Watch these ‘Black as Night’ VFX breakdowns

Showcasing the work by VFX Legion.

In this VFX breakdown video, VFX Legion discusses its work on the vampire tale, Black as Night, part of Amazon Studio’s original film anthology – Welcome to Blumhouse. You’ll see the work included fire effects, human-to-vampire transitions, gore effects and more. The video also includes a look at the previs and lookdev for one of the disintegration effects.

Here’s some details from a press release about the work:

Legion’s Co-Founder/CD James David Hattin provided the creative direction for the film’s digital effects. Based in Burbank, the visual effects industry veteran worked closely with the production company and the director to ensure that the final shots aligned with her vision.

The LA studio’s Head of Production, and Dylan Yastremski, Head of Production at Legion’s B.C. facility, maintained an overview of the job, assessing its needs, and managing the logistics of producing the large volume of shots. They assigned work and scheduled artists, strategically allocating resources to maximize efficiency and keep the job on budget, while delivering the highest-quality effects.

“Marty knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish with each visual effect and communicated with us through every stage of the production,” says Hattin. “The time dedicated to discussing shots, working out small details, exploring ways to cost-effectively elevate the payoff of each digital effect was well spent. The close collaboration enabled our team to deliver final shots that met – and often exceeded – her expectations.”

The range of effects created for Black as Night runs the gamut – from transitioning humans to vampires to designing the look and progression of their digital demise – and everything in between.

Legion transformed teeth into sharp fangs, replaced human eyes with the mesmerizing orbs of a vampire, and created smoke emanating from skin touched by silver. Artists engulfed people in CG flames, scorched flesh, animated bodies on fire as they fell from a window. digitally materialized clouds of garlic dust and billows of ash, along with creating a variety of other effects that the film required.

The variety of tools used to create the effects for ‘Black as Night’ include The Foundry’s Nuke for compositing, Autodesk’s Maya for animation, SideFX Houdini for ash, smoke, fire, garlic powder, as well as proprietary technology integrated into Legion’s pipeline.

Lee Go was very keen on making the demise of the vampires a shocking affair, with the undead exploding as they meet their end. After multiple tests and exploring various options, Legion came up with an effect that digital detonated the blood-sucking creatures with a force that obliterates their human shells leaving a dense cloud of ash. The team fine-tuned the look, lighting, and texture, creating final shots with the impact the director was seeking.

Check out the breakdown below.

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