After a long collaboration on several Disney+ Star Wars properties, Happy Mushroom becomes Narwhal Studios as it aims to expansion into new creative waters in terms of Virtual Production.
The industry-leading virtual art department studio known for creating real-time environments for hits such as The Mandalorian, Obi- Wan Kenobi and Black Adam, has rebranded to Narwhal Studios! Led by CEO and co-founder Felix Jorge, the company continues to pursue its goal: to creating growth paths for artists that didn’t exist before, a more generalist minded approach with focus.
Since 2016, Narwhal Studios has been helping define the Virtual Art Department (VAD) and its utility for virtual production. Now, under the new name, they “are looking to further evolve the impact of real-time and virtual production not only in film but across all different industries (streaming, video games, VR, Multiverse, interactive, and passive)” saying “we are experts committed to excellence that come from multiple different backgrounds, with a common goal to empower your creative vision with innovative techniques, and to make it universally accessible and useful to all.”
A suite of customizable tools
Narwhal Studios created a suite of customizable tools that empower productions to explore ideas visually, and ideate in real-time, providing a visual roadmap of costs and risks early on in production. The company’s suite of proprietary tech speeds up the creative process, through the robust suite of Narwhal Tools, which includes Multi-user Filmmaking Scouting Tools, a Digital Asset Backlot, and Artist Content Creation Tools.
Two case studies available on the website of Narwhall Studios reveal how the company dealt with the challenges of two key Disney+ Star Wars titles: The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The comments made by some of the filmmakers and other professionals they worked with confirm that the company can deliver.
Remote collaboration workflow
Cinematographer David Klein, ASC, who worked closely with Narwhal Studios on The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, said about the team: “To successfully shoot on an LED volume, you need to take a portion of the post-production decision-making and budget and move it up front. Happy Mushroom took the concepts from storyboards through mocap and techvis. It’s a wonderful tool to have as part of our process, and we often got incredibly close to the final look of a shot. They always do a hell of a job.”
While under the name Happy Mushroom, the team “had a blast working on the Disney limited series, Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)” They worked as an extension of the Art Department empowering the Production Designer, Set Designers, Set Decorators, and Cinematographers with Virtual Production workflows. With the company’s Production Designer Todd Cherniawsky, and his team, Happy Mushroom created 14 hero environments over the span of 7 months.
“My experience with Narwhal was everything I wanted and more. I had an incredible team where nothing had to go through a traditional art department/VAD filter. Instead, it was pure and seamless. They’re also great at creating a transparent remote collaboration workflow with excellent quality control.” said Todd Cherniawsky, Production Designer, ADG (Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Polar Express).