VFX: Netflix's <I>Outer Banks</I>
Issue: September/October 2021

VFX: Netflix's Outer Banks

The Netflix teen drama Outer Banks is set in North Carolina, where wealth splits the community of seasonal residents and working-class locals. Season 2 debuted in late July and features visual effects created by the team at FuseFX. 

Digital effects supervisor Dayna Mauer led the FuseFX team throughout the second season, creating visual that include a CG forest that appears in Episode 8, along with tidal flooding, mud and other water effects. The team created an overflowing storm drain that Kiara (Madison Bailey) narrowly escapes, as well as CG vans and yachts that all add to the story.

Here, Mauer's answers a few questions about her work on Outer Banks Season 2. 

Can you describe your role on Outer Banks Season 2, and what your day-to-day work was like?

“Day-to-day, I managed a team of anywhere from two to five compositors and also worked with the FuseFX CG and FX leads and producer to move every episode forward. This boils down to a lot of virtual meetings -  brainstorming/bidding upcoming episodes - and dailies sessions, reviewing current episodes. I composited shots as well, so in-between the meetings/coordinating, I would work on those.” 
Can you point to some of the season’s highlights? 

“I think the tidal flooding in Episode 8 was my favorite to do. We needed to flood a road and forest to match an existing plate. This required FX water, mud, a matte painting of the road and a digital van. It was carefully planned out from the start, so that we would have a unified 3D world that would work across shots. There was a lot of up-front building out of a 3D forest and road that paid off. Once this world was engineered, we were able to quickly iterate across all the tidal flood shots.”

How did you and your team approach creating the seamless water effects in the show?

“Every episode was discussed with the VFX supervisor for Outer Banks. He would communicate each director's vision of the shots. The FuseFX team would then brainstorm how to realize the shots in a cost-effective and timely manner. After some back-and-forth, we would come up with an agreed-upon plan and then wait for the footage. After the dailies arrive, there are always a few adjustments - and surprises - and then we all did the work. The water effects are some of my favorite shots to composite, so I really enjoyed working on Outer Banks.”