Encore VFX Builds Virtual Vegas
On CBS’s new series Vegas, the forces of law and order do battle with organized crime in early 1960s Sin City. Set in a version of that city that has long since vanished, the production shoots primarily at Santa Clarita Studios near Hollywood, where designers built a period version of the famed “Fremont Street” of Old Vegas on a one-story tall, block-wide set on the facility’s back lot where the cast, led by Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, conduct their seedy business. Encore VFX, based in Hollywood, then digitally enhances the illusion with digital set extensions, including fully detailed classic casinos and various other period-accurate details.
Encore VFX Creative Director and VFX Supervisor Stephan Fleet works on the set collaborating with production to help determine the most creative approach to each of the many shots that will be enhanced. The team initially built LiDAR scans of the set and 3D Lead, Mitch Gates, brought that 3D information into Autodesk 3ds Max so that he and his team could efficiently “rebuild” Fremont Street, including extending upper stories to the hero buildings and extending the street in both directions. Encore also designed the main sign and upper floors of the hero Casino, known as the Savoy.
To match movements of CGI and live-action elements, Encore makes use of its in-house expert SynthEyes tracking team. 2D work is performed in The Foundry's Nuke and Autodesk's Flame. Iterations of shots travel back and forth from Santa Clarita to Hollywood allowing for maximum interactivity and collaboration between production and VFX departments.
Source: Encore VFX