Wildscreen Festival Panda Awards Sees One Strange Rock Take Home 3 Awards!

As the home to the BBC’s Natural History Unit as well as the Bristol Natural History Consortium, Bristol has rightly gained a reputation as a leading centre for the understanding and appreciation of the natural world. It makes sense then that it is also home to the world famous Wildscreen Festival, a biennial celebration of wildlife and natural world film making. This years event took place in venues across Bristol Harbourside and was bigger and better than ever before. The city welcomed a host of internationally renowned natural world filmmakers and broadcasters who joined forces to share ideas, form collaborations and compete to pick up a prize at the festival’s culmination; the glittering ‘Green Oscars’ event The Panda Awards, which honour the creativity, innovation and sheer talent in the industry.

This year we are incredibly proud to announce that One Strange Rock won in every category it was recognised for meaning it picked up not one, not two, but THREE Panda Awards at the event!

Episode ‘Gasp’ scooped up two of the prestigious awards; The Doghouse Editing Award and the Music Award. This episode explored the unlikely and unexpectedly interconnected systems that allow life on our planet to breathe. In this episode our VFX helped to explain the process of transpiration, depicting water's journey from the rain forest floor, through the trees and into the clouds. We took live action plates and added the effects to feel as if they were inside the structure of the tree itself.

The Innovation Award was presented to the ‘Home’ episode which saw NASAs most experienced astronaut, Peggy Whitson, smash through the atmosphere on her final journey home. Our photorealistic shots of the Earth from Space throughout the series were critical to the storytelling as the documentary was endorsed by astronauts such as Peggy who left Earth behind to see it for real.

It was a pleasure to be involved in such a ground breaking, unique and jaw-droppingly beautiful documentary about Earth and we are so proud that our hard work, and the hard work of everyone involved, has been recognised in such a way.

The series to date has been viewed by 81 million people worldwide.

 Still from ‘Home’

Still from ‘Home’

Exciting New Visitor Attraction Work

The Moonraker Studio have been very busy recently working on some really exciting Visitor Attraction projects which has seen our work shown in Norway and France.

We were lucky enough to work with award winning Visitor Attraction Design & Installation company Sarner International on three fascinating projects; bringing a polar ship to life, exploring the processes which go into producing the world famous apple brandy Calvados and tracking Norway’s fascinating journey to becoming the landmass it is today.

Head over to our Project page to find out more about our work on each of these projects!

Fram_Image_3.jpg

The Making of One Strange Rock.

Nutopia and Protozoa pictures commissioned Moonraker VFX to work as a creative partner with Framestore on the series One Strange Rock for National Geographic together with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.

  The visual effects team  at Moonraker created sequences across all 10-episodes, which revealed the relationship and inter connectiveness between the planet’s life-support systems. We created an online style guide that VFX artists and directors could reference. This was key in setting the aesthetic vision for the series and had strong input from Darren Aronofsky. As with any creative process, Moonraker, encountered several interesting challenges, the requirement to create shots without any or limited reference material and for the shots to be aesthetically pleasing yet scientifically accurate. 

The visual effects team at Moonraker created sequences across all 10-episodes, which revealed the relationship and inter connectiveness between the planet’s life-support systems. We created an online style guide that VFX artists and directors could reference. This was key in setting the aesthetic vision for the series and had strong input from Darren Aronofsky. As with any creative process, Moonraker, encountered several interesting challenges, the requirement to create shots without any or limited reference material and for the shots to be aesthetically pleasing yet scientifically accurate. 

 “Often we were asked to come up with something that was invisible or had no reference imagery. We had to come up with a visual solution which was emotive and complemented the narrative of the sequence. “This is a far more creative exercise than doing a set extension where the requirement is simply to make something look realistic”
— Graham Stott, Creative Lead at Moonraker VFX. 

The 'Shield' Episode

  In a sequence  of shots revealing the Earth's core, Moonraker analysed detailed imagery of the sun as a starting point and then developed a look that felt unique and unfamiliar. Technically these challenges were overcome by using Houdini for complex simulations of fluids and motions which depicted the intense energy generated within the centre of the earth, a bit like a huge plasma dynamo. 

In a sequence of shots revealing the Earth's core, Moonraker analysed detailed imagery of the sun as a starting point and then developed a look that felt unique and unfamiliar. Technically these challenges were overcome by using Houdini for complex simulations of fluids and motions which depicted the intense energy generated within the centre of the earth, a bit like a huge plasma dynamo. 

“As a result of collaborative teamwork we managed to create a resulting image which was an impressionistic dynamic world representing heat and light from a dynamic space.” 
— Tom Downes, Head of 3D at Moonraker.
 Finished frame showing magnetosphere around the earth.

Finished frame showing magnetosphere around the earth.

 Look development for the Earth's core.

Look development for the Earth's core.

The 'Genesis' Episode

  Shots which represented  the start of life were created by visualising the birth of the cell ‘Luca’ (into what became us – Humans).  These shots commenced with the creation of a digital sketch book: using a variety of sources as inspiration a combination of differential mesh and laplacian growth techniques in Houdini resulted in a series of organic looking shapes for the cells and cell interiors.

Shots which represented the start of life were created by visualising the birth of the cell ‘Luca’ (into what became us – Humans).  These shots commenced with the creation of a digital sketch book: using a variety of sources as inspiration a combination of differential mesh and laplacian growth techniques in Houdini resulted in a series of organic looking shapes for the cells and cell interiors.

 3D concept art for cell interior. 

3D concept art for cell interior. 

 Final image from cell destruction sequence.

Final image from cell destruction sequence.

 One Strange Rock is currently airing on  SKY  and available to download on  Amazon Prime .

One Strange Rock is currently airing on SKY and available to download on Amazon Prime.

Moonraker create stunning VFX for the Calvados Experience

 Moonraker VFX were recently commissioned by Sarner International to create a film for the world-class visitor attraction, the Calvados Experience in Pont l'Evêque, Normandy.  Set on the site of France’s most famous distillery, the Calvados Experience takes the visitor on a journey from the transformation of the humble apple to the famous apple brandy.   The team at Moonraker VFX used stunning shots and 3D projections to explain this most unique of distillation processes.   Our artists used Maya, Nuke and After Effects to create all our shots including an incredible 3D apple mountain projection of 10,000 tumbling apples.    Below is a link to our first press coverage on French TV:

Moonraker VFX were recently commissioned by Sarner International to create a film for the world-class visitor attraction, the Calvados Experience in Pont l'Evêque, Normandy.

Set on the site of France’s most famous distillery, the Calvados Experience takes the visitor on a journey from the transformation of the humble apple to the famous apple brandy. 

The team at Moonraker VFX used stunning shots and 3D projections to explain this most unique of distillation processes. 

Our artists used Maya, Nuke and After Effects to create all our shots including an incredible 3D apple mountain projection of 10,000 tumbling apples.  

Below is a link to our first press coverage on French TV:

 

Moonraker deliver unique, large screen experience at the award winning Fram Museum, Norway!

 Moonraker HQ are very excited this week for the opening of the brand new Antarctica Experience exhibition at the award winning Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway.  This ground breaking exhibition explores the tumultuous journey to Antarctica of the world´s strongest wooden ship, the polar ship ‘Fram’. We were lucky enough to work in collaboration with Sarner International to bring this incredible journey to life.  Through our creation of an entire CGI environment, visitors to the museum will get to experience what the brave crew themselves would have faced during the expedition; from getting stuck in the ice to sailing through vicious storms to finally reaching Antarctica.  10 digital projectors have been custom rigged to the circumference of the ship from which our photo real ocean and storm environment is projected onto the surrounding walls. Visitors standing on the ship will be in the midst of the action and will truly get a sense of what it would have been like to have stood alongside these men.  The Moonraker team delivered a huge 15 minute, 18K movie to project on to the unique and vast canvas of museum wall wrapping around the Fram, spanning a whopping 583 Billion pixels, the equivalent of around 2 and a half feature films!!

Moonraker HQ are very excited this week for the opening of the brand new Antarctica Experience exhibition at the award winning Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway.

This ground breaking exhibition explores the tumultuous journey to Antarctica of the world´s strongest wooden ship, the polar ship ‘Fram’. We were lucky enough to work in collaboration with Sarner International to bring this incredible journey to life.

Through our creation of an entire CGI environment, visitors to the museum will get to experience what the brave crew themselves would have faced during the expedition; from getting stuck in the ice to sailing through vicious storms to finally reaching Antarctica.

10 digital projectors have been custom rigged to the circumference of the ship from which our photo real ocean and storm environment is projected onto the surrounding walls. Visitors standing on the ship will be in the midst of the action and will truly get a sense of what it would have been like to have stood alongside these men.

The Moonraker team delivered a huge 15 minute, 18K movie to project on to the unique and vast canvas of museum wall wrapping around the Fram, spanning a whopping 583 Billion pixels, the equivalent of around 2 and a half feature films!!

Maya Generalists, Production Coordinators & Producers Wanted!

MAYA GENERALISTS, PRODUCTION COORDINATORS & PRODUCERS WANTED TO JOIN MOONRAKER VFX

  YOUR EXPERIENCE:   Moonraker VFX are looking for Maya Generalists with an emphasis on modelling, texturing and rigging for exciting new projects. Experience in delivering to Unity or real time systems is a bonus but not essential.  We are also on the lookout for Production Coordinators and Producers for upcoming projects!  To apply email  jobs@moonrakervfx.com . We'd love to hear from you!

YOUR EXPERIENCE:

Moonraker VFX are looking for Maya Generalists with an emphasis on modelling, texturing and rigging for exciting new projects. Experience in delivering to Unity or real time systems is a bonus but not essential.  We are also on the lookout for Production Coordinators and Producers for upcoming projects!  To apply email jobs@moonrakervfx.com. We'd love to hear from you!

America: Promised Land

 America: Promised Land was a fascinating project to work on at Moonraker.Produced by Nutopia and broadcast on Memorial Day, the documentary takes the viewer on a journey through the history of how America was populated, focusing on the immigration patterns of ethnic groups.  Learn more about our work on this 2-part series by clicking the link below:

America: Promised Land was a fascinating project to work on at Moonraker.Produced by Nutopia and broadcast on Memorial Day, the documentary takes the viewer on a journey through the history of how America was populated, focusing on the immigration patterns of ethnic groups.

Learn more about our work on this 2-part series by clicking the link below:

America promised land

We used multiple two dimensional and three dimensional techniques to achieve the unique look and to ensure that the maps were accurately conveying the census data.

This Weekend's Must Sees!

 The Moonraker Team are going to be glued to our sofas this weekend with a busy schedule of TV must sees. Tonight we’ll be tuning into Channel 5 at 9pm to catch the second instalment of 8 Days That Made Rome. In this episode historian Bettany Hughes delves into the reason behind the Spartacus revolt. Through our visual effects we helped bring the blood thirsty battle scenes to life. On Saturday we can’t wait to see the first episode of Volatile Earth: Killer Volcanos which airs at 7pm on Channel 4. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Blink Films and Series Producer Oli Twinch on this production where we helped recreate, illustrate and explain some of the most extreme catastrophes to have hit the earth.

The Moonraker Team are going to be glued to our sofas this weekend with a busy schedule of TV must sees. Tonight we’ll be tuning into Channel 5 at 9pm to catch the second instalment of 8 Days That Made Rome. In this episode historian Bettany Hughes delves into the reason behind the Spartacus revolt. Through our visual effects we helped bring the blood thirsty battle scenes to life. On Saturday we can’t wait to see the first episode of Volatile Earth: Killer Volcanos which airs at 7pm on Channel 4. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Blink Films and Series Producer Oli Twinch on this production where we helped recreate, illustrate and explain some of the most extreme catastrophes to have hit the earth.

8 Days that Made Rome – Coming Soon!

  Team Moonraker  are very excited to watch 8 Days That Made Rome, a new eight-part programme exploring the 8 key days historian Bettany Hughes believes defined the history of ancient Rome. It was an absolute pleasure to work with the lovely team at October Films on this production and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved in bringing this incredible account to life through our visual effects. 8 Days That Made Rome will be broadcast on Channel 5 on Friday 27th October.

Team Moonraker are very excited to watch 8 Days That Made Rome, a new eight-part programme exploring the 8 key days historian Bettany Hughes believes defined the history of ancient Rome. It was an absolute pleasure to work with the lovely team at October Films on this production and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved in bringing this incredible account to life through our visual effects. 8 Days That Made Rome will be broadcast on Channel 5 on Friday 27th October.

VFX Supervisor Wanted!

VFX SUPERVISOR WANTED TO JOIN MOONRAKER VFX

LOCATION: 26 Oakfield Road, Clifton, BS8 2AT

  THE ROLE:   Moonraker VFX are looking for an experienced and hands on VFX Supervisor to lead two exciting and pioneering projects. You will be responsible for the delivery of the projects, managing and creatively leading the artists throughout the projects and ensuring the correct technical approach is in place. You will work with the producer to ensure clear communication between the artists, client, and creative director. You will also work closely with film director to develop and interpret their creative vision. You will work with the producer to agree a project schedule to kit key deadlines and be responsible for delivering work on time.   YOUR EXPERIENCE:   You will be able to work directly on shots and on relevant software when necessary. You will have at least 10+ years VFX post-production experience and previous VFX Supervisor experience. You will be a highly organised proven team leader with strong motivational qualities.  The contract will run into early 2018. Salary dependent on experience.

THE ROLE:

Moonraker VFX are looking for an experienced and hands on VFX Supervisor to lead two exciting and pioneering projects. You will be responsible for the delivery of the projects, managing and creatively leading the artists throughout the projects and ensuring the correct technical approach is in place. You will work with the producer to ensure clear communication between the artists, client, and creative director. You will also work closely with film director to develop and interpret their creative vision. You will work with the producer to agree a project schedule to kit key deadlines and be responsible for delivering work on time.

YOUR EXPERIENCE:

You will be able to work directly on shots and on relevant software when necessary. You will have at least 10+ years VFX post-production experience and previous VFX Supervisor experience. You will be a highly organised proven team leader with strong motivational qualities.

The contract will run into early 2018. Salary dependent on experience.

Dogs: An Amazing Animal Family Coming Soon!

    Team Moonraker are looking forward to watching Dogs: An Amazing Animal Family produced by our good friends at Offspring Films. Following on from our Best Visual Effects RTS win for Cats: An Amazing Animal Family, the photoreal family tree has been taken to the next level for this new series on the Dog family tree!

 

Team Moonraker are looking forward to watching Dogs: An Amazing Animal Family produced by our good friends at Offspring Films. Following on from our Best Visual Effects RTS win for Cats: An Amazing Animal Family, the photoreal family tree has been taken to the next level for this new series on the Dog family tree!