Just before the Olympics started I had heard of rumour that the BBC would be screening some of the sporting events, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, at its Broadcasting House using some very special technology. As it's a screening you’d be right in assuming that it’s going to be some sort of screen and broadcasting technology. What's so special about this is that the BBC are showing off Super-Hi Vision TV, which is basically a branded way of saying UHDTV. UHDTV in simple terms is 8K television accompanied by 22.2 3D surround sound on a 300 inch screen. There are only 3 cameras functional in the world and are developed by NHK (the Japanese national broadcaster) and they are all in London. NHK have been developing this technology since the 1990's with the aim of creating a camera with a higher level of fidelity than the human eye and a screen that encompasses your entire field of view, and as a result create the ultimate visual experience.
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.
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.
For those of us who like to indulge in a little bit of Pixar, whether it’s to appreciate the animation or just because you love a 'feel good' film, we all tend to have our favourites. My top 5 Pixar films (in no particular order) consist of Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3 (Ken is just hilarious the entire way through), Up and Wall-E.
Having previously worked in the games industry and studied Computer Games Art at degree level, Ewan Armstrong wanted to broaden his skill set to make the transition into film and TV media. Ewan made the decision to study at Escape because he saw an opportunity to fill the gaps in his knowledge on production rendering techniques, camera tracking and compositing, all while being in an environment closely linked to the VFX industry.
The Halla Stulecia in Wrocław, Poland is an almost 100 year old dome designed by legendary architect Max Berg and was built to commemorate the 1813 war of liberation against Napoleon. Almost a century on, members of the visual arts label AntiVJ have transformed the 65 foot concrete dome into what they call O (Omicron). O is a cinematic installation that paints the hall's intricate contours with the stark, pulsing lights of a futuristic starship.
If you're anything like me, you'll have a favourite developer, and mine just happens to be Valve. For those of you who don’t know Valve, it's an entertainment software and technology company that has been around since 1996. Since its beginning, it has produced an overwhelming amount of award winning games, with the most recent including Left 4 Dead 1 & 2, Portal 1 & 2, Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike. It is also the developer of leading-edge technologies including game engine Source, and premier online gaming platform Steam.
Honestly this is not about the supermarket chain Iceland but did you like what we did there? We do have our moments.
Anyway… in the past 10 or so years Iceland has become a hotspot for movie and TV shoots, and after seeing these photos we aren’t surprised!
Here is an amazing chap called Michael Hansmeyer. Michael studied as an architect and programmer. He explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural forms for artistic and commercial purposes.
The images of the forms that he creates are very intricate and beautiful...check them out.
Digital artist Kelly Richardson recently completed an artist’s residency at the Pixel Palace, a new digital media arts programme of the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne. During her time there, she began initial research and production into an ambitious new three projection video installation entitled ‘Mariner 9’. During her residency, the Pixel Palace commissioned a short film about the work being developed where she explains some of her processes and ideas behind the new installation.
It's been a while since we featured any escapee work on our blog so I wanted to show you a recent reel which has really impressed us.
There are some things at Escape Studios that we take very seriously. And pumpkin carving is one of them. The staff here have been furiously sculpting this weekend in an attempt to take top prize for ‘Best Pumpkin Carver’ and we really do have some very talented contenders. We were very impressed with all of the guys here for proving their skill and dedication however; our Software Manager Graeme Pitt might be disqualified for his attempt, blowing up an orange balloon with a scary face and then calling it a carved pumpkin. Now, we appreciate modern art as much as the next person but really, even we think this is a step too far. Judging is taking place this evening by students who have a very artistic eye – so let’s see who they crown king.
Some of our escapees are appearing in Arch 21 - an exhibition which is showcasing great student projects in architecture and VFX. Carlos Lora is one of the team responsible for organising Arch 21 (Pictured in the very centre) and was a student on our VFX for Production course which finished in April this year. Congratulations to you Carlos, it's quite an acheivement already!
If you're interested in Architecture and VFX, you should definitely go and have a look at the work being exhibited. With over 50 architecture students, graduates and VFX artists presenting their most recent work, it promises to showcase some amazing talent. The exhibition is at Blackhall Studios in Shoreditch from the 3rd to the 14th of August 2011 and is open from 10am to 8pm daily with the closing night being held on Saturday 13th of August.
As promised here's another escapee reel. This time from Ben Revens, one of our recent VFX graduates. This is a great reel with good examples of work from two of our most popular courses. The violin and tank shots were produced during our 12-week Visual Effects Production course. The more elaborate and advanced staircases shot was produced during our 6-weeks Visual Effects Professional extension which Ben took straight after his VFX Production course.
We're very proud of the work we do here at Escape Studios but we probably don't show enough of our students' work. Over the coming months we're going to be featuring much more student work on our website but in the meantime I wanted to start showing some of the reels from our most recent graduates.