Few VFX artists can claim to have as prestigious a career as Paul Franklin. From junior VFX artist to co-founder of Double Negative, one of London's most prestigious post houses, Paul has been on quite a journey. He's worked on some of the most memorable and successful films of recent times, titles such as Batman Begins, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Dark Knight. His work has brought him nominations for an Oscar and two BAFTAs along the way.
"Dad, can we go to the cinema?" Yes it was that time of the summer holidays when the children will do anything to get out of the house. I exclaimed "But we have already seen everything that's any good!"
If you are a user of any software package you'll know that at least once a year software developers deliver an update. Autodesk's Maya 2011 was no exception. 3D users had become accustomed to Maya's UI over the last 10 years but Autodesk thought it was time for a change, enter Maya 2011. So this release brings all sorts of challenges for the diehard Maya user, it has a new interface... I hear the screams of "where did you put that" and "what on earth does this icon represent"!
A few weeks ago I promised to have a closer look at the new Phoenix FD, to give you an idea of what it can do.
I spent my weekend at IBC in Amsterdam, poor me I hear you cry!
We now offer a cool new artificial intelligence (AI) piece of software for game developers called xaitment.
Following on from our looks or personality blog I wanted to share this game in case you haven't seen it all ready. For me, this game has the perfect blend: an incredible art style, ingenious game play and haunting sound.
For the hardcore 3d artists who have been doing this for many a year, it's sad to see an iconic brand lose its identity after such a long and illustrious career. it has always been a love hate relationship for ATI/Nvidia among all 3D artists. I come from a time when graphics cards in PC's where absolutely atrocious; that was before VGA and when 4 colours was a big deal. There was I, with my silicon graphics 4D20 and a geometry engine running GL. How advanced was I?!
If you want to gain more production-level modelling skills, this is a great tutorial. It’s taken from the final part of our Advanced Shading with Maya online course and looks at the steps needed to create a realistic render, by adding bump detail with procedural textures and making use of effects.
Stereographic: looks like this time it might be here to stay. But with differing techniques in post and production and delivery mechanisms still in flux who's getting it right?
So, to celebrate the launch of our Online Mentored VFX course, we have decided to go mad and give away for free the first week of the course to fifteen lucky people.
I had a picture sent to me from an old colleague this week (above). It was taken in the "fake" Getaway pub on the 4th floor of SCEE’s (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) offices in Soho.
Luxology are now giving away modo Production Evaluations for free. The Production Evaluation gives you access to more much more content than you would normally get with the free Basic modo Trial – so it actually gives you can a chance to properly test drive modo.
For me the best movie so far this year has to be Christopher Nolan's Inception. it will be interesting come Oscar time to see if the Academy and the world at large agree. It is a fantastic combination of amazing direction and cinematography, a gripping script and amazing VFX. The best VFX are the ones you don't see and only afterwards do you think "How did they do that?".
As part of our ongoing commitment to the US, we have recently been on a whistle stop tour of California visiting all of the leading lights in the VFX and animation industry. Lee and I were lucky enough to visit the likes of ILM, Pixar, Dreamworks, Sony Imageworks and Tippett Studio. It was like walking into a living museum of the best VFX and animation has to offer, from the original costumes and matte paintings from the Star Wars series to the giant Luxo Jr outside Pixar's HQ. We were completely in geeky film heaven. Lee's excitement at seeing models and maquettes from some of his favourite movies was very obvious. For those of us who know him, well there is no volume control!