You can always rely on Doctor Who to serve up ambitious special effects. So far this season, the long-running BBC TV show has featured clockwork robots, running space battles, a telepathic alien and a 200-foot T-Rex rampaging through Victorian London.
I recently went behind the scenes on Doctor Who for the Cinefex blog, to talk with Rob Mayor of Millennium FX, who provide the creature and makeup effects, and Will Cohen and Murray Barber of Milk VFX, creators of the show’s visual effects.
Here’s a brief extract from the article:
The Half-Face Man was realised through a combination of prosthetics and visual effects.
“We all quickly realised that he was going to be a mix of CG and practical prosthetics,” said Rob Mayor. “Obviously, to see right inside the head, we couldn’t just utilise prosthetics on the actor — who was the brilliant Peter Ferdinando — so we created a textured foam latex version of the metal framework. Over the top and around the edge of this we applied a silicone appliance to give the appearance of ripped skin. Milk then used the framework as a rough starting point for the internal elements. These elements were sculpted by Reza Karim.”
Tracking markers on Ferdinando’s face and hat allowed Milk artists to line up their CG model with the prosthetic-enhanced face of the actor. The mechanically-operated eye was animated by hand to match Ferdinando’s real eye.
“It’s just a very lovely visual concept, to be able to see through to the other side of him,” Will Cohen observed.