VFX studio, from the make-up FX house or from the production and director themselves. Oftentimes the make-up house cannot give a character or plant full movement, so it come down to the VFX house to use 2D compositing tricks to help bring the practical work to life, or the make-up house needs to build an asset modelled by the VFX studio. We’ve seen every level of collaboration back and forth between all the partners in a production. We are most likely to achieve success when all participants realise they are invested in the same end goal. Passing all levels of work back and forth successfully and constantly keeps everyone on the same path to creating a great finished product.

What are the main differences in approach when crafting static and dynamic VFX for horror? 

Creative Director Rob Price :

Both have similar approaches in preparation: lots of concepts, references, and planning, but your end goals for the two are very different. Static VFX, like in Bly Manor, needs to feel imposing and dangerous but blend into the background. It needs all the right details so you never question it. You need to feel it more than see it. The more dynamic the VFX – like The Lady of the Lake’s CG face prosthetic – the more you want to see it. If you have an immediate reaction that something is wrong, morbid curiosity grows and you instinctively want to see more of it, to try and figure it out. We will find small ways to help pull out interesting details and set the tone: light and shadow shapes that push the facial features, or water droplets that catch light in intriguing ways – you really want to spotlight these kinds of effects so the audience craves them more. 

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