Double, double toil and trouble! The second season of Sky One’s A Discovery of Witches premiered in January, but the on-screen magic isn’t only for the coven! Axis Studios recreated an entire historically accurate Elizabethan London in CG for the season, delivering 100 shots for 10 episodes over a span of 18 months, which included working throughout the challenging COVID-19 pandemic.
Ross Gilbert, CG supervisor at Axis, comments, "Creating ADoW’s Elizabethan London was a case of harmonizing the client's narrative vision with the authentic historical world. The Axis creative team did excellent work: the city was plausible, aesthetically intriguing and furnished a visceral feeling of a post-medieval capital conurbation."
Axis's VFX team charted London's bygone layout using period street maps, illustrations, and modern terrain data. The team then created Maya and Houdini pipelines that could automatically populate assets - such as people, buildings, courtyards, carts, boats, foliage, and fauna - across the cityscape, rivers, and wharves.