"Rabo de Peixe" takes viewers on a captivating journey to a once-obscure village, unveiling a gripping tale inspired by true events. The story begins when a boat carrying a cargo of cocaine unexpectedly washes up on São Miguel, an Azorean island. Amidst the chaos, a group of ambitious young individuals, yearning for a way out of their confined surroundings, sees an opportunity to make a lot of money.
With a seamless blend of emerging talents and seasoned performers, this is the second Netflix Original show in Portugal, showcasing the depth and diversity of Portuguese storytelling. "Rabo de Peixe" surged to the top 10 global rankings of the most viewed shows on Netflix, captivating audiences worldwide for two consecutive weeks.
Working on this show, our studio faced one of its most difficult challenges to date: the creation of a fully CGI storm scene. Aware that this task would be one of our most demanding yet, we sought guidance from none other than Igor Zanic, a renowned expert in the field, to gather insights on how to effectively tackle this endeavor. Initially, we created concept boards that served as references for the overall look and feel we aimed to achieve. Extensive research played a crucial role in our endeavor, as we delved into real-life water scenes as well as drawing inspiration from other films that successfully captured the essence of water in a compelling manner.
Our contributions spanned various stages, starting with assisting during the shooting process. We had a stationary boat as our set piece, requiring us to collaborate closely with the Director of Photography to determine the best approach for capturing the scenes. Leveraging our expertise in 3D Previz, we helped the team navigate the intricacies of shooting the storm sequences.
With a solid foundation in place, we proceeded to tackle the technical aspects of the project. One crucial task involved meticulously modeling the boat to ensure it perfectly matched the real-life asset.
From big to small
Simulating water on both large and small scales was another aspect of the project that required our expertise. Whether it was the majestic waves or the finer details of spray and mist, we fine-tuned the water simulations to evoke the desired emotions and enhance the overall believability of the storm scene.
We began by working with a large ocean spectrum displacement map as our foundation. From there we designed the white water, splashes, and sprays to capture the storm's power. In addition to the visual elements, we focused on the atmospheric details surrounding the storm. We added gusts of wind, the mist, and the relentless rain, all crafted to enhance the authenticity of the scene.
We also put considerable effort into integrating the boat footage and the actors seamlessly with our computer-generated ocean. This involved meticulous rotoscoping, tracking, and blending to create a cohesive composition.
We took on the challenge of creating a gripping car crash scene, involving a person being run over. To achieve a seamless shot, we merged two different shots: one before the crash and one with the person inside the car's glass. Additionally, we employed Houdini once again to create the shattering of the car glass, making the collision appear authentic.
We also did a more straightforward but still exciting shoot-out, adding bullet holes, smoke and fire bursts to enhance the dramatic effect during a tense scene.
Enhancing the narrative
Our creative journey extended beyond full CGI shots, as we delved into creating specific assets to enhance the storytelling. In certain scenes, we introduced a dinghy with two characters, adding depth and intrigue. To intensify the atmosphere, we incorporated fog and rain, amplifying the dramatic impact. We pushed the boundaries further by submerging a cellphone underwater, creating a visually striking moment. Moreover, we designed blood splatters and various elements to heighten the authenticity of the shots. We undertook the task of creating drug packages, strategically placing them throughout different island scenes. And to top it off, we crafted a car asset, ready to be dramatically hurled off a cliff, injecting adrenaline into the storyline. That was fun!
3D & VFX
The Yellow Color
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