London’s Framestore is famous for so convincingly putting Sandra Bullock into space and settling a marmalade-loving bear in London. More recently, for an equestrian action sequences in Season 4 of The Crown, their VFX wizards have now turned their hand to replacing the face of a skilled equestrian with that of Erin Doherty, who plays Princess Anne. It’s the first time Framestore has applied machine learning to this kind of task. The VFX team were pleased with its ability to quickly produce usable results given the relative paucity of original material they were able to feed into the artificial neural network.
“When we first started looking at this, there were a number of limitations in resolution available, and these were kind of improving as we went along,. There is no reason why this isn’t going to become a much bigger thing. We’re using it on on other projects, we’ve used it in commercials. It’s quick, and it’s successful. It’s going to be used and it’s an important part of the future. In The Crown, we did actually have to get in there with good old fashioned 2D comping and make further adjustments to the face because the performance of the stunt double wasn’t quite going to achieve the correct output.”Ollie Bersey, 2D Supervisor, Framestore
Framestore worked on 230 shots iain Season 4, including a sequence involving a Highlands stag, where they drew on their experience of animating a reindeer for a 2019 TV commercial and a wide range of animals for BBC 1’s His Dark Materials.
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