Lucasfilm Combines Video Game Making and Film Production

Lucasfilm is developing real-time motion capture technology used in video game development that it believes it can combine with film production. In the long term, these combined technologies could eliminate the need for much of the post-production process as most of the work can be done in real-time. In addition, the potential exchange of elements in video games and films will allow viewers to tailor their movies while they watch. Continue reading Lucasfilm Combines Video Game Making and Film Production

Drones Offer Film Productions Thrilling Aerial Possibilities

Several notable films, including “Skyfall,” “Oblivion,” “Man of Steel” and “Iron Man 3” have used drone technology to capture spectacular aerial shots. Although there exist certain liability laws that govern how unmanned drones can operate in U.S. airspace, there are advantages for filmmakers. While productions have cranes to capture certain shots, drones have more reach and range. They are also more agile than a helicopter and can capture risky shots that would otherwise be generated by a computer. Continue reading Drones Offer Film Productions Thrilling Aerial Possibilities

Fourth Dimension Effects: Iron Man 3 to Be Shown in 4DX

Starting April 26, “Iron Man 3” will be shown in 4DX (fourth dimension effects) at a theater in Nagoya, located in central Japan. The theater is operated by Korona World chain, which plans to screen 12 titles per year using the new format. 4DX can include tilting seats, blowing wind, odor effects, strobe lights and equipment built into the ceiling that can drop bubbles onto the audiences. A ticket will cost $13 for 3D and $10 for 2D. Continue reading Fourth Dimension Effects: Iron Man 3 to Be Shown in 4DX

Galaxy and Framestore Recreate Audrey Hepburn for TV Spot

Chocolate company Galaxy is offering some classic eye candy for its latest commercial. Production house Framestore used a full CG face replacement technique in order to recreate the late actress Audrey Hepburn to star in the one-minute spot. VFX included extensive pre-shoot facial scanning and a facial action coding system (FACS) to record more than 70 muscle movements and high resolution textures of the CG Hepburn. Continue reading Galaxy and Framestore Recreate Audrey Hepburn for TV Spot

Editor Tim Squyres Talks Challenges of CG Tigers and 3D for Life of Pi

Tim Squyres has worked as director Ang Lee’s editor for two decades, helping Lee to create films such as “Hulk,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Caution,” “Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and most recently, the 3D spectacle “Life of Pi.” The Academy Award nominated editor spoke to The Verge about the new film as well as technological advances in editing. Squyres says he’s seen the finished “Life of Pi” 30 to 50 times because movies are produced in so many different forms: “3D, 2D, IMAX, film, 2D digital, 2D film, and for audio there are 7.1, 5.1, Dolby Atmos, near-field for TV speakers, and more,” he said. Continue reading Editor Tim Squyres Talks Challenges of CG Tigers and 3D for Life of Pi

Revolutionizing Wait Time: DreamWorks and Intel Partner on Rendering

  • Animators at DreamWorks have to work in low resolution — “as if blind” — because rendering takes a week for 3 seconds worth of animation.
  • “CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said his company’s four-year partnership with Intel is developing scalable multicore processing methods and software that will change all that,” reports Forbes.
  • Katzenberg explains the partnership is dedicating tens of millions of dollars in an effort to reengineer animation software “in a way that will halve the number of steps in the production line and ramp up animators’ productivity between 50 and 70 times.”
  • The technology will also be widely applicable in areas that use high-end rendering, including medicine, oil, aircraft design and more.
  • “This literally is going to revolutionize waiting,” suggests Katzenberg.

Lucasfilm and Sony Pictures Imageworks Release CG Interchange Format

  • Lucasfilm and Sony Pictures Imageworks unveiled Alembic, a computer graphics interchange format, this week at the SIGGRAPH Conference in Vancouver. Version 1.0 is now available for download.
  • According to Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter, Alembic is “an open source system aimed at helping VFX companies easily store and share complex animated scenes across facilities, regardless of what software is being used.”
  • Sony Pictures Imageworks reports Alembic enables its artists to work 48 percent faster while using significantly less disc space.
  • At SIGGRAPH, leading software suppliers including Autodesk, Luxology, The Foundry and Side Effects are showing Alembic support for their top products.

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