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Encore VFX Supplies Effects For 'The Whispers'

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A mysterious force begins manipulating children in ABC Television's new series 'The Whispers', which features visual effects from Encore VFX.

Led by Encore VFX Supervisor and Creative Director Stephan Fleet, Encore artists in Vancouver and Los Angeles completed anywhere from 30 to 60 VFX shots per episode, including a mix of storytelling visuals and invisible effects work.

Encore Vancouver Executive Producer of VFX Bob Habros oversaw the project locally, while Encore Vancouver VFX Supervisor James Rorick ran point on set.

"Encore VFX has consistently proven our ability to bring feature-caliber VFX to the small screen; 'The Whispers' is a testament to our artistic talent and how we work seamlessly across locations to the benefit of a production," said Tom Kendall, SVP visual effects, Encore VFX.

"This project set the bar high from day one, and the production pedigree is outstanding; not only is the concept exceptional, but it's also inherently challenging in that an invisible entity is central to the plot. There has been a Herculean effort on all sides to make the show as great as it is, and we've created some of our best work to date," Fleet added.

For conceptual problem-solving, Encore VFX partnered with fellow Deluxe Creative Services company Method Studios in Vancouver to design otherworldly props and CG scene elements that, while fabricated, mimicked reality. Production pointed to real world examples like existing geological formations, and provided loose sketches to guide development.

Without sharing season spoilers, VFX work in the show was vast and varied, including everything from oversized fulgurites, a massive power plant explosion and plane crash wreckage to set extensions and environment work. Encore's Vancouver and Los Angeles facilities shared shots evenly, with up to 30 artists contributing to complex episodes.

Fleet collaborated closely with show creator Soo Hugh, producer Phillip Hoffman, showrunner Zack Estrin and associate producer Ryan DeGard in finalising shots. To keep the review process flowing smoothly, a combination of Cospective's cineSync and Autodesk Shotgun with RV were leveraged. Artist tools used include Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, Pixologic's ZBrush, The Foundry's NUKE, Autodesk Flame, Adobe After Effects and SideFX's Houdini.

Produced by ABC Studios with Amblin TV and filmed in Vancouver, 'The Whispers' premiered June 1, 2015.

More information on the 13-episode series can be found here.


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