Virtual cinema experience for the intro of Champions League final
The Champions League final is one of the most viewed events around the globe. Usually, it takes place on a stadium full of fans, but the pandemic forced a reduce number of attenders. That’s why for this year, UEFA made a bet on a Virtual Experience for the match pre-show that could be seen by all the football fans in the planet.
For that, the European Federation trusted on MR Factory for the virtual production, 3D set design, VFX development, color grading and finishing. For the postproduction, they counted on SGO’s Mistika Ultima workflow solution and full-finishing hero-suite.
Great artists like Selena Gomez, Khalid or Marshmello contributed to the show, designed by the British artist Es Devlin. The production had to face a real challenge, as it was planned originally for a stadium in Istambul. Due to the Covid, UEFA changed the venue to Porto just two weeks before the match.
“Less than two weeks before the delivery deadline we literally needed to start everything from the beginning and do our best to adapt the piece to Portugal and Porto stadium,” tells Sergio Ochoa, VFX and Virtual Cinema Supervisor at MR Factory.
Shot on Sony Venice in 6K, the project was delivered in HDR 4K 50 fps, said Jesús Rodríguez Calvo-Parra, VFX Coordinator and Colorist. “Being able to integrate all the different pieces and keep several different versions in an unified environment, Mistika’s unique infinite and unrestricted Timespace was truly a life-saver, allowing us to make all the necessary adjustments in a completely non-destructive way.” To be able to manage the heavy high-resolution files combined with numerous 3D shots, the team at MR Factory was equipped with several workstations powered with ten RTX 3090 GPU’s, each to be able to render the CGI with Octane Render.
Among many innovative workflow techniques deployed during the creation of the performance, was Artificial Intelligence, being applied for motion capture that was also used later for VFX. “Movement tracking with AI enabled us to produce up to one minute long animation per day. This technique was used to replicate dancers, create shadows and other objects to achieve the complete integration of all pieces originally shot separately in a 3D environment,” explained Ochoa.