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Rodeo FX Shares ‘Foundation’ Season 2 VFX Breakdown Reel

VFX studio crafts fully immersive CG environments, working its magic on planet Trantor, its rings, and the season’s final epic battle, elevating the storytelling and visual impact across all 10 episodes of the popular Apple TV+ series. 

Rodeo FX has shared a captivating VFX breakdown showcasing its work on Season 2 of Apple TV+’s hit series Foundation. Working across 10 episodes, the team infused creativity into each one, elevating the storytelling and visual impact.

In the first season, Rodeo FX’s most notable work was the destruction of Trantor and its star. In Season 2, the team once again worked their VFX magic on the Trantor planet and its iconic rings, as well as the season’s epic final battle.

Studio VFX supervisor Arnaud Brisebois shared the challenge of creating massive objects in a CG space, such as the planet, explaining, “Trantor and its enormous orbiting rings posed challenges in achieving a realistic appearance both from a distance and up close.”

The solution was the team’s “meticulous consideration of the scale of details and continuous adjustment of zoom levels for a consistent look in all shots.”

“The intriguing twist arose when establishing a realistic scale for the rings, as a true-to-scale representation would have rendered them minuscule compared to the planet in the show's context,” Brisebois added. “Consequently, a creative approach became necessary for this specific aspect.”

The lookdev and texture work played a pivotal role in ensuring the object appeared harmonious in terms of scale, noted Brisebois.

He continued, “We initiated the process by using sections of a city as the foundation for the object's surface, with a key reference point being the scale of a skyscraper borrowed from Trantor to establish a benchmark for size and maintain visual consistency.”

“Episode 1 distinguished itself by featuring Hari Seldon, a digital consciousness trapped in a full CG environment with a polygonal prism at the narrative's core,” continued Brisebois. “Throughout the season, our dedication to crafting immersive full CG environments aimed to enhance visual storytelling and immerse the audience in the Foundation world.”

Two other scenes, according to Brisebois, demanded special attention: the Veranda scene and the conflict between the Terminites and the Empire.

“The Veranda Scene depicted a gripping beheading ceremony, heightened by the unexpected arrival of Hober Mallow in the whisper ship jumping out of hyperspace directly onto the veranda, leading to explosive action and an attack on the emperor,” explained Brisebois. “The Space battle showcased the conflict between the Terminites and the Empire, featuring the rebel's spaceship and the Empire's preparations for attack.”

Watch Rodeo FX’s VFX breakdown reel:

Reflecting on Rodeo FX’s role in the making of Foundation Season 2, Brisebois shared, “Working on a total of 10 episodes, we infused creativity into each one to elevate storytelling and visual impact. As the story progresses and the war reaches the Empire's doors, we eagerly anticipate what future seasons hold in store.”

Watch Rodeo’s VFX breakdown reel:

Source: Rodeo FX

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.