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    Framestore’s Stunning VFX Works on 'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters'

    Framestore’s Stunning VFX Works on 'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters'

    The series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters premiered on Apple TV+ on Nov. 17, 2023, which intertwines two timelines, the 1950s and 2015, to explore the origins and operations of the Monarch organization within the MonsterVerse. The series follows the Randa siblings, Cate and Kentaro, as they unravel their father’s mysterious past with Monarch, connecting to the early days of the organization with scientists Bill Randa and Keiko Miura. The narrative bridges past and present, weaving a tale of family, legacy, and the colossal Titans that shape their world.

    Under VFX Supervisor Arek Komorowski's guidance, the Framestore studios in Vancouver and Montreal delivered 275 shots for this series based on Legendary's Monsterverse franchise. The team crafted two Titans - the Frost Vark and the Brambleboar - and delivered a range of other visual effects across episodes 3, 4, 7, 9, and 10.

    The Frost Vark

    The Frost Vark, a massive creature with tentacles on its face, is a hybrid of an aardvark, a star-nosed mole, and a pangolin, as seen in episodes 3,4 and 7. 

    The Frost Vark

    Image from Framestore

    According to Animation Supervisor Jye Skinn, Frost Vark’s design drew inspiration from various animals such as rhinos, hippos, elephants, and pangolins. 

    Dave Gagnon, the Creature Supervisor, explains that the creation of the scales posed a significant technical and creative challenge. "We had to ensure their movement and interaction with light were realistic, involving complex rigging, animation, and CFX. To manage the creature’s numerous scales, the team utilized LODs (Levels of Detail) techniques, essential for achieving manageable scenes across all departments," he says. Adding elements of ice and snow introduced an additional layer of complexity.

    VFX breakdown showreel of Frost Vark by Framestore

    The Brambleboar

    The Brambleboar, a creature resembling a massive boar, complete with 25 botanical horns sprouting from its body and face, makes its appearance in episode 9. As part of the design process, the Framestore’s team delved into diverse foliage references, drawing from nature for inspiration while integrating branches and leaves into the creature's form.

    To contribute to the creature's verisimilitude, a grooming simulation was vital in imitating multiple types of moss growing on the boar. This meticulous simulation contributed an extra level of reality, forming a complex and eye-catching texture that added to the Brambleboar's overall natural appearance.

    VFX breakdown showreel of Brambleboar by Framestore

    As the VFX Supervisor Arek Komorowski said, "From crafting simple vehicle assets to challenging creature designs, from intricate FX to invisible visual effects, we really had a great variety of work and a great mix of creative challenges," the Framestore team really did stunning works for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. Congrats to all the artists on Framestore!

    Source: Framestore


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