The Witcher: Blood Origin
More than a thousand years before Henry Cavill, before the Eskel Leshy or even the Myriapod, there was another tale: the legend of the first Witcher and the fateful Conjunction. Rodeo’s teams were proud to embark on this new journey for this 4-episode The Witcher spinoff, and explore new sides of The Continent.It is not a Witcher story without a monstrous creature chasing heroes through a desolate environment. And the Ragnavvorm clearly delivered on this.
This beast was designed as an underwater predator, with a powerful jaw and a complex body made of bony and fleshy parts. The animation team then worked on its unique body mechanics with missteps and stumbles to emphasize that it wasn’t comfortable moving outside of the water. Finally, another version of the monster was created for the leap into the portal as it is cut in half and falls dead onto the beach.Besides frightful monsters, The Witcher: Blood Origin also brings us to distant parts of the continent, such as the city of Xin’trea, the vast Elven capital. For this city, we created a variety of different angles and views so we could move around and witness different parts of the city like from the sky, or close up to the temple. One important narrative aspect that needed to be told visually as we’re looking at the city is the difference between the wealthy and poor areas. We also needed a selection of key physical elements to make sure the city came to life, for example, cloth blowing in the breeze, sun in the sky, and drifting sand from the dirty ground to keep it all alive and in motion.
Finally, In order to do the extended views of the wider environment, we created a mountain line in the distance as well as an ocean in the foreground with CG boats.The show reaches its conclusion with the Conjunction of Spheres. This event, often mentioned in the original material, was a massive challenge for the team as the brief was both complex and opaque: merge four planets into one from the perspective of someone watching this event occur from a fifth planet, without anything blowing up or being destroyed. Using 35mm burning film as a reference, the team created the effect of dissolving clouds and the gradual appearance of newly formed skies as the planets become one—this feat defied the laws of physics but needed to look believable. With many FX passes and environment builds, the Conjunction was achieved in one massive VFX sequence, giving a real artistic signature to the epic finale of the season.
Sébastien Francoeur, Graeme Marshall, Loïc Beguel, Sadjad Rabiee, Lucian Boicu, Christian Salazar