‘Amorphous’ is a 30-second teaser for the highly anticipated second season of Legion, FX and Marvel Television’s X-Men series. Conceived by FX Creative and directed by FX Promo’s Paul Tolton, the teaser showcases the protagonist David’s multiple personalities in fittingly bizarre fashion.
MPC handled all VFX for the spot, a process that involved their team working with raw footage of six characters and morphing their faces together seamlessly. Each character was shot using a motion-controlled camera that worked in sync with a computer controlled lighting rig. Pre-recorded audio of each characters dialogue served as an audio guide track that triggered the rotating lights and camera. Each character was shot in a green screen studio that came equipped with adjustable stands and platforms to ensure a consistent lineup.
Toya Drechsler, 2D lead at MPC, discusses the complex nature of this VFX job: “Quite often we start off with something really raw and it’s our job to refine it until it looks perfect – this project was more collaborative and exploratory, so we were able to add more character sequences and more frames into the final film and we had the freedom to develop it as we went along. Everything was in motion, so we could bring any character in at any point. The only thing that we had to guide us was the audio track with the characters speaking.”
The unique traits, eye movements and facial expressions of each character had to be taken into account when crafting the spot. In order to keep things authentic the team analysed the characters’ appearances throughout the series so far. Drechsler adds: “We wanted to capture all of the little nuances of how each character’s face looked as they reacted to what others were saying. That was an interesting thing to play around with for us.”
It was also of the utmost importance that the character’s eyes remain consistent as they morph from one face to another. “We had to ensure that everyone’s eyes were lined up to maintain intense eye contact with the viewer, as people are automatically drawn to the eyes. However, no person’s face and neck shapes are the same, so we had to do a lot of warping and morphing to match them up.” adds Drechsler.
The second season of Legion premiered 3rd April 2018 on FX. For more information and a gallery of behind the scenes images see this story on the MPC Advertising website.