Case Study
Creating the Ghoul’s iconic nose for Fallout season one


Long-time collaborator and VFX supervisor Jay Worth turned to the FutureWorks visual effects team once again – creating the most iconic composite of the series.


Project: Fallout
Client: Amazon Prime
Service: VFX

Drawing on our wealth of VFX experience and ongoing close relationship with VFX supervisor Jay Worth (Westworld, The Peripheral), we delivered over 700 shots for the hotly anticipated Amazon Prime smash hit ‘Fallout' – including the iconic nose of the protagonist ‘The Ghoul'.

Creating the negative space

The full scope for the project included set extensions, cleanups, and stitching camera array footage for LED walls. However, the pinnacle of the deliverables was the conceptualisation and delivery of the nose (or lack thereof) of the protagonist ‘The Ghoul'.

With initial look tests taking place in the summer of 2022, we worked closely with prosthetics and makeup, as well as head scans of Ghoul actor Walton Goggins to visualise a negative space for the nose using a combination of techniques.

The challenge lay in making the skin look as radiation-affected as possible, with the nose area looking authentically damaged. Using references from the original game, as well as the exceptional craft of the make up and prosthetics team, lead by special effects makeup artist Jake Garber, we continuously iterated the render until Goggin's character came into its grizzly self.

Jay Worth explained the reasons for adopting a 3D approach to Befores & Afters, explaining that a number of methodologies were considered for how to pull it off. The make up “looked amazing, but we weren't really positive on how we wanted to remove his nose. So we ended up doing some training on the sculpt to see if we could do a machine learning approach. It was interesting, but we realised it wouldn't really give us the flexibility we would need for 500-plus shots in so many varieties of body positions, environments, and lighting conditions.”

Image courtesy of Amazon Prime

The result was a more ‘traditional' 3D approach with us referencing the nose sculpt to see how light interacts with The Ghoul's face shape.

Jay further explained to Befores & Afters that “the final VFX work was awarded to FutureWorks after a range of vendors did tests. They stepped up to the challenge and delivered these shots flawlessly. However, they definitely weren't easy. We would have ‘Nosapalooza' review sessions, as we called them. We didn't review them with any other shots. It took lots of seeing the shots in repetition over and over and all the different scenes to make sure that they matched.”

Bringing post-apocalyptic America to life

Fallout's style is a tale of two contrasts – 50s era nostalgia meets a dystopian post-apocalyptic America. To help bring this environment to life, we completed set extensions for shots across the series. This largely involved bringing sets closer into view and removing real-life modern elements from the scenes, as well as cleanups to ensure consistency in the post-nuclear world.

We were also responsible for stitching the camera array footage from the LED wall used for the plane and helicopter scenes – largely featuring Maximus, portrayed by actor Aaron Moten.

Image courtesy of Amazon Prime

A team effort

In total, approximately 150 FutureWorks artists delivered the 700+ shots for the series from our Chennai studio between January and December 2023.

“I credit the immense talent of all involved – from production to composite,” explains FutureWorks VFX Supervisor Gouri Shankar. “It's always a pleasure collaborating with Jay [Worth] and Fallout in particular has been a highlight due to the level of autonomy and ideation involved in the creation of The Ghoul's look. It's a privilege to see how well received the series has been so far and I very much look forward to the second season of it.”

Image courtesy of Amazon Prime
FWX | Futureworks