Platige Image : Vikings 2
Platige Image : Vikings 2

The Making of Vikings 2 Teaser by Platige Image

Learn how Platige Image has created the new teaser trailer for Vikings 2, immersed in Norse mythology and symbolism, using live action complemented by CGI, in our exclusive interview with Art Director, Maciej Jackiewicz, and Lead 3D/Compositing Artist Jakub Knapik.


IT’S ART – Can you give us some general details about the team and the number of shots involved in the teaser for the second season of Vikings?

Maciej Jackiewicz – We’ve completed almost 4 minutes of the final material, 80 shots in all.
There were 27 artists in total working on the project, but as usual, the core team was a lot smaller.

IT’S ART – How was the collaboration between your crew and the History Channel team on this project ?

Maciej Jackiewicz – We’ve had several meetings with the History Channel team before production began, we also met during the two-weekend-long shoot which took place in Dublin.Post-production took place at the Platige studios in Warsaw but we also had one of our producers working in New York the whole time. He was in constant touch with the History Channel team, so we always had instant feedback on our work.

IT’S ART – Can you tell us a little bit about your work on the characters and the backgrounds?

Maciej Jackiewicz – Working with the characters involved mostly adding VFX details to actors shot on green screen. The client had a precise vision of every character and symbolic details related to Norse mythology or events from the new season of the series. So, for example, with Ragnar’s character, the flaming eye and the raven are references to Odin, while Aslaug is associated with the wing of a falcon and a golden tear, both symbols of goddess Freya.

The background, on the other hand, was supposed to be a bit surrealist, with patches of unexplained scenery. We decided to fill the space with roots and thus connect it this way with the giant tree Yggdrasil — the center of universe in Viking cosmology.

IT’S ART – Looks like you put a lot of attention to the costumes, too. Can we hear some details about this part?

Maciej Jackiewicz – We were lucky enough to use original costumes from the Vikings series and let me tell you, they were just perfect, down to the last detail. So the credit goes in its entirety to the costume designers working on the show.

IT’S ART – Which shot was the most complex to shoot? And why?

Maciej Jackiewicz – Probably the final shot, the tableau with all of the characters in the frame was the worst to work on. Because of the crazy timeframe of the shoot, we had very little time on the set. That meant that each actor had to be shot separately. The lighting setup was also a bit different each time. Putting all of that together in compositing into a single one scene was a nightmare.

Platige Image : Vikings 2
Platige Image : Vikings 2

IT’S ART – How does work on that kind of a project differ from working on a game cinematic?

Maciej Jackiewicz – What’s great is that you get to work on the set, with real actors. That’s a completely different experience. Everything happens very quickly compared to cinematics. The downside is that once the footage is shot, there’s no coming back, no do-overs. You have to rely on your DP, you can’t fix the lighting or experiment anymore.

IT’S ART – There’re a lot of fragmentation VFX shots in the teaser. Have you used some special techniques on these shots?

Jakub Knapik – We used a lot of different techniques to break and build stuff in this project, mostly relying on individual choices of the artists. The basic rule was to avoid overcomplicating things. And so, as much fun as we had making it, we didn’t employ any custom tools. We mostly used Thinking Particles under 3ds Max, since it has a very good set of tools to control shattering stuff and given that we used to be 3ds Max facility, senior Artists are used to working with it. After the simulation phase, we saved the results as Meshbaker cache, our internal file format, and later used it in the lighting phase under Maya.

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