Team of around 60 artists created 124 VFX shots for The Secrets Of Dumbledore

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One Of Us has revealed the work behind its 124 VFX shots in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore.

A team of around 60 artists worked on the feature film, which was released in April of this year. Environments such as the Hogwarts Great Hall, the Room of Requirement, and more were created by the One Of Us.

Ashlee Sutherland, who was in the role of VFX producer for the first time on this production, said: “My favourite sequence we worked on was probably Return to Hogwarts. I have been watching the Potter films for years and it was very exciting to be working on the actual Great Hall.”

The famous Great Hall set had to be recreated, with the actors filmed on a blue screen.

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VFX supervisor Louis Laflamme-Fillion revealed: “We also had to add a vision of Bhutan. In the storyline this is where Dumbledore shows the rest of the cast a glimpse of where they are going to in the following sequences: which is a temple in Bhutan.”

He continued: “Dumbledore is painting on the landscape with volumetric emissions coming out of the wand, which were meant to fill in the landscape.

“We had to create this painting effect so the particles and volumes coming out of the wand not only form a moving landscape but also have visual clarity and look to be a deliberate result of Jude’s hand motion in space, as if he was painting a canvas.”

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The team also worked on a full CG environment for the Room of Requirement, attempting to recreate and revisit the door transition effect from previous Harry Potter films, where the door appears in the wall. It allowed them to experiment with the rig for the portkey effect where the characters disappear through a portal.

“Obviously, it has nothing to do with a regular human rig, where you’d have a human with normal joints,” explained Laflamme-Fillion. “Here everything needed to be stretchy and kind of whipped around the portkey. However, we still needed to be able to have control over the placement of the limbs. So the legs could still walk while the person was being stretched and hands were still connected to the suitcases and all the different characters.”

Another environment created was a recreation of the Brasserie Zedel in London. “Production wasn’t able to access the location because of covid restrictions,” said Laflamme-Fillion.

“There were full CG environment builds and then from that sequence we transitioned to - we were calling it - ‘white world’ - that is like the ethereal world of Dumbledore’s dreams or memories, and the set catches fire as the memories collapse.”

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At the end of this sequence there is an “annoying tea cup” joked Laflamme-Fillion. “The liquid was meant to move in a magical and dramatic fashion with some wrinkles. We had to find the balance between making it magical, which is something unexpected, but still responding to certain laws of physics that would make it look like liquid and not like jelly, so it’s all about finding that balance.”