Belgravia is a historical drama television series based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Julian Fellowes—both named after Belgravia, an affluent district of London.
Networks: Epix, ITV Production company(s): Carnival Films
VFX Done By BlueBolt
Belgravia Official Trailer (EPIX 2020 Series)
Belgravia – Premiering on Sunday, April 12th, 2020 at 9 pm. Starring Tamsin Greig, Philip Glenister, Harriet Walter, Alice Eve, Tara Fitzgerald, Ella Purnell, Richard Goulding, James Fleet, Adam James, Tom Wilkinson, Diana Hardcastle, Paul Ritter, Saskia Reeves, and Jack Bardoe.
Belgravia VFX Breakdown VFX By BlueBolt
Blue Bolt As the main VFX vendor on this project, Bule Bolt were tasked with replicating Belgravia of the 1800s. The location for the Belgravia shots was the beautifully preserved Moray Place in Edinburgh, featuring the classic dark stone buildings.
To ensure accuracy and sympathy to the Belgravia of the time, we referenced the works of master builder Thomas Cubitt, plus shot reference photography of contemporary Belgravia in London. The VFX transformation from dark Edinburgh stone to white Belgravia stucco, started with a lidar scan to create a Moray Place model to allow us to remodel and replace the stonework with Belgravia CG buildings.
Bule Bolt wanted to retain as much as possible from the Edinburgh location – trees, pavements, window reflections, doors, and railings – so Bule Bolt decided not to use a green screen and instead use a lot of rotoscoping and compositing tricks to combine this with our CG Belgravia.
Bule Bolt was also tasked with creating four aerial shots of Belgravia and Eaton Square Gardens. Using plates shot from a helicopter of present-day Belgravia as a base, the team researched maps from the 1840s when the area was still under construction and at the edge of an urban area. Buckingham Palace had to be stripped back to an older layout and building sites were added to tell the story that the building of the whole area was ongoing.
A significant CG build, combined with matte painting, was required to create the Belgravia of the time and surrounding London. The aerial shots were brought to life with CG crowd and carriages, as well as a great deal of rotoscoping, clean up, and compositing. In the end, a few key features like St Peter’s Church and some of the gardens were the only items untouched in terms of the period re-working.
The finale takes place on the banks of the Thames in a seedy part of East London. This was filmed at Chatham Docks, although completely on dry land with a green screen where the Thames would be. A CG environment was created for the south bank of the Thames along with a CG river populated by lots of CG ships. The atmospheric mist was added in the composite to give the desired look and feel for this dramatic nighttime sequence.