Search form

axisVFX Delivers Visual Effects for BBC series ‘Eve’

Led by VFX supervisor Stu Aitken and art director Jon Beeston, Bristol and Glasgow-based visual effects studio creates the visual effects for the brand-new BBC sci-fi series ‘Eve.’

Bristol, UK -- axisVFX, the Bristol and Glasgow-based visual effects studio established by award-winning animation company Axis and visual effects supervisors Grant Hewlett and Howard Jones, has revealed how it created the visual effects for the brand-new BBC series Eve.

Eve was created for the BBC by production company Leopard Drama and is a sci-fi drama that follows lead character Eve, who, it turns out, is no ordinary teenage girl. Eve is the result of an incredibly advanced robotics experiment and the story explores how she survives in our confusing human world.

Eve was shot and produced in Glasgow.” said axisVFX Supervisor Grant Hewlett. “So it was perfect for our Glasgow-based team to be easily on hand for on-set supervision and collaboration with the client, even as shoot days and schedules were changing.”

The axisVFX team was brought into the production in the early stages to design, concept and explore three key areas of the visual effects. The design process, led by axisVFX Supervisor Stu Aitken and Art Director Jon Beeston, was used to finalize Eve’s external control system and how she would be able to remove some of her limbs. It addition to Eve’s VFX requirements, the team also designed and animated a Robotic Spider character which appears in multiple episodes.

“Producer Peter Gallagher was very clear that whilst Eve was to be robotic she should still be appealing, so it was important that the visual effects didn’t come across as sinister or creepy,” said VFX Supervisor Stu Aitken. “We designed a touch screen style control system for Eve that could be accessed by the other characters via the surface of her skin. This control system also gave her the ability to remove her own hand in the first episode, with some hilarious results.”

Once the design and concept work was complete the axisVFX team went to work on building the 3D models of Eve’s hand and the Robotic Spider. Eve’s hand was built from photogrammetry images of Eve actress Poppy Lee Friar, and the electronic internals were added showing the man-made structure that lay under her skin.

The scripts demanded that the Robotic Spider was a character that, in spite of its manufactured structure, delivered a performance and was emotive, so animation was crucial to the director and producer on those sequences. In addition the axisVFX team 3D printed a number of practical versions of the Robotic Spider which were used when the actors had to handle the character.

“Our animation team worked on a number of test animations for both Eve’s hand and the Robotic Spider character before the plates were shot,” said VFX Supervisor Stu Aitken. “This allowed us to get a feel for what worked and then when we were on set we could work with the episode director to choreograph the action.”

The axisVFX crew composited and finished all the shots in their Bristol studio with data being transferred seamlessly between the two locations and all client reviews and feedback happening centrally via Shotgun.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with the BBC team again and we’ve enjoyed the challenge of pushing the VFX on this fun show, helping strike the perfect balance between drama, comedy and sci-fi action,” said axisVFX Managing Director Richard Scott.

Source: axisVFX

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.