Friday, December 12, 2008

TANGLE (TV Series)

Hot on the heels of Rush's second series comes Southern Star's next big drama production, Tangle.

Staring Ben Mendelsohn, Justine Clark and Kat Stewart, the ten-part drama presents modern parents and teenagers struggling with the morals of living in the 21st Century and with each other. The series also has long-time Chroma patron, Matthew Saville directing. We have been producing several VFX shots for the show mainly focused on complex stunt rig removal and technical corrections.

Tangle is set to hit Australian screens in the coming months on Showtime.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Each series of NEWStopia gets better with what is now one of the best comedy teams in recent years. We returned to again provide visual effects and graphics support for the third season which aired late last year.

The crowning achievement, however, must be the final show of the series which took the form of a full-length INSPEKTOR HERRING episode. All of the NEWStopia cast are there and are easy to watch as always, but it's Nicolas Bell that really shines as Comrade Beluga. The entire 'film' was shot and produced in only 1 week and involved us producing over 20 VFX shots and performing grading duties to give it a strong eastern-european feel.

One of the best things about the show is the ability to hear the viewers feedback and encouragement on the NEWStopia website as the series is airing. When your slaving away in the dark recesses of post production, it's great to see comments on a shot or sequence only a few hours after broadcast.

If you missed it, you can still watch the final episode here.

Jahasra and goodnight!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

UNDERBELLY 2 (Miniseries)

Controversial gangster saga, Underbelly returns to Australian (and hopefully Melbourne) screens in early 2009 as 'A Tale of Two Cities'.

This prequel of sorts is set in the late-70's/early-80's and we've just completed the new HD opening titles for the series.

As the network wanted to pretty much keep the titles the same as the first series, so we ended up creating a 'retro' version of the our original sequence. The structure, edit and overall style is practically the same, due to the music also being brought over from the first title too, but with a more 'super-8' treatment to the imagery. The Underbelly branding we developed for series 1 has also been carried over.

The show is scheduled to air in early 2009 on Nine.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Chroma welcomes Stuart Elith to the team. Stuart will be working primarily with animation and VFX for our broadcast clients and has already produced work for NEWStopia S3 and Snake Tales. You can contact Stuart at the office or at:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

DIRT GAME (MiniSeries)

ABC's new mini-series, Dirt Game, is well into shooting and we've been engaged to produce the opening titles in addition to providing visual effects supervision and production.

The series is set in several stark rural locations around the world (although shot entirely in Victoria) and a large part of our work is involved in the creation of large-scale establishing shots. These involved working with director Brendan Mayer (Spooks) and DOP Lelani Hannah (The King) on location during acquisition to achieve the shots of the partial set that we would augment later. The scenes are scripted at night so footage was shot at dusk to give us some image to work with, whilst still preserving light-sources from vehicle headlights and buildings. Texture photography was taken of the location set-pieces and the buildings and props were constructed in Maya and tracked into the shot to create a sprawling community. Several day and night variations were produced.

Other shots include a composited sequence using fluid simulation to create turbulent water, several digi-mattes and some advanced colour correction and digital removal.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

RUSH (TV Series)

Work is well underway on several stunt and CG sequences for Southern Star's RUSH.

RUSH is an adrenaline-charged police drama set within Melbourne rapid response task force. We worked on the pilot nearly five years ago and it's great to see the show go into production. We're working with the team again producing a wide range of visual effects for the series, providing effect design, supervision and production services.

The brief for the series' effects called for realism and energy, perfectly matched to the frenetic, loose shooting style and fast-paced editing. There's no such thing as a 'locked off shot' in Rush and that presents some great opportunities to really give the audience some feature-level thrills. The effects work in RUSH is given no more screen time than a regular shot and is treated to look as in-camera as possible. We are also providing a diverse range of VFX shots and additional technical work throughout the series.

At this point we have produced two specific action sequences, with two more currently underway.

The first, a parkour-style chase through city streets which opens the series, involved tracking air-to-ground footage shot by 2nd unit and adding a CG police helicopter throughout the sequence. The helicopter was modeled, textured and animated in Maya with environment maps made up from satellite images of the actual location. 

Another sequence involves a rooftop stand-off where several stunt set-ups where required.
The sequence called for key cast to be clearly seen from multiple angles, hanging from the side of a building.
For the three main angles, the cast were suspended from a truss rig and harness against a large green-screen, with one shot calling for a camera to be slung above the rig to achieve a high-angle framing. Two additional angles were created by having the cast member crawl on a green-screen wedge. The rest of the sequence was filmed practically against a city view from the roof of the location and required complex rig removal to create the effect.

Location photography was used alongside HD background plates to create the final digi-mattes used behind the cast.
Although all of the various plates used to create the shots were locked off, compositing all of the elements in 3D gave us the capability to 're-shoot' the scene and break outside the frame of the shot, closely matching the shooting style of the series. Maya was used to add dynamic rope that had to interact with the cast, with shadows and window reflections added during the compositing process.

The final sequences are a great taste for what's to come on RUSH and we're looking forward to getting started on the next few Ep's.

For a brief behind-the-scenes of the rooftop sequence from Ep2, check out the video here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Westside film & television have begun shooting their new kids series, Snake Tales.

Snake Tales follows a group of unlikely kids that find themselves marooned together in a remote reptile park in the middle of nowhere. Chroma designed and produced the opening titles presented in a cartoon, 3D style.

In addition to titles, various exterior VFX shots of the 'Snake World' park were created using HD background plates, with a high detail CG model of the set added using camera tracking. Chroma will be producing a wide variety of effects work over the entire series, which is being posted in-house at our Violent Panda facility.

Snake Tales is coming to the Nine Network later this year.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


We just put the finishing touches on the opening titles and VFX for SBS's new crime drama, Carla Cametti PD.

Staring Diana Glenn and Vince Colosimo, this 6-part mini-series is a stylish and romantic tale of day-to-day life colliding with the heightened reality of designer-dressed gangsters. 

Working with Buon Giorno Productions, we aimed to blend noir-ish imagery with a fast-paced deconstructive feel, creating an identity that conveys seduction, intrigue and a distinctly Italian flavour.

The 60-second title features the beautiful Genesis footage that Leilani has captured, music by Cezary Stubiszewski and some additional photography by our own Andy Montague. We also carried out some visual effects work for the show, including creating several shots of a falling Baci wrapper and tricky mobile screen replacement.

Carla Cametti PD will be hitting screens in a few months, check it out!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Long running Crawford's series, The Saddle Club, got the Chroma treatment recently with two VFX sequences.

Firstly, we had to create a sequence where a horse had become trapped on the edge of a sheer cliff, later being walked out of trouble by one of the kids who is lowered down from above. Obviously with both children and horses involved, our job was to come up with a cost-effective, safe and logistically straight-forward solution, that would work over multiple shots. The scene ended up being shot in a Daylesford picnic area which featured an inclined slope. The cliffs edge was defined using 30-meter runs of chroma-key fabric that ran the length of the widest shot.

3D camera tracking was used to replace the grassy picnic ground with a gaping chasm. A digi-matte of the cliff was created using a combination of photography taken nearby and 3D modeling, with the distant background created with a multi-plate matte shot acquired not far from the location.

Another sequence called for a series of shots where a donkey 'talks' while on-stage during a school concert.
Shots of the donkey were tracked and the lower jaw replaced with projection mapping to match up with the required lines.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Fremantle Media Australia presents Comedy Slapdown, a new live improv comedy show coming to ABC later this year.

Think celebrity theatre-sports with all the pace, drama and unexpected fun of American wrestling. Played out on a huge set with six players on each team, it's a fast-paced battle of wits as random games are thrown at them by king-of-the-ring, HG.

Chroma were brought in to produce the huge graphics package for the show including brand design, game graphics, projection content and animated titles. The show also features music by Yuri from Kinesound who also provides the sonic fun on Newstopia.
Comedy Slapdown is scheduled for 12 episodes and will air Q3 2008 on The Comedy Channel.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Bed of Roses is a bitter sweet drama staring Kerry Armstrong that's coming to the ABC later this year.

We've worked with Ruby Productions (Stephen Luby & Mark Ruse) before on Let Loose Live and a few other projects over the years, but when asked to design the opening titles for 'Bed of Roses', it required something a little softer and more feminine than what we have done in the past. It's great to be working with the guys again and, vicariously, with Kerry who we worked with on One Perfect Day.

Produced entirely using illustrated elements placed in a 3D environment, the idea was to create a single move through a soft and feminine landscape akin to a living Chinese printed fabric - it contains a lot of subtle visual clues that tie in with the core themes of the show, using the simple device of thorns (that look like Chinese dragons) evolving into a sea of roses - creating the notion of personal growth, the strength of family and the positive changes that can result from tragedy and displacement. 

The palette is very muted and was effected to create a slightly dirty quality to the soft visuals, this is also reflected in the typography and main title card which are done in a rustic treatment to better connect with the riches-to-rags narrative and prevent the whole thing from looking too 'girly'.

It was also fun to do as it's rare and refreshing for a drama on Australian television to not contain images of the cast or locale (or the dreaded 'montage of footage'). It shows confidence and shifts the audience's perceptions of production value - presenting a more international, mature style. So props to the guys at Ruby and the ABC.

The hi-def titles are now complete and perfectly complement Niko Schnable's beautifully reworked version of 'Bed of Nails'.


The directorial debut of comedian Bob Franklin, Corrections (produced by Incendia) is a short film set in a cosmetic surgery waiting room and stars Brooke Satchel, Roz Hammond and Jo Stanley. This tense little 10 minute piece was shot in HD by Marty Smith, edited by Dave Redman at Resolution Independent, with me pitching in with opening titles and grading duty.

Be sure to keep an eye out for it at a festival near you.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


This stylish and gritty miniseries, produced by Screentime, covers the true accounts of Melbourne's most notorious crime syndicate during the 90's and the cops who tracked them down. Chroma produced the HD opening titles (featuring music by Truman Show composer, Gerhard Berkhard), graphics package and branding. Several VFX shots were also produced for the show, mainly removal/additions and some tricky squib/rig removal.

UPDATE: Won 2008 AFI for Best Television Drama and 2008 Logie for Most Outstanding Television Drama

Sunday, February 10, 2008


By popular demand, Newstopia the SBS' comedy/news mash up returns to screens this year!
Last series Shaun and the team presented a special blend of hard hitting news satire and pythonesque humour.

We had a blast working on skits such as 'Inspektor Herring', Planet of the apes, Guilford Four and a request for a 'punnet of dead sparrows' for a Bunnings skit. This year is no different with a return of some viewer favorites and even more visual gags and SBS satire. We're back on board providing VFX and animation for series 2.

You can watch the latest episode here.

More as we have it...Jahasra and goodnight.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Forming like Voltron, Chroma is pleased to welcome Andy Montague to the team!

Andy will be assisting in content creation and animation for our broadcast clients in addition to training in a wide range of VFX techniques with yours truly. You can reach him at the office or email at: