westworld 3d printing

Inverse has published a terrific article delving into the laboratories and science seen in Westworld, focusing on how the show grounds its far-flung ideas in recognizable science (like how the robot bodies are created using advanced 3D printers). Production designer Zach Grobler explained that the lab sets, where the hosts were created and maintained, had to ring true for modern audiences:

The design of the lab had to be clinical. With the biological and the medical world, you also start to have to get cleanliness and you have to get medical facility has to be quite clean. I did like the idea of the contrast between the above and below.

Elsewhere in the article, visual effects supervisor Jay Worth explained that the sequences focusing on the creation of the robots blend practical and digital effects, with some of the wilder effects actually being done completely in camera:

The dipping effect was practical. It was a glue and water substance that just looks awesome. That’s the fun thing about it, you really don’t know what’s practical and what’s not. We had these huge robot arms and muscle fibers, which made for a fun playground for all of us.

And if you’re as obsessed with Dr. Robert Ford’s workspace as I am, Grobler explained what it was like to build “God’s office”:

He’s the creator of the world, of the park, he has imagined every little detail, and also created the robotics and technology. But it’s almost like he was a child fifty years ago and he had all these fantastical ideas about the Old West and in the future some of those got lost. It’s his way of lovingly recreating these beautiful little icons and these little moments. I wanted to fill his whole office with little pieces of that world that showed how he does it, that he’s more tangible and he’s more of a craftsman.

You can (and should) read the whole article at the link above.

westworld young anthony hopkins

Speaking of excellent articles about making Westworld, Thrillist has a longer interview with visual effects supervisor Jay Worth that touches on all aspects of the show. One of the most intriguing bits involves the digital de-aging of Anthony Hopkins, something that has been done in major Hollywood movies but rarely on television:

“We took a scan of Sir Tony and used that as our base,” explains Worth, “and then used a ton of photography and reference to figure out what we wanted him to look like. I think it ended up turning out really, really incredible.”

Visual-effects studio Important Looking Pirates, in Sweden, was responsible for the shots. It made a photorealistic CG version of Hopkins from the scan and reference, and then placed that on the body of a stand-in. What made the shots particularly challenging, says Worth, was that the visual-effects team was conscious of a certain perception Hopkins has among audiences.

“America doesn’t really remember Sir Tony before Silence of the Lambs. Obviously we found every reference we could from every movie and every photo and everything from the correct timeframe. But it really came down to what feels most like our character in the past, as much as anything.”

The results speak for themselves, really. Seeing a young Hopkins pop up for a flashback in “The Stray” is jarring in the best possible ways.

Game of Thrones season 6 blooper reel

In the original Westworld movie, there are two additional “worlds” for guests to visit: Medieval World and Roman World. So, considering the massive popularity of Game of Thrones, why should Westworld not have a sister park set in Westeros? Entertainment Weekly reports that A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin floated the idea to Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy a few months back, but they politely declined. Says Nolan:

We love George and our daughter’s first trip anywhere in the world was out to Santa Fe for a screening of The Prestige at his theater, the Jean Cocteau. He’s a lovely guy and a stunning writer and it’s flattering he would encourage a crossover. We should be so lucky.

And says Joy:

I need to be believe that dragons are real. I want them be a real thing. So as much as I love George, I can’t lose that for myself!

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