American Cinematographer - August 2014 - 62

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Bad Blood

Top: Actor Robert Maillet donned a dark hood and cloak to portray The Master on set.
Middle and Bottom: Mr. X added visual effects to show the vampire draining a victim's
blood with a 5'-long stinger tongue.

62

August 2014

American Cinematographer

The digital version of The
Master was modeled and animated in
Autodesk's Maya. Mr. X also developed
a procedural cloth simulation to create
movement in the character's cowl that
matched his particular walk; this system
was built using Side Effects Software's
Houdini, with rendering accomplished
in Chaos Group's V-Ray and compositing done in The Foundry's Nuke.
"Guillermo had the foresight to say,
'Let's build this system, because we're
going to need it in later episodes,'"
Berardi recalls. "Now, The Master exists
as a digital asset and Guillermo's given
us a bible on how he moves, how he's lit
and how he's to be rendered. It's starting
to be plug-and-play." Mr. X also
animated the parasitic worms The
Master deploys to turn people into
vampires, as well as CSI-style atomiclevel shots of victims' blood being
infected.
When Varese had to step away
from the production, he tapped
Beristain as his replacement. This
pleased Del Toro, since the two had
previously collaborated on the feature
Blade II. However, prepping the second
episode proved a daunting task. "It was
only eight or nine days of shooting, and
it was a Guillermo project, so the ambition behind it was huge," Beristain
reflects. "The pilot takes place entirely at
night, but my first script took place in
the daytime. I had to follow the style of
the pilot, but it was difficult to introduce
color in all this daylight, and I also had
to think of how to make daylight look
ominous, interesting and satisfactory to
Guillermo's vision.
"I didn't want to desaturate the
image or go too far with a digital look,
but rather work with shadow and light
and the elements I had," he continues. "I
used very little fill. Interiors were very
silhouetted, and the characters would
walk through shadow areas. I was trying
to expose for the highlights so my
shadow areas would go down, but not so
dark that I would lose detail."
Episodes five and six feature a
solar eclipse, a phenomenon Beristain
once witnessed in Baja California,



American Cinematographer - August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - August 2014

Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2014 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - August 2014 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2014 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2014 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2014 - Contents
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