This Montreal studio is behind the visual effects in new Fantastic Beasts movie

Dec 3 2018, 3:31 pm

Montreal and the wizarding world of Harry Potter aren’t too far apart.

The Montreal-based company, Framestore, made a return to Hogwarts in JK Rowling’s sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, working their visual effects and animation into the magical universe of Harry Potter.

The studio animated over 100 beasts and several fictional and real locations that were used in director David Yates sequel to the prequel to the original Harry Potter films.

The team recreated the Great Hall of Hogwarts using references of the set from previous Harry Potter films and for locations set in Paris and London, Framestore worked with Yates to recreate a realistic 1930s setting with a magical twist.

“It was a huge challenge; we used Stuart Craig’s production design, original drawings of the city, references of the period architecture and LIDAR scans of Paris itself to make sure that we captured a close match,” says VFX Supervisor Nicolas Chevallier.

Framestore was responsible for designing and animating a heady mix of magical creatures within the fictional world as well.

Among them was Zouwu, a feline-like, elephant-sized beast with a scraggly lion’s mane, sharp claws, and long tail, who was a companion to the film’s main character, Newt Scamander.

Harry Potter

Framestore

The Niffler, Newt’s scene-stealing sidekick, also makes a return from the first film, “We get to see the connection Newt has with the Niffler in this film,” says Chevallier, “and our artists were able to work on showing this relationship develop.”

Launched in 2013 with a core staff of 20 people, Framestore’s Montreal studio now boasts just over 600 employees. Their office space has undergone a massive upgrade, with a whole floor given to projects that are solely Montreal-based, such as the Oscar-winning Blade Runner 2049.

Upcoming films featuring Framestore’s creativity, artistry and technical expertise include Mary Poppins Returns, Welcome To Marwen and Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle. A selection of films currently in production include Mulan, Captain Marvel, Dumbo, and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.

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