Black Mirror – Playtest

The work centred around the design of a fully CG creature, a disturbing mash-up of spider and human, which haunts character Cooper (played by Wyatt Russell), who is lost in a state somewhere between game engine and greatest fears. The episode seeks to explore the line between the virtual and the real, leaving viewers to question their own understanding of the evolving demarcation between the two.

Though an actor was originally shot and photo-scanned for reference, in particular for his eyes, it proved better ultimately to fashion the entire asset in CG, to allow maximum manipulation and effect. The artists were able to draw on the experience of Capture Lab to assist with the scanning, using Zbrush to blend the information onto the spider build.

Framestore also created the glitchy, hyperreal effect seen in ‘Playtest’’s fight sequence, as Cooper tears away the face of Sonja, co-star Hannah John-Carmen. As the virtual game world Cooper is living in ‘recalibrates’, the audience experience a unique visual effect created specifically for the show, again pushing the team to deliver something previously unseen. The handful of shots artfully combine organic and digital effects in a way that feels logical within the context of the scene, and yet give indication of an additional, unknown reality. What may have previously been attempted with prosthetics is given a technological upgrade, lending a new visual language to the episode’s virtual game mentality.

All of the work was completed in 4k resolution, marking Framestore’s first 4k television project. The team also used deep compositing techniques within 4k in order to turn out the elements at their optimum quality, giving the finished product even greater depth of field. Together, the combination of resolution, artistry, and innovative breakthrough VFX, land ‘Playtest’ in a particularly bright future of its own.

Black Mirror – Playtest
Black Mirror – Playtest
Black Mirror – Playtest
Black Mirror – Playtest
Black Mirror – Playtest
Black Mirror – Playtest
Black Mirror – Playtest
Black Mirror – Playtest
Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

 2D Lead

IMAX Movies

IMAX Movies

VFX Supervisor

Asda – Giant Hen

VFX Supervisor/2D Lead