Escape’s Head of 3D Mark Spevick harbours a special passion for all things Houdini, and last week his skills were called for on the continent, and he ventured to iMasterArt in Turin taly to host a master class with a handful of other pros with experience in all areas of VFX, here are his notes from the trip!
For those of you who are interested learning more about the tools being used by the pros, here’s a great article from the fxguide crew sharing details of the recent evolution of Naiad into Bifröst. In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting developments to come from Autodesk in quite some time. Find out more here.
Everyone loves a bit of free education, and the internet is full to the brim with juicy info ready for you to soak that brain sponge of yours in. As opposed to the monotony of modern day schooling, you’ll often find that thanks to video streaming channels such as YouTube and Vimeo, information is often presented in an exciting and enthusiastic way.
Wowzers, check out this amazing camera system devised by the University of Tokyo, by using two small independent mirrors this camera is able to track and stabilize images at 1000 frames per second in full HD.
Yesterday the world was saddened by the news that Douglas Engelbart, famous for developing many basic computing technologies but most of all for inventing the computer mouse, has passed away at the age of 88.
Happy Friday everyone! Here’s a real interesting music video by Electro artist Yuksek, for his song "Off The Wall",
It's sure to get your toes tapping and your brain wondering at the video which is jam packed full of hand manipulated props, instruments and body parts that are brought together and combined with a mirror image.
I do love a practical joke, and this one – played on unsuspecting people at a bus stop, is just downright awesome!
The legend that created the lab process of travelling mattes, (that’s blue/green screens to the rest of us) sadly passed away last week, at the grand age of 96.
We’re fans of art all across the spectrum here at Escape, and these sculptures, created by Chinese artist Li Hongbo are rather mind boggling.
What appears upon first viewing, to be a set or porcelain sculpted heads, are actually a set of heads that are crafted out of thousands of layers of soft white paper,
A form that was originally used to make Chinese toys and decorations – book editor and designer Li Hongbo, became intrigued by their form and took the medium to another level. Check out this site for videos and snaps!
Joy riders are a worry in many communities, and at a time of year when the icy roads have us all thinking twice about our speed, here’s a little bit of CG that lowers the speed limit.
Just when you thought Hollywood couldn’t create VFX on a larger scale than Cloverfield or Transformers, this trailer is released, for ‘Pacific Rim’, and it really takes the biscuit!
Directed by the world renowned Guillermo del Toro, this is a tale of wait for it, giant robots made by humans, fighting giant monsters that have arrived through a time portal at the bottom of the sea - Sounds crazy right? Check out this trailer and if you plan to go to see this at the cinema, be sure to prepare yourself for some bone crushingly epic VFX sequences.
One of my favourite things about the internet is the ability it has to present many different art forms as they happen, and in fantastic quality.
The Mill recently completed a commercial for US client Norfolk Southern, showcasing the transformative power of freight shipping. Being a rather stunning piece of work, you may be interested to know that this project was rendered primarily using Mental Ray, taking advantage of the newish unified sampling feature.
Very recently I came across a really cool web based app to create media applications for online. And it’s the kind of thing I felt needed to be shared with you all.
For the first time, Google are giving everyone a glimpse into where they run their products.
Seems things are taking some interesting turns for the games industry. The word on the street is that the main players are opting for immersive 3d environments in games... allowing games to leave the confines of the TV. Both Microsoft and Sony have recently revealed their very different plans on how to achieve a totally immersive experience.
Welcome back to part two of our series on effects that you thought were CG.
Want to see a demo of how computer games will look in the not too distant future? You are in luck. Here is a big breakdancing bunny courtesy of Samuel Lapere. Forgive us, the quality isn't great but it's still pretty phenomenal.
Special effects with computer graphics are all the rage recently. There are very few films produced these days without jaw dropping stunts courtesy of the digital department. But a lot of directors still prefer to shoot the real thing if they can as it nearly always looks better than the CG equivalent.
Ever wondered how much you change in the space of 4.5 years? Would you take a photo of yourself every single day and then animate it?
Yesterday Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the children’s classic book Where The Wild Things Are, died. Famous through his writing and illustrating, Sendak published a number of children’s books, wrote and designed three animated stories and his final book “Bumble Ardy” was an adaption of a collaboration between Sendak and Jim Henson from kid’s TV favourite Sesame Street.
For Softimage fans out there, you may be glad to hear that the loyal community of Softimage users are regrouping. Under the new name Softimage Creatives (SiC), this is an independent user group based here in London. Following a user group meeting held last November, a discussion began to revive the community among Softimage users. Six industry professionals expressed their interest in helping make this a reality, and with the support of Escape Studios SiC London was born.
Have you ever wondered what would’ve happened if the script for Jaws was developed by Disney execs rather than Universal Pictures? Well, wonder no longer. For your entertainment on this rather gloomy Monday afternoon, I wanted to share this hilarious concept with you all. Found on YouTube earlier, take a look at a Disney’fied trailer of the 1975 classic. Spielberg possibly missed out on a golden opportunity here for a PG remake.
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.
There are so many useful apps on the market and I have found a couple of super useful and cool iPhone apps for the VFX artist and digital photographer. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing these with you in a series of blog posts.
Thanks to everyone who tuned onto our Houdini webinar today, what a great turnout! Seems that everyone found it really helpful especially as Houdini is such a hot topic at the moment. We didn’t have time to get around to all of your questions, so if there’s still something that you’d like to ask, don’t hesitate, just reply to this post and I’ll get back to you with as much information as possible. We’re also going to be posting a recording of the webinar on our website soon so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that. This is exactly the kind of stuff that we announce in our monthly newsletters so make sure you’re signed up to it.
I promised to keep you posted on how we're changing our curriculum to include Houdini in some of our courses, and that’s the subject of this post.
Have I got a treat in store for you today!... It has caused a real stir among us tutors at Escape Studios, and we could talk of nothing else yesterday morning.
My cousin - David Itzcovitz - went to Israel last month and he took a series of photos, which he then processed to give this strange look. The process he mimicked in After Effects is called tilt-shift and is usually achieved by using a tilt-shift lens (lensbaby). This puts the focal plane at a strange angle to the film and as a result, you get this strange depth of field effect which makes big things seem like miniatures.
I have been developing a new course here at Escape called VFX Animation Professional.
If you want to replicate the complexity of real world objects, you need to create materials that mimic them and this month's free tutorial will show you exactly how to do that. A car body is made up of lots of materials or layers, like metal and paint. If you want to create a rusty car you'll need more materials to create the common signs of deterioration. Many Maya users will be familiar with the 'layered shader' and 'layered texture' nodes. This tutorial asks what happens if you are using the MIA material and rendering in Mental Ray.
Here is an amazing use of Xbox Kinect or PlayStation EyeToy: desktop motion capture!
How would you go about having fun making electronic circuits? How about by combining it with play dough?...
The new cinema buzz word at the moment is 3D... But did you know that this technology probably helped us win the war?...
Here is a very interesting new bit af kit to address the problem of CG cloth. It's called Marvelous Designer.
One of the biggest challenges facing TD's is moving data from one system to another. For example, getting the nice particle animation that you have done in Houdini into Maya for rendering.