MPC was involved right from the start of this project, working closely with 4Creative and director Keith McCarthy to concept the overall look and feel for the films. The promos are a teaser for Channel 4’s new thriller Utopia, centering around The Utopia Experiments, a legendary graphic novel shrouded in mystery.
The work leverages the idea that what you can't see is often more terrifying than what you can. The piece aims to build suspense as we follow the main characters through a vivid yellow labyrinth, running from an unseen and imagined danger. MCP VFX Supervisor Michael Gregory said, “This was a fantastic project to work on and we were given a great deal of creative freedom to play around with the look and feel of the piece. We went on to complete a full pre-vis of the set and environment at MPC ahead of the shoot.
In addition to building content for television, MPC are also adapting the assets for other media formats including online rich media.
Following the pre-vis, a full-scale labyrinth green screen set was built which was measured for 3D replication. Once the live action was shot, the main characters were keyed onto the striking yellow background. Matte painting and filters were applied to create the final painted effect, which was designed by MPC artists.
“One of the most challenging parts was creating shadows for the characters, we wanted to use them to reveal the structure of the environment. We rebuilt the shadows using run cycles we captured on the set and projecting them on the 3d geometry”Michael said.
The MPC team were also tasked with adding background elements and textures, including the screen-print effect of the city, and lighting renders on the scenes.