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Union Recreates Renaissance-Era Florence for ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’

UK-based Union VFX re-creates Renaissance-era Florence for the second season of STARZ Original series Da Vinci’s Demons.

London-based Union VFX has provided key visual effects work over several episodes of the second season of the STARZ Original series Da Vinci’s Demons, produced by Adjacent Productions. The first episode premieres in the UK on April 4 at 10PM on FOX UK.

As a lead visual effects vendor for the series, the Soho-based company has recreated the Renaissance era city of Florence, tackling entirely computer-generated environments populated with digital buildings, crowds, and horses.

Alongside the digital city scenes, Union has constructed 100% computer generated underwater environments, complete with marine life, particles and bubbles. On the surface, CG Basilisk and Sentinel ships are set to sail a fully digital ocean, developed using the company’s proprietary water pipeline.

“Union were the primary vendors on Da Vinci's Demons, Season 2 and they really upped our VFX game considerably,” said series creator, writer, and executive producer David S. Goyer. “Feature-level quality on a premium cable budget. Excellent work all around.”

“Union’s workflow has been custom built for film projects, but it’s ideal for a television drama such as Da Vinci’s Demons, which required a large scope of ambitious visual effects,” said visual effects supervisor Adam Gascoyne. “During production we made significant upgrades to many of our in-house tools to help us achieve some really creative and technically challenging shots.”

Union completed 250 shots in total, from design and pre-visualization to final execution.

Other recent television projects at Union include Babylon and Dancing on the Edge; film projects include Philomena, How I Live Now, Trance, Hyde Park on Hudson, 127 Hours, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and The Woman in Black. Union also played an integral role as part of Danny Boyle’s core creative team for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Film projects currently in production at Union include Black SeaFar from the Madding Crowd, Suffragette, The Inbetweeners Movie 2, Theory of Everything, The Silent Storm Untitled Lance Armstrong Biopic.

Source: Union VFX

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.