The Last Witch Hunter is a supernatural joyride through a hidden of world witches, concealed from the view of everyday life.
Image Engine was brought on to The Last Witch Hunter at the 11th hour, tasked with adding the finishing touches that would bring the last 5% of the project to life. This included extending practical sets and enhancing plate photography with magical, fiery embers.
The project allowed Image Engine to flex its generalist skillset, while pushing itself creatively on shots that were not originally intended to contain CG elements.
The magic touch
Image Engine enhanced and augmented 148 shots across The Last Witch Hunter. This included a full CG set extension without the use of green screen: “The production realised that what they had shot on the day for the chamber just wasn’t grand enough – they wanted something bigger and more impressive,” explains Mat Krentz, visual effects supervisor.
“We opened the room up more, and added a CG set extension consisting of columns, alcoves and sentinel-like monster statues. That meant a great deal of roto work, given there was no green screen on the set.”
Other shots included the addition of magical elements, such as glowing, floating chandeliers. Given the unintended nature of these CG elements, their inclusion required a high degree of technical and artistic skill.
“Production didn’t capture the HDRIs or lighting information on set as their intention was to just use the plate photography,” explains Krentz. “We solved this challenge by reconstructing a 3D set lighting environment, integrating our CG work using information from the plate alone!”