THE CROWN : Buckingham Palace, Westminster, ... in 3D by One of Us









One of Us completed 428 visual effects shots in 4K for the new Netflix original serie The Crown, with Ben Turner as VFX supervisor and Oliver Cubbage as CG supervisor. One of Us was the sole VFX provider for the show.

Unlike most series, The Crown tells the story of a real person, Queen Elizabeth II, evolving in very well known environments, broadcasted many times on television and seen by billions of people in the whole world. Because of that, One of Us team had to reconstruct each iconic location in every details.

In order to obtain the quality required, supervisors Ben and Oliver decided to rely on photogrammetry solution Enwaii.

Iconic locations and vehicles reconstructed using Enwaii include:
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Westminster Abbey (for the coronation)
  • 10 Downing Street
  • Douglass DC4 plane
  • ...

Assets like Buckingham Palace and the DC4 planes were used in multiple scenes during the serie, so it was important to get nice 3D replicates for versatility. They had to be rendered from any angles. Another type of flexibility was important as well : being able to tweak the assets. For instance, once Buckingham Palace was reconstructed, artists at One of Us had to be able to restore efficiently the building in a state similar of what was the Palace in the 1950s.

But the best summary of the interest of Enwaii for One of Us is probably Ben Turner's comment for the CGW article "VFX Fit for a Queen":

We first found out about Enwaii when we were building Neuschwanstein Castle on ‘Monuments Men’. It's fantastic for certain types of structures, buildings, aeroplanes, ships and so on. We employ other types of photogrammetry at One Of Us but Enwaii has proved invaluable when we need to end up with a fully functioning asset that needs to be relit and viewed from any angle."

“It involves modelling everything from scratch based on an Enwaii camera solve but the software enables us to work very quickly and keep the scenes light weight. Just like any other type of photogrammetry, the results tend to look very realistic straight away because, based as they are on photographs, the camera solves naturally give you very accurate scale and proportions.

At Banzai Pipeline, we are impatient to look at the new locations One of Us artists have been reconstructing for season 2.

Here is a list of other articles explaining the use of Enwaii as the photogrammetry solution for The Crown:

Images courtesy of Netflix and One of Us