WORKING WITH BABIES AND TODAY’S VFX TOOLS FOR HORROR COMEDY SERIES THE BABY

“The sheer nature of the amount of time that we were going to have a baby onscreen and on set meant that a lot of things we had planned for would sometimes go flawlessly without any help from us,” notes Braekke-Carroll. “On another occasion, the entire day might need to be completely changed and require our input for all sorts of reasons.” Identical twins were cast in the title role. “We definitely knew that we needed a digital asset,” remarks Akande. “By casting twins, we were able to double our shooting hours. The babies absorbed the nature of the set quickly, and we saw them grow up over the course of six months of shooting with them.” Digital doubles were as much as possible. “That left us with a strange, hybridized methodology over time, whether it be face replacements from plates with a CG body, a stand-in prosthetic baby with a head replacement being pushed around in a pram, or one digital arm, plate head and a prosthetic body,” states Braekke-Carroll. “There was also an army of stand-in babies. When it comes to performance with our hero twins, that became a hybridized process where we used a combination of digital passes, keying tools, reprojections and face tracking from source plates. Then also lean on machine learning additional 2D layering to change the performance.”

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