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Barbarians Rising

Visual Effects

After the epic ‘World War 2 From Space’ that won Simon Clarke and Graham Stott an Emmy with Director Simon George, we had the opportunity with October Films to turn the clock back over 1500 years to create over 400 shots for History Channels’ “Barbarians Rising” a historical 8-part drama doc that tells the story of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire from the perspective of the Barbarian rebel leaders. Filmed over 12-weeks in Bulgaria, the VFX team supervised many blood thirsty battle scenes, shooting plates and elements to provide the backdrop for digital armies of Romans and Barbarians using Goalem crowd replication software.

3D assets were created with exacting detail to ensure that they could be placed next to the live action extras even in mid shots, this included cloth simulation for free flowing garments when fighting running and walking. Invisible effects included the piercing of skin with arrows and swords, beheading, additional blood and scars for example.

The series also required the design and execution of a number of analytical graphics that provided the global, strategic and historical context for the drama.  For this we designed a stylised earth and infrared style camera to help explain the strategic movement of Romans and rebel hoards across the globe. See our ‘making of’ for a behind the scenes look at our work.

Key Credits

Broadcaster: History Channel
Production Company: October Films
Executive Producers: Adam Bullmore, Jos Cushing
Series Producers: Michael Waterhouse, Chloe Leland
Drama Directors: Declan O’Dwyer, Maurice Sweeney
Edit Director: Jim Greayer
VFX Creative Director: Simon Clarke
VFX Supervisor: Graham Stott
VFX Producer: Clare Tinsley, Scott Metcalfe
3D Supervisor: Jem Grimshaw