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Phosphene Heads Back to New Orleans for 'Treme'

Phosphene was called back by HBO to reprise its visual effects role on the third season of David Simon’s New Orleans-based HBO series Treme. “In this kind of grounded, realistic, character-driven drama, the visual effects challenge is always making sure the audience has no idea there are any effects in the show,” says Phosphene partner and VFX executive producer Vivian Connolly.

One “invisible” effect Phosphene provided involved the bulldozing of a practical New Orleans location established in previous episodes. Production built and tore down a façade of the house on an empty lot, so “the trick was to then seamlessly composite the destruction of the house into the practical location,” according to visual effects producer Lea Prainsac. To complete this sequence, Phosphene artists used The Foundry Nuke, Autodesk 3ds Max with V-Ray, Adobe Creative Suite and PCs running Windows 7 64-bit.