Proof that impressive superhero-level visuals aren’t just for the big screen, Amazon Prime Video’s new series The Boys features work by Oscar-winning creative studio Framestore. The Boys is based on the comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson and has been developed for television by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Eric Kripke.
Framestore has been responsible for putting some of cinema’s biggest heroes on the big screen so when it came to bringing the comic book series’ line-up of characters and their powers to life, Amazon Prime Video was in safe hands with Framestore’s artists. The creative studio worked with the series’ Production VFX Supervisor Stephan Fleet on VFX work that’s featured in several key sequences in both the series’ pilot and finale and features a wide scope of effects.?
For the series’ opening scene, Framestore created a digi-double of Queen Maeve, a member of the series’ famous ‘Seven’ superhero group as she leaps over a car crash of several digitally-replaced police vehicles and stops a hi-jacked bank truck with her body. As Queen Maeve tears through the armoured vehicle, the VFX team needed to add some incredibly detailed debris that flies through the air in super slow motion.
‘While they are about superheroes, Ennis and Robertson’s graphic novels are much more grounded in reality than the high-concept superheroes we’re used to seeing adapted for the big screen. With that in mind, we wanted our effects to reflect that by being more believable and having a certain level of realism to them,’ said Pedro Sabrosa, VFX Supervisor at Framestore. ‘The big challenge in this sequence was adding CG elements to live action footage shot at a high frame rate because you don’t have anywhere to hide; our work needed to be flawless.’?
Here's a breakdown of how that sequence's VFX work came together:?
Framestore also delivered effects for a key fight sequence featuring the superpowers of Starlight, a hero with the ability to shoot blinding light from her hands. The nature of this power meant that it could only be realised using VFX and in designing it, Sabrosa and his team went through several stages of complicated visualisation which also included enlisting the talents of Framestore’s art department to help bring the power to life.?
‘The biggest challenge with visualising Starlight’s powers on-screen was realising the impact it had on the wider environment, something that saw the team needing to re-light large portions of the scene,’ added Pedro. ‘This sequence again featured lots of slow motion shots for which the team needed to strike a balance between creating realistic in-scene lighting and producing something that had a good-looking aesthetic.'
Here's how that scene came together.?
‘Episodic programming is in a really interesting growth period, both in the ambition of content producers and the expectations of audiences. The high-quality of content available on streaming services like Amazon Prime Video means our television team is continually delivering sequences that wouldn’t be out of place in big-budget films,’ said Christopher Gray, Executive Producer for Television at Framestore. This is an important area for Framestore and one that’s exciting to be at the heart of as the department continues to deliver the highest-quality effects to some of the biggest names in episodic programming.’
The Boys is just one of several episodic projects on this year’s slate for Framestore’s television team. Following a fan premiere at SDCC, the series is now available on Amazon Prime Video.