February 16th, 2022

Behind The Scenes Star Trek: Discovery (Season 3)

Join us as we go behind the scenes of Star Trek: Discovery, Season 3, and learn how DNEG brought the season to life with the help of Clarisse. Senior and Lead Lighting Technical Director Eric Schulz shares VFX breakdowns and elaborates on the true efficiency and reliability that Clarise brought to DNEG’s VFX pipeline for episodic TV production.

DNEG is a world-renowned Visual Effects & Animation company for film & television, with nearly a dozen sites located across the globe and over 1,000 employees working on TV productions alone. It is responsible for the VFX in multiple Academy Award winning movies including Tenet and Blade Runner 2049 - both of which were made with the help of Clarisse.

Schultz describes the value of adopting a film-style VFX pipeline for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, to handle the complexity of scenes and the massive scale of environments in the season. Clarisse contributed towards lighting, lookdev and rendering, saving the studio massive amounts of time, and helping the team to overcome it’s most challenging moments throughout production, specifically during the creation of the immense city environments. By using Clarisse's ability to handle and create complex scenes for episodic production, DNEG were able to save time and therefore focus more resources on the VFX work that would really “wow” the audience. 

Clarisse was especially an imperative tool in the production of the Nebula, one of the season’s most challenging sequences. To keep the sequence clean and consistent, it was rendered entirely in Clarisse, allowing for accurate light reflections and integrations amongst featured ships. By using Clarisse as its sole renderer, DNEG was able to quickly and efficiently bring in lookdev’d VDB caches and place them into combiners. This allowed easy and effortless creation of structures for the Nebula, along with scales and scopes for flying ships in the sequence. 

Star Trek: Discovery, Season 3, went on to win 2021’s Primetime Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Single Episode' for its work on episode 11, "Su'kal". Congratulations to Eric Schultz and the team at DNEG for their outstanding and most admirable work!