To create the magic for the third installment of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts, Digital Domain Visual Effects Supervisor Jay Barton and his team of artists submitted over 370 VFX shots across eight sequences. In one of the sequences thousands of magic users have gathered to support the candidates running for office. Due to COVID restrictions, there was only a limited number of extras that could be on set, 80, so the team was challenged with creating the massive crowd digitally. For the sequence Digital Domain created a total of around 5,000 unique and photorealistic digihumans!
Digital Domain also created several settings to bring the story to life. One of those being the German Ministry of Magic, which the team created from scratch using concept art and a small, physical, one-story set. The team also recreated the location where the election took place, which featured a mountain top and courtyard. Working from real-world aerial photography, Digital Domain began the creation of the mountain and the Eyrie using digital models, photogrammetry and elevation models. The team also employed its crowd simulation tools and filled the locale with roughly 4,000 digital humans, along with plenty of finishing touches – including massive banners that acted as magical jumbotrons, and also CG fireworks. Additionally, the artists created the magical, crystalline world where the final battle takes place along with the destruction of architecture, spell blasts and lightning.
Over 250 Digital Domain artists from multiple offices around the world contributed to the film.