1. After working with a CGI company for the first time on the Houseof project, what surprised you the most about the process?
The process was so detailed and exact.
Each element that was built was totally to scale, and totally in 3D, even if you didn’t actually see the whole set-piece.
For example, the backdrops were curved at the bottom, you would only see this if you looked to the side but the whole shape was inserted into the frame as it would be in real life, which I wasn’t expecting.
2. How do you compare working within a virtual studio and a real-world studio?
In the real world studio, there is a lot riding on the days of the shoot. In this case, it would be seeing if the set pieces work together in the studio – all the separate elements coming together on the day. No real room for change or error!
But what was incredible with the virtual studio was that we could try compositions out,
and try different shaped set pieces,
and try different colours, all over the screen.
It was amazing to sample different ideas before settling on the best.
3. With the Covid-19 situation, can you see CGI becoming a key aspect of being able to produce your ideas and creations?
I think that there will be no taking away from the creative energy that is present on a real-life set, I think that the industry is quite old school and like it how it is.
However, the ease at which ideas can be made into reality with CGI feels exciting, immediate and super modern. Considering how quickly content is needed these days, I can definitely see it being more in the forefront.
4. CGI has lots of benefits on paper, with reduced overheads key to decision-makers. As someone tasked with developing ideas into reality, what benefits did you find?
As mentioned before, the concept of being able to try different colours, textures, positions was incredible.
Normally just moving one piece of the set could take 10 minutes, changing the lighting takes ages etc. So just being able to point and change something – then change it back was liberating and actually really satisfying.
Knowing that I had exercised my ideas to the full and deduced what looked right.
5. If you were starting a new CGI project, would you approach it differently having experienced the capabilities and the processes involved in creating a virtual project?
Yes, I would actually create something a lot more adventurous and creative.
On this project, I was literally translating a set idea that was meant for a studio into CGI.
Next time, knowing the limitless outcomes, I would go a bit more wild!