As Below the Line News notes, Encore's team of more than 200 artists are doing some of the best VFX work in TV.
Initially established to handle small fixes for clients coming to Encore for color and conform services, Encore VFX has emerged as a major player in episodic visual effects, racking up Emmy and VES Award recognition as the lead VFX vendor on high profile shows. The success and continued growth of Encore VFX is partially attributed to savvy collaboration across the studio’s four locations, which together boast a collective of artists more than 200 strong, as well as the efficient management of challenging television budgets and timelines.
Encore VFX Burbank handles the bulk of work for “The Flash,” “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow.” In the past 10 months alone, Encore VFX Burbank has delivered more than 6,000 VFX shots, including full CG shots, complex environments and detailed digital doubles of most of the shows’ recurring characters. “The volume of work each week can be overwhelming but for the most part, everyone here is really excited and passionate about the projects; we love what we do and have fun doing it,” said 2D Supervisor Andranik Taranyan. Added 3D Supervisor Rick Ramirez, “Our artists get an opportunity to work on all shows since we divvy assignments based on skillset.” To keep ideas flowing freely, 3D Supervisor Thomas Connors explained, “We like to have more seasoned artists sit with mid-level or junior artists so that everyone is constantly learning and elevating the overall quality.” That commitment to continued education ensures that Encore VFX artists are fully capable of executing whatever VFX Supervisor Armen Kevorkian dreams up to pitch to production.
Considering the scope of “The Flash,” “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow,” Encore VFX Burbank will sometimes tap sister offices, including Hollywood and Vancouver, during peak periods. Encore VFX Vancouver serves as a local production hub for “The Flash” as well as helps with creating VFX for “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow.” Beyond superheroes, Encore VFX Vancouver is gearing up for a high-profile CG-heavy project. “I spent the last year handpicking a core crew of talent to ensure we have the creative resources to deliver consistently impressive work; we’re a corporate-backed company, but we’re also a boutique of wonderfully talented artists,” said Encore VFX Vancouver EP Bob Habros. Another shared project at Encore VFX Vancouver is fantasy series “Shadowhunters,” which is led out of Encore VFX Toronto. From concepting to facilitating a vampire massacre, Encore VFX Toronto packs a well-rounded digital punch. VP of Encore VFX Toronto Mike Kowalski noted, “Having solid creative is a given in this industry, but we put just as much emphasis on the technical side of content creation. When things are done right, you can deliver on time and above expectations – something we all strive to accomplish.” In tacking everything from set extensions and explosions to fluid simulations and even photoreal elements for shows like “Hawaii Five-0,” “NCIS” and “Scorpion,” Encore VFX Hollywood 3D Supervisor Quentin Frost shared, “Getting client input on work in progress is hugely beneficial. We can nail down the basics early on and focus on refining the work.”
Looking to the future, Encore VFX leadership across facilities agree that episodic quality is inching further towards that of feature film, and while technology advancements are greasing the wheels, the transition to 4K means CG elements must also hold up to high resolution scrutiny. Though each location may have slightly different approaches, solid technical infrastructure, a commitment to quality and artist importance remain common threads across Encore VFX.