Pixar, renowned for their cutting edge animation, know better than anyone the advantages of saving time where possible. The technical directors and supervisors on Cars 2 were faced with the challenge of building locations for this feature length animation. Those of you who have seen the sequel will remember that the lead character, Lightning McQueen, is being sent around the globe to race in the world Grand Prix. The challenge for the Pixar creative team was to build recognizable cities, on a very broad scale.
For some time now, I have been doing a weekly round up of news for our own internal use at Escape Studios. I never actually thought of sharing it more widely until someone pointed out to me last week, that actually, maybe it would be useful to the people who read this blog.
MARI is a relatively new piece of software, and is becoming more popular with artists as its reputation for efficiency and adaptability becomes more widely known. As with any piece of new software there is a period of trial and error before you really get to know its full capability. It is in light of this that Henry South, lead texture artist at Framestore, is offering to share his top 23 tips when working with MARI.
Following a commission from STA Travel Australia, director Rick Mereki, DOP Tim White and actor Andrew Lees, set off on an epic journey to shoot three short films. Themed around the basic elements of travel: moving, eating and learning, they somehow cleverly capture the enormity of their subjects, all within one minute of footage per film, quite some feat by anyone's standards.
His films certainly divide modern critics and audiences alike, which is perhaps no surprise. In a Hollywood saturated with formulaic product for multiplex audiences, his films are an anomaly, breaking from a conventional narrative and featuring extended, languid shots of the natural world that often serve to emphasise his character's - and therefore Man's - insignificance in the face of events.
Here is an amazing use of Xbox Kinect or PlayStation EyeToy: desktop motion capture!
We have talked recently about how well the UK is doing in VFX so it's nice to see some noise happening in the US also. Digital Domain saw its revenue from visual effects climb to $101.9 million last year - up 70% from 2009, according to its filing. Whilst DD have already had one attempt at going public in 2007, they seem convinced that now is possibly the right time.
It’s always good when people respond to the blogs we write. The one I wrote last week about the MTV advert animation got a great response when we tweeted the link, with @anthonygelatka pointing me in the direction of another great piece of animation.
No doubt you’ve heard about Rockstar’s latest release LA Noire - apparently a completely new type of video game. Up until recently, most games have been all about hand eye co-ordination but in LA Noire, which is set in the late 40s, the main skill is about being able to judge body language and characters’ faces to figure out if they’re lying or not - or ‘emotional perception’ as some are calling it.
This week Escape is very pleased to welcome Mark Pascoe from Rushes to speak to our current classroom students. Mark joined Rushes 5 years ago off the back of the Visual Effects Production Grade course at Escape, doing the Maya comprehensive course before that. He is currently in the Film and TV department at Rushes, taking up a technical role on projects. He has also been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Series.
The chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve got more than a passing interest in the film industry. Alright, specifically the VFX part, but still, you’re keen to know as much as you can about the industry, and possibly how you can break into it (hopefully with our help…).
I came across an interesting little article yesterday on PodcastFilmReview.com about the top ten uses of special effects for story telling. It was refreshing to see someone looking at this from the angle of the story telling rather than just for the special effects themselves.
We were all delighted for our friends at Double Negative on Sunday, as they scooped an Oscar for their VFX work on Inception, and the whole country was feeling a touch of national pride as Brits dominated the ‘big’ awards. No matter what your thoughts on the future of British film, it was certainly a good day to be a part of the UK film industry.