Zoic Tells the VFX Story of Once Upon A Time
Revolutionizing the approach to visual effects, Zoic’s Environmental Unification System (Z.E.U.S.) provides real time camera tracking and rendering of the virtual environments on set. This groundbreaking technology creates unprecedented creative flexibility for the cast and crew working on the green screen stage. Z.E.U.S. allows the DP to tailor the lighting for the virtual environment and make immediate adjustments. The real time feedback from Z.E.U.S. enables talent to navigate through the virtual environment. This creates never-before-seen set capabilities and film quality effects on a television budget and schedule.
“Once Upon A Time is an amazing creative opportunity for Zoic,” says Andrew Orloff, Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director at Zoic Studios. “The highly detailed environments and imaginative characters of the series' fairy tale world have challenged us to expand and fine-tune both our Z.E.U.S. and animation pipelines for television.”
Viewers who caught the debut episode of Once Upon a Time surely witnessed the magic of Zoic and Z.E.U.S. at work. The artists at Zoic Studios digitally reproduced the highly detailed castle interiors for the war room and ballroom scenes from the initial concept designs of Art Director Mark Worthington. These sets were optimized for real time playback on set, enabling Director Mark Mylod to create a dynamic world that fits the larger-than-life tales behind the series.
Production and visual effects teams worked together within a grueling pilot schedule and limited budget to find the balance between the practical and virtual sets. For example, with only a table and columns on set, Z.E.U.S. delivered the dark walls and glowing fires that altered the mood for the tense war room scene. Zoic and Z.E.U.S. also played a tremendous role in the pivotal ballroom wedding scene during the series opening, extending the practical columns, adding the stained glass windows and filling the room with digital guests.
Zoic’s visual effects and environments created using Z.E.U.S. will continue to play a major role as the hit series continues to unfold the mysteries of the storybook world in weeks to come. Once Upon a Time airs on Sundays at 8 PM on ABC.
About Zoic Studios:
Zoic Studios is a multiple Emmy and V.E.S. award winning visual effects (VFX) company headquartered in Culver City, CA that specializes in visual effects for feature films, episodic television, commercials, video games, advertising design and interactive online media. Founded by five partners in 2002, the company has expanded to a full-scale global VFX powerhouse with studios in both Los Angeles and Vancouver, BC that is redefining the industry, efficiently delivering over 500 visual effects shots per week on time and within budget. Zoic has created effects for popular television shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CSI, Fringe, V, True Blood and its Emmy-winning work on Firefly. Film credits include District 9, Zombieland, Get Smart, Spiderman 2, The Day After Tomorrow and many others. Zoic has also delivered ground-breaking visual effects in commercial spots for high profile brands including Playstation, Craftsman, Gatorade, Jeep, Nationwide and Walmart.
For more information on Zoic Studios, please visit: www.zoicstudios.com.