“Titans” is an all-new live action drama series that follows a group of young soon-to-be Super Heroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe. In this action-packed series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes, including Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and many others. Based on the Teen Titans comic book series, the hotly anticipated show premiered October 12 as the first original series to hit the DC Universe digital subscription service and has already been picked up for a second season. Considering the core narrative of “Titans,” visual effects are essential to depicting the main characters’ super powers as well as amplifying the high stakes action. VFX Supervisor Armen Kevorkian and his team of 200 artists at Encore VFX delivered nearly 1,200 VFX shots for “Titans” season one, working closely with production to bring the Titans characters to life.
“Our guide for all the ‘Titans’ VFX work was to stay grounded in reality, which is no small feat considering the scope. It’s definitely challenging to sell audiences on a green, photoreal tiger – an image that common sense rejects – but our team made an incredible asset, then did an excellent job animating his movements to appear natural while integrating him into environments in a way that was both pleasing to the eye and believable,” Kevorkian explained.
In preparation for transforming Beast Boy into a green tiger, Encore VFX artists focused on not only creating a feature-caliber asset, but also refining how his transformation would appear. They also conducted extensive R&D in designing the looks for Raven’s soul-self effect, and Starfire’s under skin glow and plasma-like fire she shoots from her hands.
“Raven’s look was inspired by ink and water, more liquid than smoke and with a violent, dirty edge. The aim was to make her black energy feel tangible,” said Kevorkian. “For Starfire, I referenced burning steel wool to give her skin that distinct and unique look, and we weighted the blast fire from her hands so that it feels viscous and otherworldly.”
For scenes with Dick Grayson (aka Robin), Encore VFX augmented practical footage with subtle effects to heighten the high-tech appeal of his gadgets, such as the double-sided baton and ninja star, and added a digital double for select stunts. Additionally, Encore VFX added CG explosions and fire as the story required and enhanced or added CG gore and blood.
“Titans” also introduces audiences to members of “The Doom Patrol,” a forthcoming original series set to premiere in 2019, also featuring VFX by Encore VFX. Kevorkian noted, “Working on each ‘Titans’ episode presented exciting new challenges and inspired us to push ourselves creatively. Also, it’s very cool that we get to tease some of the ‘Doom Patrol’ characters, which have unique capabilities that have been fun to develop and explore for on-screen portrayal.”
In addition to Encore’s VFX work for “Titans,” Deluxe also provided color finishing services for the series, with Colorist Tom Reiser handling several episodes.
From Weed Road Pictures and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, “Titans” stars Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft and Ryan Potter, and is executive produced by Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti, Greg Walker, Sarah Schechter and John Fawcett. For more information on “Titans,” visit: https://www.dcuniverse.com/titans/.