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Altered Carbon is an American dystopian science fiction cyberpunk web television series created by Laeta Kalogridis and based on the 2002 novel of the same title by English author Richard K. Morgan. The first season consists of ten episodes and premiered on Netflix on February 2, 2018.
Atomic Arts completed over 400 shots for Altered Carbon. The lift sequence was particularly gruesome needing lots of blood and gore elements to be added to the live action plates. Atomic also modelled, animated and rendered the “stack ripper” used in this sequence as the puppet masters couldn’t extract bits of flesh quite as well as visual effects added in post production. Sometimes it just isn’t practical!
For this bloody sequence there were times when the squibs just needed removing and some blood spray added, and others where a lot more gore was needed to be created in vfx. There was a very artistic – you could almost say beautiful – use of blood throughout the show.
This shot required the use of “Vertex” a face compositing tool that allows you to track in 2D the movements of the face. We needed to use this in order to show that the man’s face was slowly becoming more and more riddled with disease over the sequence.
BREAKDOWN / VFX
Atomic’s vfx team were called in to add more rain and atmosphere to some already beautifully shot and lit plates. The series’ high production values meant that shots were always a pleasure to work on even if the level of complexity wasn’t as high.
For the gruesome lift sequence, the stack ripper weapon needed to be modelled and animated – & then of course, blood & gore added!
There were tattoos and makeup that needed to be removed from Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) skin. There are often times when prosthetics haven’t worked in camera and need to be fixed in post production. This type of work sometimes requires digital doubles tracked over the characters in order to match the sequence with new textures.