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Opus Visual Effects Scares Up Monster for Siberia


Opus created a monster for Siberia.
Opus created a monster for Siberia.
Manitoba-based Opus Visual Effects recently created an animated monster for the final episode of season one of NBC’s Siberia, helping to create the show’s season cliffhanger. The season finale aired Monday.

The studio was responsible for the visual effects for all 12 episodes of the mockumentary’s first season. The monster had been hinted at throughout the season and makes its full appearance in the final episode. As early as the pilot, Opus gave viewers a glimpse of the monster, but the full reveal was held until the last episode.

“Creating the monster was a great opportunity for us,” Opus’ visual effects supervisor and president Mike Shand said. “It wasn’t just a case of building a model for a design done by the art department. We had only two rough reference photos to work from. Working very closely with the director, we designed the creature, modeled, rigged and animated it. There was a lot of back-and-forth to come up with a creature that would play to the show’s fan-base and would work best for look and production within the show’s timeframe and budget.”

In this scripted “reality” show, 16 participants were flown into the Tunguska region of Siberia unaware of the land’s mysterious past. As is the case in many reality shows, the contestants were meant to battle the elements and each other in a quest to survive the harsh winter and claim a large cash prize. Siberia veered from the usual path when contestants began to suffer serious accidents and strange events occurred, with no response from the show’s producers. It soon became apparent that their situation is very real.

Opus has contributed CG effects to a variety of projects ranging from large Hollywood productions, including the soon-to-be-released Metallica: Through The Never, The Last Stand, Avatar, Superman Returns, X-Men and Swordfish, to independent films and TV miniseries such as Storm Of The Century and The Big Empty. The company specializes in 3D animation, digital compositing, greenscreen integration, SFX animation/particle work, pre-visualization and stereoscopic work.

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