Encore continues Charmed effects work

Encore continues Charmed effects work – Post News

HOLLYWOOD — Encore Hollywood (www.encorehollywood.com) is providing visual effects services for the sixth season of the WB’s Charmed. Encore Hollywood produces, on average, more than 75 visual effects shots for each one-hour episode. The current season is slated to include 22 hours, bringing the facility’s contribution to 1,600 shots in a six-month production schedule.

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While many of the effects regularly featured in the show revolve around the sisters’ own magical powers–freezing time, “vanquishing” evildoers and “orbing” from place to place–there are also episode-specific visual effects that might call for eliminating the Golden Gate Bridge or turning puppies into handsome young men.

“Visual effects are very important to Charmed,” explains Peter Chomsky, the show’s co-producer. “It’s a show about magic and without being able to convey the magic of the magic, we wouldn’t be Charmed. We have gone as big as 150 visual effects in a single one-hour show. They can be as simple as a wire removal, all the way up to the ‘vanquish’ of a demon spread across five shots, and everything in between. It’s all a part of the repertoire that we use to tell the story.”

Nearly all of the work is accomplished by Encore Hollywood visual effects producer Tim Jacobsen and four artist–Jason Fotter, Trey Freeman, Sean Mullen and Craig Kuehne. Occasional support is provided by Encore’s 3D team of Greg Tsadilas, Matt Von Brock, Dan Lopez, Mitch Gates and Kurt McKeever, and by Discreet Inferno artists Mandy Sorenson and Bob Minshall.

During the show’s first season, most of the visual effects work was accomplished using Discreet Inferno systems, but over the years the workload has shifted to desktop systems and now 90 percent of the show’s effects are accomplished using Adobe After Effects running on four dual-processor OSX Macs.

The “orbing” effect is one of the series’ most common. Rather than use camera tracking data, Encore’s artists replicate camera action by eye, hand and feel. When shooting production elements, other actors in the shot are simply asked to freeze in position. Encore artists will use morph effects to disguise the inevitable small facial or body movements that occur in such situations.

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