When I was given the task of set extensions, I had a rough idea what it would entail. I knew that set extensions are about giving a sense to the audience of scenery that actually was not there or has been placed to make the scene that goes on forever to an extent.
For example, this video from Broadwalk Empire’s VFX breakdown of season one does it really thoroughly and wanted to give that authentic feel to the audience.
Meaning that they did research into the area of Atlanta city in the 1920’s that they wanted to re-create and did test versions to see what it would look like.
When filming the footage look like this –
How Atlanta City looks today but the people on the horse would have been dressed up by the costume department.
And this is what the set extension does. It adds buildings that have been knocked down or changed over time and popularises the scene with other people at the beach.
Another scene that best shows what set extensions can do is this –
Set extensions are 2D images which have been placed and then masked around objects and then motion tracked so that they can stay in one place making them look like they are actual structures which sells its realism to the audience.
In some cases, set extensions can really sell the believability of an area were no one has been before, for instance the film The Martian has some detailed scenes that show off how they sold the believability and authentic look of Mars.
With these screenshot it tells you the process of the how they set extended the scenes
After my research of finding out more detail and understanding set extensions I feel much more confident in how to create a scene and make it realistic. Furthermore, I will be trying out and experimenting with this process so that then when I get the film footage I know what to do and how to make it realistic.