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Bladerunner 2049 | Holographic merge VFX (2 replies)

2 weeks ago
Serhan 2 weeks ago

Hello Mr. Deakins & fellow forum members,

First off all thank you for taking the time to look into this and sharing your knowledge with the world 🙂

In Bladerunner 2049 we find Agent K watching his holographic A.I. girlfriend Joi merging with flesh-and-bone femme fatale Mariette. How did the team achieve this effect?


It appears a clean-plate was shot accompanied by two individual shots at the same location to combine them in the final composition.

Thanks again for taking the time!

David M
2 weeks ago
David M 2 weeks ago

It was a lot more complex than that. This article goes into how that scene was created in a lot of detail:»

Roger Deakins
1 week ago
Roger Deakins 1 week ago

Yes, that is a good article. When we first talked about shooting that scene it seemed that effects needed to shoot one of the characters against blue screen as a separate element and, in order to make a perfect match, to do this after the scene was cut. Of course, that seemed like an impossible challenge from a lighting point of view. So we shot some really basic tests to see if it was possible to shoot both characters on the same set in the same lighting and then roto one out of the background. This proved difficult but possible and by doing it this way it certainly felt that both characters were in the same space. It meant that Denis had to choose a take as we shot the scene and we spent more time on the set matching the movements of each actress but I think that was key to making the scene feel 'real'. Had it looked like a computer 'effect' it would have been a disaster.

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