I'm A Virgo

Jamie Barty, our VFX Supervisor Discusses I'm A Virgo

"The show required a lot of troubleshooting for all the different styles of VFX they wanted to use. Some of it was in-camera and visual, some of it was almost full CGI shots."

The sideshow scene had the most VFX per shot of the entire show, so that was challenging and it took a lot to get it to the final cut.  That sequence was the very first thing we started on this project, and yet it was also one of the last things we finished even as we worked on episodes 5, 6, and 7, just because it was so complicated. It had a digital ground, which had digital wheels driving on it, and all the characters inside were digi-doubles. We digitized the tires spinning and the smoke coming from them, and they’re in this digital environment with digital lights and buildings, too. Only Cootie, who was hanging onto the car, wasn’t digital.

"It was a lot of camera trickery with forced perspective. If someone is close to the camera, they look bigger. Cootie was always twice as close to the camera as everybody else on the scene, plus he was standing on a platform, so he looked really big. "

There’s some shots that might look or feel digital, but are surprisingly practical. A good example of that is there’s a shot of Cootie on the stage chatting to Felix. He remembers something from the past, and a thought bubble pops out of his head. And most people think “easy, VFX, it’s just motion graphics and purely digital.” But that one wasn’t. We actually printed 300 frames– so we did tape the sequence and digitally stylize it, but then we physically printed out every single frame of that speech bubble, actually crumpled it up, and then photographed it.