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Lux Aeterna Shares ‘Einstein and the Bomb’ Creative Breakdown

Studio delivers around 70 VFX shots for Netflix’s 90-minute historical docudrama delving into Einstein, his groundbreaking ideas, and his influence on development of the atomic bomb.

VFX studio Lux Aeterna has shared their work creating approximately 70 shots for Netflix’s docudrama Einstein and the Bomb, directed by Anthony Philipson and penned by Philip Ralph. The 90-minute historical feature delved into Albert Einstein’s influence on the formation of the atomic bomb; unfolding Einstein's groundbreaking ideas and his involvement in the development of the atomic bomb after unveiling his iconic equation, E=MC2.

Executive producers James Van Der Pool and Andrew Cohen, along with producer Sophie Chapman, led the Lux Aeterna team.

“One of the challenges we faced was the recreation of the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, which no longer exists,” said Lux Aeterna creative director Rob Hifle. “For a propaganda scene, we digitally reconstructed the hall from scratch. This involved combining live-action shots, featuring the cast and extras at Shepperton Studios, with VFX managing the building, additional extras, and lighting control in Nuke.”

“We built this based on historical research and a replica model of the hall,” he continued. “Using Houdini, Maya, and Nuke, we replicated a photorealistic version. The scene incorporated hundreds of extras, captured using a combination of VFX crowd simulations and green screen footage. This model was shared with Production Designer Noam Piper to ensure total consistency and authenticity.”

Maintaining consistent lighting across the complex scene enabled the seamless integration of elements. The 3D team, led by CG supervisor Timmy Willmott, ensured lighting matched VFX plates. The compositors, led by compositing supervisor Tav Flett, provided AOVs (Arbitrary Output Variables) which offered precise control over elements like diffuse color, specular highlights, and shadows. The approach resulted in a consistent blend of CGI and live-action components and shot to shot continuity.

Einstein and the Bomb is now streaming on Netflix outside the U.S.

Source: Lux Aeterna