EVE Online: The Move From Game to Comic Book to TV Series

Gamemakers are increasingly looking to other platforms. CCP Games announced its plan to create a TV series based on the popular space game “EVE Online” almost one year ago. While the company has met with numerous networks and studio execs to develop a series, they claim to be in no rush to produce it. CCP wants to capitalize on the growing number of the online game’s worldwide players, and will launch “EVE: True Stories” as a comic book before a TV series is produced. Continue reading EVE Online: The Move From Game to Comic Book to TV Series

Newest Installment of “The Hobbit” Trilogy Improves Upon HFR

Part two of “The Hobbit” trilogy, out this week, is back with the much-debated High-Frame-Rate (HFR) 3D format — but with some changes. The 2012 “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” boasted 48 frames per second, but some of the criticism of the format was that the super-HD quality was an eyestrain. The new “The Desolation of Smaug” maintains the HFR; however, director Peter Jackson says he’s toned down the sharpness of the image to make it look more “filmic.” Continue reading Newest Installment of “The Hobbit” Trilogy Improves Upon HFR

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix, the Emmys, and the Changing Face of Television

In the run-up to last weekend’s Emmy Awards, a great deal was written about the nominations received by “House of Cards,” and what those nominations mean for the future of television, both as a business and as an art form. Though the show missed out on most of the evening’s top honors, the three wins it did secure still mark a turning point in TV’s evolution. While it seems unlikely that the changes in the way television is produced and consumed will be as transformational or as swift as some predict, it does seem clear that the nature of television has changed and will continue to change in several important ways. Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Netflix, the Emmys, and the Changing Face of Television

The Future of Exhibition and Aesthetics of High Frame Rate Cinema

“’The Hobbit’ gave us a chance to see a movie projected at 48 fps, and, unless he changes his mind, James Cameron plans to show us ‘Avatar 2’ at 60 fps. Others, including Douglas Trumbull, are talking — and working in — 120 fps,” writes Creative COW. While some embrace the change, others are less in favor of disrupting traditional filmmaking and exhibition. “It’s to be expected that many people who’ve spent a lifetime watching and making 24 fps movies object to the look, many calling it similar to TV or video. HFR Cinema simply goes against the grain,” notes the article. Continue reading The Future of Exhibition and Aesthetics of High Frame Rate Cinema

Gollum Actor Andy Serkis on Changes in Motion-Capture Technology

In a video interview with Wired, actor Andy Serkis (who plays the computer-generated character of Gollum in the popular “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the upcoming “The Hobbit”) speaks about his recurring role and about advances in motion-capture technology.

Since the 2001 release of “Lord of the Rings,” motion capture has changed significantly, “bridging some of the ‘disconnect’ [Serkis] felt while filming on separate live-action and motion-capture stages for the original trilogy,” according to Wired.

Serkis recently co-founded a London-based digital-effects house called The Imaginarium, which specializes in motion capture. In the 2-minute interview, he talks about how developments have changed his acting experience and what it was like to return to the role of Gollum.

“It’s still in its infancy in terms of where it’s going to go and the ability that it gives an actor to transform, while retaining a real emotional sort of truth” says Serkis of motion-capture technology. “No matter how big, or wacky, or abstract the design of a character, it still is always rooted in this emotional, truthful actor’s performance.”

High Frame Rate 3D Version of The Hobbit is Insanely Gorgeous

  • Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” shot in 48-frames-per-second HD, “looks nothing like you’ve ever seen before,” writes Wired. “In the 48-frames-per-second version… Middle-earth in 3D looks so crisp it’s like stepping into the foreground of an insanely gorgeous diorama.”
  • The movie will also be released December 14 in standard 24-frames-per-second, but the HFR 3D version allows for more precise images and smoother 3D action because it doubles the “visual data” and decreases blur during quick camera motions.
  • While the 48-frames-per-second approach is great for action sequences, Wired questions its effectiveness during naturalistic scenes. “The flicker, depth of field and imperfect ‘grain’ that lends character to 35-millimeter film historically fostered a collective dreamlike state for audiences who gathered in the dark to lose themselves in images that were never intended to exactly replicate the ‘real’ world.”
  • “In delivering the kind of high-def detail by which every wrinkle gets full attention, fast frame takes getting used to,” suggests the article. “At times, scenes unfold as if part of an extravagantly well-lit, art-directed reality-based series or soap opera.”
  • The 48-frames-per-second method combined with 3D almost makes the film seem something beyond real, suggests Wired, and definitely takes some adjustment for people used to watching standard film.

Cinema History: Warner Bros. to Release HFR Version of The Hobbit

We have an update to Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first major movie release to be shot at 48 frames per second. When the film premieres in the U.S. on December 14, a new projection technique — that could possibly revolutionize the industry — will offer some film fans a brand new experience. Continue reading Cinema History: Warner Bros. to Release HFR Version of The Hobbit

3D Tutorial Video: Peter Jackson Discusses Production of The Hobbit

  • Director Peter Jackson’s team has created a fascinating 10-minute video covering all aspects of shooting a 3D feature (cameras, frame rates, concept art!, costumes, make-up), using “The Hobbit” as the case study.
  • ETCentric staffer Dennis Kuba adds that this is the fourth in Jackson’s “Hobbit” production videos, this time with a focus on their 3D production. Dennis points out some of the highlights:
  • They are using two RED Epics in a 3ality rig which uses a mirror to replicate a human’s interocular. Both the interocular and the convergence can be altered as they shoot. They also have a camera rig for a crane and a handheld rig. Jackson doesn’t feel that 3D is restricting or changing his shooting style. Interestingly, they are shooting at the same speed as 2D.
  • They are shooting at 5K resolution and 48 fps. Jackson says the effect is “like looking into the real world.”
  • The RED camera “tends to eat color” so they add even more color.” The final film will be graded down to get the right amount of color. For the characters, they found that they needed more red in their makeup otherwise they would appear yellow.
  • This is the first film where the pencil and charcoal concept art is being done in 3D.