I had the opportunity to watch a VES (Visual Effects Society) preview screening of Pixar’s Brave, a few weeks back. And this screening, like many VES screenings, was a very special one. We were greeted by two guest speakers who had come all the way from the US to answer questions from the London professional visual effects community, and well as some kids along for the ride to see the amazing red locks of the heroine, Princess Merida. Director Mark Andrews and Producer Katherine Serafian provided fascinating trivia about the whole process of making this film.
The art of filmmaking has come a long way over the last 100 years. The technology we use today to create breath-taking scenes continues to push the boundaries of high-definition and realism, but we should never forget the genius of film crews who didn’t have the opportunity to ‘fix it in post’ or rely on computer graphics to set the scene. As lots of you know, some of the best moments in film history were created by filmmakers having to think on their feet, making the best of an impossible situation. And of course there are certain skills that were essential to the filmmaking process back then that will start to be forgotten due to the rise in post-production capabilities and accessibility.
Now, I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of stop motion videos, but quite a few people around here really like them and I certainly appreciate the work that goes into creating them. Therefore I felt the need to share this one I spotted at TheVerge.com. It was made by a guy called Zach King and contains everyones favourite Mario and a couple of other guest appearances which you'll no doubt spot.
Last Wednesday we sauntered down to our friends at Saddington Baynes, devoured some gourmet Pizza, washed it down with some ice cold beer and cleansed our pallets with some invigorating VFX related conversation, all in the name of our second graduate reunion…who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? And with a high calibre of industry employed attendees from the likes of Double Negative, Framestore, The Mill and MPC London, conversation was rife.
Some of you may, or may not, know that V-ray is currently celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary. So, to mark the occasion, what could they be doing? Are they throwing a week long wild party? A massive shopping spree for all employees? Or maybe a month's extra holiday time to all...
Working in the CG industry, I have always been fascinated with stop motion animation. Growing up watching films like Tim Burton's 'Nightmare Before Christmas', I have always wondered what goes on behind the scenes and how it all works. And, funnily enough, a couple of months ago, the flat where I live actually turned into an animation studio overnight.
It’s always interesting to see how different studios rank, whether it’s in regards to gaming, films or television. On Wednesday, Develop Online released its top 100 best studios, which, let’s be honest is always good to have a nose at. This time, however, what made it more interesting for us is the fact that two escapees have gone on to work for the number one voted UK game’s developer, Traveller’s Tales!
Don’t you just hate it when you watch a couple get together that you’ve been rooting for throughout the movie and then a giant mutant bug stabs her in the stomach and it’s all over? Yeah we hate it too. If you’re um-ing and ah-ing where this scene-setting image is from then it was, of course, the original Starship Troopers film, released in 1997.
It’s fair to say that the world of VFX is a bit like a tardis, a tardis that escapee Allyn Lawson knows all about.
We’ve been catching up with lots of the escapees from over the years, and one story in particular has been hugely inspiring to us. Having studied a ten week Maya comprehensive course at Escape Studios back in 2003, Alenka Abraham has paved a very exciting career for herself. Taking on an R&D software project at Glassworks, Alenka met her future business partner, Adam Cubitt. Together they set up Existential Ltd., a company that develops both real-time and off-line computer visualisation and animation technology. Collaborating with leading post-production companies like MPC, and many others across the UK, they’ve been involved in pioneering projects and are making quite a name for themselves.
Yes, I really went there. A new trailer has been released for the updated version of Total Recall, and gone are the days of Arnie showing his rippling torso and basking in the limelight. This adaptation follows Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell) on his quest to find something better than his current life. After discovering ‘Rekall’, and being warned against it, he decides to rebel (against the norm, funnily enough) and visit the place regardless. This results in Doug Quaid having to question everything to try discover what is, and isn’t, real. The film boasts robots, a futuristic (yet dark) London and a whole lot of CG from MPC, Double Negative and Prime Focus. So from an industry point of view, it's definitely going to be worth a watch.
I like to end a Friday with a chirpy, feel good post. So, following on from my blog yesterday of Pixar’s top 13 movies; I had to post about this second Pixar ranking order. IGN has released their thoughts on who the top 10 Pixar characters are, and I have to say that I am genuinely shocked at who, and where, they have placed certain individuals.