Filed in: Featured, Television, Visual FX

Ray McIntyre Wrangled Myriad Visual Effects for Raised by Wolves

October 12, 2020 | By
Raised by Wolves

Photo Provided by HBO Max

Although he supervised all the numerous visual effects on the HBO Max series Raised by Wolves, Ray McIntyre actually represented the third visual effects team to be on the show, which is produced by Ridley Scott’s company, Scott Free. After the first collection of craftspeople worked from January to May of 2019, a new group was brought on in May, followed by McIntyre and his artists, starting in July. “Ridley Scott Associates [RSA] was unhappy,” McIntyre divulged. “Some things were not going well. I met with the RSA team; a day or two later, I was hired—I took over from scratch.”

Over McIntyre’s first three eight-hour days, he went through all of the show’s episodes, including ten scripts and storylines, as executive producer Ridley Scott went off to start scouting a feature. “There were concepts for many things,” McIntyre stated of the series’ substantial, futuristic visuals. “You have to wade through that; it’s a procedure. I had to write up methodologies for vendors to get accurate bids [and] got concept artists and in-house compositors and CG [computer graphics] people to come up with looks. If you don’t give a vendor a succinct item in a shot, it takes too long.”

Naturally, any Ridley Scott project features brilliant, detailed, unforgettable depictions of its worlds, and Raised by Wolves was no exception, with feature film-quality visages. “His expectations were very high for the quality of the visual effects,” said McIntyre, whose background is in feature films, of Scott’s renowned ‘eye,’ further citing one particular scene of a realistic spaceship landing on a barren planet. “I’m very specific. The attention to detail on [visual effects vendor] Mr. X’s side in Toronto and on my side made it look like a feature.”

Raised by Wolves

Photo Provided by HBO Max

Another striking sequence involves a ship travelling through the core of a planet, executed by visual effects vendor UPP in Prague. “No concepts existed—no drawings had been done,” noted McIntyre of a critical moment in episode 10. “It was down the road schedule-wise; nothing had been done for episode 10. Ridley told me what he wanted; Ridley draws—[that] gave me scope, scale, and size.”

With internal concept artist Thomas Aguirre, McIntyre developed the look of the planetary core, incorporating series creator Aaron Guzikowski’s writing. “There is almost nothing that doesn’t have any meaning—we had to subtly incorporate that into the look,” said McIntyre of the core’s appearance, which combined an emulation of solar flares, sunspots, and molten lava. “That meaning is in the look. It’s a big sequence—if you don’t do it well, it could look cheesy. It tells the story, very well, that we will learn.”

Even though HBO Max would end up streaming all ten Raised by Wolves episodes, McIntyre worked sequentially through them in his realization of the show’s visual effects. “I had to start with the methodologies for episodes one and two,” he delineated. “Things that had concept work already, I can turn over to a vendor and get started—like the core. If I can’t show them what I want, I’ll get a whole lot of things I don’t want. When I deliver them to the vendor, we reduce what we don’t want.”

Raised by Wolves

Photo Provided by HBO Max

With 11 total visual effects vendors, big spaceships were created digitally by Pixomondo and holograms were prepared by BUF Compagnie in France, all fashioned to visually tell Raised by Wolves’ central story. “Everything that was turned over to any vendor, I would give them all of the creative input that I could, as much detail as I can,” McIntyre conveyed. “Make sure you cover the story. In episode one, when [the lead character] Mother kills everyone in the hallway, and goes into the hologram that controls the ship, it was showing items that were important for the story. What do we need this to tell?”

Having delivered 3000 visual effects shots, McIntyre’s artists and technicians duly fulfilled their supervisor. “Not a single shot had been started before we came on,” McIntyre revealed. “Some of these shots are fantastic technically and look great—tell the story. I’m a big fan of the show and our visual effects shots.”

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