LAVAlabs populates Oktoberfest with Golaem

Our long time user LAVAlabs comes back with a new production "Oktoberfest: Beer and Blood" for which they recreated Munich and the "Wiesn" at the turn of the 20th century and populated it with Golaem. 

Can you tell us about you and your studio?
My name is Christian Laskawi and I am VFX supervisor at LAVAlabs Moving Images in Düsseldorf, germany. I was CG supervisor at "Oktoberfest 1900".
LAVAlabs moving images is a multi-discipline animation and creative studio based in Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Frankfurt in Germany. We’re a super mighty crew of creative and creating professionals, VFX artists and producers who believe in crafting work to the highest possible standard.
We have over eight years of experience creating high-class visual effects, including CGI, compositing, design, 2D and 3D animation, colour grading and premium finishing for films, series, and commercials. 

Can you describe the project and what you used Golaem for?
We were responsible for the visual effects for Oktoberfest: Beer and Blood. We had the pleasure to create Munich and the "Wiesn" at the turn of the twentieth century. Hundreds of CG tents were built and combined with live action sets from Prague to bring a loud, dirty, rough, exciting and atmospheric Oktoberfest to life. Thousands of digital extras stroll past CG funfair stalls, ride the carousels or drink virtual beer in CG tents. What a great task to do.

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What was the size of your team and how long have you worked on this project?
We can be found in several cities, here in Düsseldorf at the headquarters the core team is about 20 people. If required we work with freelance artists. We worked on Oktoberfest 1900 for about 1 year. From the preparations to the set supervision and the delivery.

Can you describe how many shots you did and which kind of shots?
In total we have realized 111 VFX shots. From simple greenscreen shots to large set extensions.
In many settings we needed digital crowds which we realised with Golaem.

How many characters are there in the shots? What is the minimum number of characters you used Golaem for? What is the biggest shot with Golaem?
A few thousand. In other projects we have already created many more, here it was simply not necessary.
The biggest crowd shots are those where we fly over the Oktoberfest, but we also used Golaem for shots with only ten people. Once the setup is done it is easy to create it with the help of Golaem.

How close could the Golaem characters get from the camera?
We are not very close here in this project. Most of the shots are drones flying over the whole festival and in some shots we have filled up the back. We have built our own characters wearing the costumes and accessories from that era. 

How did the Layout help you make the shots faster?
Thanks to Golaem Layout you are flexible until the end.
I think we use the move and remove most often. However, we also use it with care, mostly in the end to avoid a new simulation. But it's also interesting for smaller shots with less crowd because you have a lot of control and can create the crowd.

Is there any part of a project you are most proud of or which prevented you from sleeping?
Yes there is, of course. It's the big shots in which you see the whole Oktoberfest. Many assets, cloth and smoke simulations, for the tents and that lively crowd. Those were the most interesting but also the most difficult shots. But we had a great team and we had a good time and a lot of fun.

Anything else you would like to add?
We are currently preparing a new project. A full cg film where we also want to use Golaem. But this time it is not real people we have to create -this time they are cartoon characters. The animations will be created by animators who will be integrated into Golaem. The characters are very different and contain custom rigs - that will be exciting :-)

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