FutureWorks’ VFX expertise brings Netflix’s <i>Jaane Jaan</i> to life
November 20, 2023

FutureWorks’ VFX expertise brings Netflix’s Jaane Jaan to life

Globally renowned VFX studio FutureWorks, recently showcased their prowess in the Netflix India film Jaane Jaan, delivering over 1,100 visual effects shots. 
The most watched non-English movie on Netflix worldwide during its opening week from September 18-24, Jaane Jaan had the single biggest opening weekend viewership for an Indian movie. 

The murder mystery, set amidst the stunning landscapes of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, East India, posed a captivating challenge. Collaborating closely with director Sujoy Ghosh, FutureWorks turned his vision into a compelling narrative filled with tension and drama.

FutureWorks joined the project during the editing stage, already late in the shoot. Yet, they seamlessly integrated into the post-production process, becoming an invaluable partner. VFX supervisor Vinay Chuphal, compositing supervisor Prasad Patel, and their team played pivotal roles in delivering world-class VFX shots that blended seamlessly with the captivating color palette.

An impressive 60% of the shots were filmed on green screen sets, adding complexity to the project. Through multiple meetings with the director, production designer Rajesh Choudhary, and director of photography Avik Mukhopadhyay, FutureWorks ensured alignment in the project's vision. They also collaborated with the on-set supervisor to ensure a smooth transition of shoot information.

For the green screen composite, they used Digital Matte Paints with the main outdoor market shots utilizing 3D models created in Autodesk Maya. All of the final compositing was carried out in Foundry’s Nuke, while the fog elements were generated in Houdini. Patel explains, “We were able to utilize Nuke’s 2.5D techniques to get the correct perspective change in moving cameras. This allowed for the creation of depth and parallax, giving the set and environment a more realistic look.”

All of this VFX work was underpinned and managed inside ShotGrid. FutureWorks pipeline integration ensures immediate access to published data for VFX artists, regardless of their location in any of the three cities where FutureWorks VFX operates.

Chuphal admits that “every VFX project is challenging but that FutureWorks has always believed in learning from past experiences and implementing any discovered solutions in the next project.” This ensured that the team is always improving and therefore finding better ways of working all the time. 

The complexity and size of the VFX challenge is clear to appreciate when considering the size of the set and how much work was required to extend it. The green screen studio set consisted of the actor's house, a lane, and a small market. Beyond that, everything needed to be extended in post to make the scene appear bigger than it actually was. Chuphal explains, “extension of the market and town lanes was really challenging because of the camera motion and blending the set with the real BG plate.” 

Part of the creative brief was to use VFX to heighten the level of suspense and mystery. Setting the story in a small hill town in the east of India really helped but they wanted more. One of the ways they decided to do this was to introduce fog into the scene. The question then became, do we add this to the physical scene or create it in post? 

Getting the best quality fog in continuity could only be achieved on set but the fact that fog intensity changes every hour made this an unworkable solution. On-set fog also messes with the clarity of the greenscreen which makes the keying process nearly unworkable. “To solve the issue and maintain the continuity we added the fog in post to give misty and suspenseful elements to the storyline,” explains Chuphal.

Overcoming such technical challenges is all part of working on ambitious projects like Jaane Jaan. “FutureWorks prides itself on facing these hurdles head on, collaborating with all decision makers, and finding solutions which work for everybody”, explains Gaurav Gupta, co-founder.

More about FutureWorks: https://www.futureworks.in/