How do you produce a nearly 8-minute space battle (arguably the longest continuous space battle in TV history) that rivals the likes of Star Wars on episodic television?
How do you produce a nearly 8-minute space battle (arguably the longest continuous space battle in TV history) that rivals the likes of Star Wars on episodic television? First, you need a maestro in Seth MacFarlane who has often pushed the creative limits of his productions, orchestrating elaborate sequences. But this may be his most magnificent opus yet. With a clear vision, you need the perfect team—Luke McDonald, The Orville’s Visual Effects Supervisor, collaborated with two visual effects houses led by the talented VFX team at FuseFX.
“It’s an incredibly fun new challenge every week, but this was an epic battle—that rivals anything you may see in any epic space saga. When you’re talking creating a space odyssey, you know what you’re up against and what it’s going to be compared to, so we needed to raise the bar. And after hours of hard work, lots of coffee and an amazing team rallying we put together what I would argue is the ambitious and visually stunning space battle ever made for commercial television. – Tommy Tran, VFX Supervisor (FuseFX)
We’ve seen space battles before—how did the FuseFX team make this battle special for viewers? The sheer volume of shots alone speaks to the complexities tackled. The FuseFX team worked on more than 108 shots (comprising of ‘X’ screen time) for the sequence. The number of shots and the quality behind the space battle took an army of inspired and amazing artists.
The tech component helped shepherd the project further. The FuseFX team wrote optimization tools that allowed them to bring in Maya files into 3ds Max to match their workflow and utilized render ready assets, which allowed them to automate firing of 3D lasers, prebuilt debris, and explosions.
“The Orville is an exploration based series that continuously pushes the boundaries of its expeditions throughout space and within its ships crew — our visual effects teams are no stranger to these undertakings. Working alongside FuseFX to deliver groundbreaking photorealistic work within the constraints of a network television show is nothing short of incredible. Utilizing the facilities robust pipeline paired with its unmatched talent base is one of the primary reasons we are able to deliver feature quality VFX in mere weeks. FuseFX has a larger then life presence on our show, but never ceases to provide a personalized boutique experience throughout from concept to final delivery.” – Brooke Noska, VFX Producer – The Orville