The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance - Prologue - Part Two


VFX Supervision, VFX Design

Asset and Look Development

Map of Thra

As the visual narrative got more developed and we decided upon which creative route to take, we moved onto the asset and look development phase. We started creating the map asset, which was always meant to be challenging, since we wanted to do a 3D version of the map, which only existed as a flat design at that point. Carefully sculpting the major locations - the area around the castle, the claw mountains etc - we designed a map that acted as a character itself. The different territories of the Gelfling clans were represented by different materials - distressed copper, marble, gold and others - the result of a phase where we explored materials and lighting setups. The finished asset had a couple of bespoke versions, where we used sections of the original map, and added much more detail to them. These were used in those shots where we needed to get really close to certain locations on our journey over Thra.

Aughra and the Skeksis

Narratively the most important element of the prologue for us was the creation of the scene where the Skeksis bewitch Aughra with the Orrery. After exploring some options we agreed on a scenario, where the characters are represented by sculptures, frozen in the moment, and the camera movement created the narrative flow. To further enhance the story, we wanted to create materials for the characters that tie into their traits. The Skeksis were going to be cold, majestic and slightly scary, while the Orrery needed to look fairly new and Aughra younger, but more connected to Thra than anything else in the scene. To help telling the story we created a narrative where the symbol of the Gelfling unity, the Aureyal is destroyed as the shadow of the Skeksis castle falls on the land. We received beautiful sculptures of the characters and the castle from Weta Workshop, and created bespoke versions of them that fit our pipeline. We added certain elements, and created a version of Aughra where both her eyes were open, indicating her being much younger than in the series.

the Gelfling Sigils

We created three-dimensional versions of the Gelfling clan sigils from concept sketches. These sigils were used as locators in the series and the prologue, floating above the map and indicating where the actual clan lived on Thra.

Director: Louis Leterrier
Executive Producer: Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford
Production Companies: Netflix, The Jim Henson Company
Distributor: Netflix
Producer: Ritamarie Peruggi
Visual Effects Supervisor: Sean Matthiesen
Visual Effects Producer: Alex Reinach

Lunarstorm Studio
Peter Eszenyi, Roland Lukacsi, Ferdinando Spagnolo