Animation Reference Vimeo Channel

•March 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

aniref

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Humorous and well executed

•March 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Personally I think the ipad is going to rock!

•March 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Weta Digital The Day The Earth Stood Still destruction breakdown

•March 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Facial animation, entertainment and the matrix

•February 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Facial animation is really coming of age, Benjamin Button pretty much crested the uncanny valley with impressive past performances in Avatar, Davy Jones and King Kong see bellow.  The industry is galloping along and I feel it won’t be too long before we may meet digital people without knowing the fact! Already many vfx shots are so good that we don’t realise they exist until we hear from another source.

Paul Debevec inventor of HDR lighting has been working with Image Metrics to create a fast capture system aquiring data for specularity, displacement and diffuse from all angles using an array of cameras and a surrounding lighting rig.  This system will allow physically accurate re-lighting of the source in post,  see here and recent fxguide podcast for more info.

With all the advances in gpu hardware and cuda/opencl the future is mind bogglingly exciting for us guys, creativity blossoms with iteration.  Personally I find it very liberating working in after effects with an imediacy that I pine in 3ds max, I’m gidy with childlike awe of the coming possibilities when we’re no longer held fast by the shackles of hardware, time and memory limitations.

A new era is coming to pass with the first incarnations of mental ray iray and vrayrt on the gpu rendering physically accurate many times faster than the cpu.  I enjoy the odd game and am really looking forward to the visual and creative honey pot that is simmering on the verge of boiling into something few of us would have been able to fathom not long ago… there’s no doubt in my mind the entertainment industry will one day have the believability of the matrix, is this scary or exciting? but hell yes our creative juices can flow at ease!


I hope the wind didn’t change for this guy as that looks painful

BBC covereage of the dawn of visual effects

•February 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Fascinating program showing how ILM created the effects for Star Wars, Indiana Jones and a space oddyssey 2010

Open Letter To James Cameron

•February 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Careers in vfx whilst being among the most fun and seductive are for that very same reason a daunting prospect.  The competitiveness in the field promotes low wages and long working hours, “but hey, that’s fine by me I love this job!”

If you’re one of the lucky few to go and see Star Wars a New Hope in the cinema, like explorers seeing something new for the first time – you experienced the future in so many ways, but now lies another Death Star on the horizon – is it on a collision course with western workers which have “flourished” in this industry?

Will many vfxers lose their jobs to a free market where China and India’s economies are gaining momentum with ample low-cost workers, no health and safety restrictions – like a swarm of locusts, will they come and devour the western industries?

There are some interesting articles on vfx wages about this topic by Digital Gypsy,  and also an open letter to James Cameron by Lee Stranahan touching this topic.

Personally I think there is a long way to go before there’s anywhere near the level of technology primed by the big VFX houses in the west.  But does this pose the possibility that vfx in the west could become the sole domain of extremely intelligent R&D teams using proprietory technologies enabling the creation of otherwise impossible shots outsourcing all artistic and simple tasks to the cheapest bidder which is already occurring to some extent, if I were running a business that would make perfect sense to me.  Will there be no place for artists in the west?

Counter to this, the wages are apparently increasing rapidly which could mean that a bubble is forming, especially combined with the geography, culture and language barriers, China and India really need to work on increasing output of their own IPs.