We created huge crowds of Orange fans using both filmed footage and CG (3D) characters. For a technical breakdown on how we created a full 3D stadium filled with CG soccer fans, check the Case Study tab.
Other uses of VFX included placing an actor shot in a regular swimming pool into an aquarium in a zoo, a Dutch hotel that needed to be in the centre of Cape Town, TV inserts and many other VFX manipulations to create a 'sea of orange' on the Museumplein in the centre of Amsterdam.
In addition to the shots with 20,000 Orange fans on Amsterdam's 'Museumplein', we also had the task of realizing a scene that takes place in a sold out football stadium. Both the stadium itself and the people to fill the stands had to be created entirely with CG and VFX; after all, it was the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa, where 200,000 people had to be featured.
The technique we used for the shots at the Museumplein, isolating the extras from the green screen and then multiply them, would not work well for these shots because of the more complex shape of the stadium stands. Would we have chosen a green screen solution, we would have had to photograph a large number of angles and a large number of different lighting situations, to make it work. Since it was already necessary to completely build the stadium in 3D (after all, it could not be filmed on location in Johannesburg, South Africa) we decided to create the audience this way too.
With ultimately quite limited assets (five different animations applied to ten different 3D characters) we could nevertheless convincingly create the illusion that there was a huge, cheering and flag-waving crowd in the stadium, that could be rendered from every angle.
As the whole country is preparing for the World Cup soccer in 2010, all characters are confronted with the Dutch ‘Orange Fever’, which seems to either bring them closer together or drift them apart.