10 Billion Clicking Breakthrough

Chinese domestic TV drama Legend of Fu Yao was broadcast both in Chinese and English on major video websites of Western countries such as YouTube. Notably, it was viewed over 1 million times on YouTube within 48 hours of its debut. The drama is currently one of the top popular Chinese shows on viki.com, an online platform where Asian TV shows with multi-language subtitles are available. It is the fastest-ever Chinese TV series to hit 1 million views on YouTube. Until now, Legend of Fu Yao has exceeded 10 billion clicks on a single video platform-v.qq.com, major video streaming platform in China.

Plot and Production

Legend of Fuyao is a martial arts fantasy saga tracing the fantastic rise of a lowly-ranked servant girl, Fuyao, to the queen of an empire in an ancient continent where five kingdoms compete for power. Along the way, she keeps running into a handsome prince who has a hidden agenda. There are plenty of secrets, intrigue, and actions in the stunning romantic drama.

The story takes place in the universe of five kingdoms that is led by the Imperial City of Tianquan. Fuyao was formed from a lotus borne by the Ancient firmament. Adopted as an orphan, she served as a slave for the Xuanyuan sect from the Taiyuan Kingdom. A series of tragedies resulted in a journey across the land to gather the magical artifacts that could lift the curse that blighted her life. Along the way, she met the Crown Prince of Tianquan who was under secret missions to quell the unrest in the Five Kingdoms. The pair fell in love as they battled the complicated politics and power play between the different forces. With the help of her loyal companions, she sets out to unravel the heinous plot of the ancient firmament. She would discover her real identity of being the "Lotus princess". Fuyao would ultimately succeed in destroying the evils forces and bringing peace to the land of the Five Kingdoms.


Cloud Rendering Boosting Your Production Process

ILLUMINA(聚光绘影) is responsible for the comprehensive supervision of the whole film and the production of full-length visual effects. Fox Renderfarm provides the inspirational TV series Legend of Fuyao of the cloud rendering service, successfully breaking through the 2018 summer season and opening a new chapter of Chinese costume inspirational TV series. 

The special effects help to improve the quality of the film and provides a strong guarantee for box office and high ratings. However, with the maturity of production technology and the improvement of the audience's aesthetic level, the time and funds required for special effects production have also multiplied, and the completion of high-quality rendering content in a limited time has become a major problem for film and television producers. In recent years, the emergence of cloud computing has gradually changed this situation. As early as 2009 when shooting "Avatar," Hollywood has tried global data transmission and rendering in the cloud. After 2010, cloud services began to enter the film and television rendering industry.

Nowadays, more and more box office blockbusters use cloud rendering to improve output efficiency, such as War Wolf, "Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon" and so on. The special effects lens of the movie is generally around 2000. In contrast, the special effects lens of television series has reached 10 times that of a movie. The mass effect of the special effects requires the support of cloud rendering service like Fox Renderfarm. The total effect time of Legend of Fuyao is nearly 1700 minutes, and the total number of special effects shots is nearly 30,000. Using cloud rendering can not only save time but also meet the higher requirements of special effects rendering for details, light, and shadow.


Behind the 30000 Special Effect Scenes

As a cloud rendering service provider that promotes special effects rendering, Fox Renderfarm interviewed its special effects production team, ILLUMINA(聚光绘影) (Fox Renderfarm Strategic Partner), to elaborate on the difficulties and difficulties in special effects production.


Q1. How is the visual effect setting of Legend of Fuyao? As the visual effect manager of this drama, what do you think of the results?

ILLUMINA is fortunate to be responsible for the production and supervision of the visual effects of this summer's hot-selling dramas Legend of Fuyao. I mainly supervise the visual production plan and effect of the project Legend of Fuyao. Presenting a more textured picture experience, the producers set Legend of Fuyao as the benchmark for the realistic style, while adhering to the principle of respecting the original script. I believe the audience can also feel the same as seen in previous TV series. The CG characters and effects in the Legend of Fuyao are realistic, making the effects more physical and practical.


Q2. What are difficulties to make shots in the production of the whole drama?

There are many biological characters in the drama Legend of Fuyao, Many of these creatures do not exist in real life, so we and the producers In the preliminary preparation stage, a lot of research and development work was done in combination with the description of the original and the script.

The hardest part is to give the real existence of the created CG creatures. When creating assets, they are carefully created according to the anatomical structure, from bones to muscles to skin to hair. The relationship between the fur of the character and the bones and muscles is in accordance with the movement principle of real animals. Special protagonists such as ingots, The male and female actors have a lot of movement interactions and emotional interactions, and we will give them more emotional and soulful performances in production.


"CG+Real Person" Interaction

There are a lot of CG characters in Legend of Fuyao that need to interact with the actors, which means that we have to solve the cumbersome problems of real shooting and CG in the whole process of making the whole drama. Before the shooting, the precise setting of the character, including the image, the size of the body, and the special effects props that are ready to interact with the actors can make the actors have the sight-seeing auxiliary performance during the shooting period, and the direction is clearer and more emotional when performing. The on-site special effects staff will collect the necessary information such as lights and camera data to ensure that the CG characters in the follow-up production are exactly the same as the light and shadow on the real person so that they can be more realistically integrated into the real shot.

In order to use the production time more effectively and achieve better results, the producer will help us to send us the relevant main scene shooting clips in advance, and we will internally test the CG creatures in the actual picture.

The Sacred Creature

The sacred creature of the drama is a completely fictional mouse creature. In order to create this character more realistically, we used the time of the preparatory period to first make the production of the real hamster digital character and photographed the material on the producer's workstation, which opened up the previous research and development work. With this research and development, for the latter The real performance of the ingot shows the practical experience, so that the ingot's fur, bones, and muscles are closer to the real animals in the movement, achieving better animation effects.


Q3.  ILLUMINA has participated in the production of many excellent movies and TV series. What do you think is the difference between movie visual effects and TV drama visual effects? 

The special effects of the series are relatively large in production. With Legend of Fuyao, the overall effect of the swaying is nearly 1,700 minutes, and the total number of shots is nearly 30,000 shots. A visual effect accounted for 50% of the film in the whole film. Take the movie Suprise(万万没想到) that we have done in 15 years. The whole film is 90 minutes, the special effect time is 45 minutes, and the special effect lens has more than 1000. Look, the amount of special effects of the drama is 36 times that of the movie, and the volume of production is very large. This is just the production volume of a project. Companies often face project parallelism, so scientific and efficient project management in visual effects management is particularly important.

At the beginning of the establishment of ILLUMINA, it attached great importance to process management and technology research and development. It completed many film projects that were important in the early stage and was familiar with the film industry process. Based on the actual situation of domestic projects, it independently developed high-efficiency and scientific process management. Software to improve coordination efficiency and schedule management.

Scientific process management can improve coordination rate, and the development of visual effects technology helps us to improve production efficiency. For example, in the project of  Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, a real fluid simulation system was developed for marine fluids; In the "War Warriors" project, the CGI animal hair system and real dynamics solve the development of the muscle system and skeletal system for the biological animals and the open feather system of birds. Many complex technologies like this are generally developed by the product group, and then converted into specific application plug-ins by the software group, and finally put into mass production.

Q4. It is understood that a large number of special effects shots in the play use cloud rendering. Can you talk about the advantages of cloud rendering?

As the volume of the project grows larger, the amount of rendering required will be larger and larger. After all, our internal rendering farm can carry a limited amount of rendering. When the internal rendering farm cannot meet a large number of rendering requirements,  that's when Fox Renderfarm step in. The throughput and unique rendering environment to the film industry is the best choice for us to solve the huge rendering needs, reducing the investment in rendering assets, helping us save costs and improve efficiency.

At the same time, the virtual assets in film and television production are relatively large, the production environment is complex, and the technical requirements for network transmission, security and confidentiality, rendering environment and fault tolerance are also extremely high. It is difficult to find a good cloud rendering service platform that is well connected with the film and television industry in China. In order to make cloud rendering technology better applied to the film and television industry, this year's strategic cooperation between ILLUMINA and Fox Renderfarm will jointly build a visual cloud rendering platform.

Cloud rendering cannot only charge on-demand according to the number of frames, duration, storage space, etc., so that small-production, low-cost movies can also get better special effects rendering, and real-time, online data transmission. And schedule management, and even achieve automatic management of budget, time and other aspects to maximize efficiency.

The future is right upon us. Today's cloud computing and cloud storage are just the beginning of cloud services. I hope that the cloud computing industry will truly penetrate the film and television industry in the future and provide more technical support for the film and television industry.



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