3sixtymedia has completed one its most ambitious jobs yet, a six-month project to create the special effects for ITV drama Murder on the Orient Express, which will be shown on Christmas Day.

The Manchester-based facility was tasked with creating 1930s European vistas as a back drop to the Agatha Christie classic, which saw a full-size replica of the Orient Express transported from Peterborough to a forest near Pinewood Studios.

“This was one of our biggest visual effects projects to date,” said VFX supervisor Tanvir Hanif. “We created over 200 digital effects shots including digitally painted vistas, CGl train carriages, digital blizzards, storm systems, CG set extensions and countless green screen shots.”

In addition to building the illusion of a journey across Europe, 3sixtymedia turned a disused train line in a field in Peterborough into Istanbul Station with several angles needed to establish the luxury train in the cavernous station (see picture).

“3D Maya was used for the creation of much of the CGI builds,” Hanif said. “We also used Maya’s nParticles system to create particle snow and Fusion was used for compositing and tracking, as well as SynthEyes for 3D tracking shots. The digital forest was created using Vue 9.”