We provided all 265 VFX shots for “Roald & Beatrix – the Case of the Curious Mouse”. Since the film’s shoot was delayed to September, with trees in full bloom and not a hint of snow anywhere, a large part of our brief was to supplement the practical snow and frost effects by digitally “winterising” the trees around Beatrix Potter’s home & various other locations. Since digitally replacing the trees in over 200 shots wasn’t going to be possible, we came up with a blend of colour correction and procedural frost that we added to the foliage.
Our biggest single sequence in the film was the train journey up to the Lake District taken by Roald and his mother. We decided the best approach was to shoot the scene in the studio with a greenscreen, with the backgrounds built entirely in CG. This gave us the freedom to art direct the speed of the train, and model the landscape exactly as director David Kerr wanted, complete with snow and grazing sheep. We also provided VFX Supervision when this sequence was shot, adhering to Covid protocols during our first shoot of the pandemic.
Other work included adding falling snow to shots, making transitions between match cut snow scenes seamless and cleaning up puppeteers and rods for two of the puppet scenes. The biggest challenge was the truncated timescale we had to complete the work; because of the COVID pandemic, shooting, and therefore the whole post-production schedule was pushed back. With artists across the country having to work from home, we worked on the film until the week before Christmas – a mere five days before it was broadcast. This meant coming up with smart solutions that could be applied to multiple shots.