RECREATING VICTORIAN LONDON? NOT SO ELEMENTARY.
Double Negative's main task for Sherlock Holmes was to recreate Victorian London as accurately as possible. Very few of London's original Victorian buildings survived the heavy bombing of two world wars and those that did had been radically modernised. To replace modern London the Double Negative team surveyed and photographed nearly 50 different period warehouse and industrial buildings. These buildings formed the basis of an architectural library that was used to rebuild the Victorian city depicted by archival photography.
The fully CG Tower Bridge and Victorian London required an incredibly complicated 3D build; every barge, factory, workhouse and embankment, had to be built and rendered so that it could be scrutinised at the highest level in broad daylight.
From the outset there was a desire to recreate the Tower Bridge area of Victorian London with as much authenticity as possible. Double Negative began by capturing tiled, panoramic HDRI stills photography whilst suspended 160ft above the river on the outside of Tower Bridge's covered walkways. Proprietary software was used to stitch these images together and create a full 360 spherical environment map in excess of 40,000 pixels wide. Photo-grammetry tools helped the team align our photography to scans of original Victorian Ordnance Survey maps. This gave an authentic blueprint for reconstructing the Victorian Docklands, street layout and building footprints as well as the starting point for a 360 degree sky and distant horizon digital matte painting.
Double Negative also worked on the sequence where Standish confronts Lord Blackwood, the VFX team were responsible for setting a man on fire. This fully digital effect had to match the practical effect used on one of the shots in the sequence. Following the completion of the body track proprietary fluid simulation tools were used to generate the fire movement and behaviour.
Find out more about Sherlock Holmes the movie at: http://sherlock-holmes-movie.warnerbros.com