<I>The White Lotus</I>, <I>The Rings of Power</I>: Inside Plains of Yonder's Emmy-nominated show opens
August 11, 2023

The White Lotus, The Rings of Power: Inside Plains of Yonder's Emmy-nominated show opens

Katrina Crawford and Mark Bashore of Plains of Yonder (https://plainsofyonder.com) received Emmy nominations for their main title work on Amazon’s Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power and HBO’s The White Lotus (Season 2).

The duo describe their work on The Rings of Power as “one big science experiment” – one that integrated live action and CG in nearly every shot.

“We began by executing an ambitious stage shoot capturing real Cymatics motion for both reference and compositing needs. The CG particle motion work was completed in Teflon, 3DMax and Houdini. The sequence was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, with title design and animation done in Adobe After Effects. All compositing completed in Nuke.”

The biggest challenge in creating the sequence was applying “realistic flaw” into the CG work. 

“Cymatic phenomena is, by nature, organic and feral, so we had to work hard to break the CG software to create particle behavior that was less organized, symmetrical or clean,” they explains. “We also worked hard to integrate live action back into every scene to create yet more unpredictable and chaotic motion in the details of each scene.”

For Season 2 of The White Lotus, the team began with high-resolution photography of villa frescoes, using a Canon EOS R5 with 14-35mm and 24-105mm lenses, and a Profoto b10 plus OCF flash head.  

“We then altered and added to the paintings, and created many entirely-original paintings in Adobe Photoshop,” the explains.

The edit was completed in Adobe Premiere, which included defining the camera moves across the imagery. Assembly, texturing and lighting was completed in Cinema 4D. The sequence was rendered in Octane, and final compositing and type animation was completed in Adobe After Effects. 

“The biggest challenge was seamlessly integrating artwork created centuries apart,” note Crawford and Bashore. “We made a lot of original imagery and disguised it in with the original 16th century wall frescos.”