Here, Park will typically act out every shot in the film while being filmed to give the animators a solid understanding of the performance required. The backing is a bluescreen which was later extended with more hills and trees. The rig was later removed in post. The set floor was always a hive of activity, according to Animation Supervisor Merlin Crossingham.
Luckily this was not our first feature and our production team made it work brilliantly. At this stage we look for key expressions and traits which help establish who the character is and how they might deliver a strong and believable performance on screen.
Remember, no one has ever seen this character on screen before, so by a process of exploration we have to find it and hone it down. With reference animation under their belts, the animation supervisors formally introduce new animators to the characters. Actual stop-motion animation using puppets that are shot on built sets has remained largely unchanged since the beginning of cinema itself. However, Aardman took advantage of digital SLR cameras and tools for reviewing frame-by-frame work.
And they shot multiple sets at once — about 40 at the peak of production. If there are 10 characters in the shot then that one animator animates all 10 characters. The animators really have to focus. Animators shoot a single frame, move the puppet and then shoot another frame. They repeat the process over and over, sometimes only producing less than a second of animation in a day. With 24 frames in one second, the footage played back — which is a series of static images — appears to be linked together and taken in by our brains as movement on the screen.
During production, animators make use of specialized rigs to hold up the puppets, keep them still, make them appear to be in mid-air, and so on. In the days before digital visual effects, these rigs would typically be hidden from the camera, but now they can be front and center in the scene and simply painted out. The team also used green or bluescreen sets to enable the compositing of their characters into different backgrounds or for doing digital set extensions. Visual effects has certainly widened the scope of many Aardman productions, including Early Man.
For a film set in prehistoric times, Early Man relied on an interesting mix of old-school techniques, such as the stop-. In one hilarious sequence, Hognob finds himself giving Nooth an unexpected massage. In fact I think he gave him a massage as he was reading the lines. Meanwhile, I worked closely with the animator on that sequence, Steve Cox, to try to find the maximum comedy and performance. We recorded a number of live-action videos in which we tried different looks and expressions and timings.
It would take seven and a half weeks to complete the animation. One of the major hurdles proved to be the soap bubbles, which were made of glass beads.
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He did an amazing job on the shot and it remains one of my favorite scenes in the film. When he finally completed the shot and Nick approved it, we had a mini wrap party. One of these was fur, particularly for Hognob and the clothing worn by Dug. Another was building a stadium capable of holding around 60, people.
Aardman actually turned to virtual reality to previsualize the right angles and find framings for their stop-motion characters to interact with here. But even this paled in comparison to the biggest challenge of having to animate one story requirement: a mammoth. Becher states that it was the single most complicated puppet ever built at Aardman. The final working mammoth — we only built one — was so heavy it required scaffolding to hold it in place.
It was useful to keep that objective overview as when you are so close to something and working on half a second a day, you can lose track of the plan. Here, scenes of stop-motion animation were augmented with extra lava and smoke simulations. For more show photos and a complete list of nominees and winners of the VES Awards visit visualeffectssociety.
On February 13, , the Visual Effects Society held the 16th Annual VES Awards, the prestigious yearly celebration that recognizes outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials, video games and special venues. War for the Planet of the Apes was named photoreal feature film winner, earning four awards. Coco was named top animated film, also earning four awards.
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Games of Thrones was named best photoreal episode and garnered five awards — the most wins of the night. These top four contenders collectively garnered 16 of the 24 awards for outstanding visual effects. Presenter Mark Hamill, right, looks on. Anderson, David Ryu and Michael K. Presenter Dan Stevens is at left. Presenters Dan Stevens and Sydelle Noel enjoy themselves on the red carpet. Presenter Diane Warren is interviewed on the red carpet. Lee Unkrich, director of Coco, and Darla K. Anderson, producer of Coco, enjoy the red carpet.
Elizabeth Henstridge of Agents of Shield fame was a presenter. Host Patton Oswalt and presenter Mark Hamill ham it up on the red carpet. Photos courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox. Photos courtesy of Disney-Pixar. Photos courtesy of HBO. No longer simply the means for spectacle, visual effects have become a hybrid of technology and artistry to the point that live-action and digital animation are indistinguishable from one another. To gain insight into emerging patterns, directions and applications in visual effects filmmaking and production, VFX Voice consulted a virtual panel of executives and supervisors on the creative and technical trends shaping the industry in Following are their comments.
Two technologies will continue to grow in the coming year and years: Virtual Production and Performance Capture. Both of these technologies have been in use for a few years, but have been somewhat clunky and intrusive to the process. As Virtual Production has become less obtrusive to the process, it has been used drive productions more. As more DPs get exposed to and embrace this technology we will see some very interesting and clever use of it. To be able to choreograph a scene and then dynamically change camera angles, lenses and timings really frees up the filmmakers to first focus on the performances and then on the coverage of those performances.
They stage the action, and everything is captured and tracked so that the scene can be replayed in Unity. Then the director and DP can walk around the virtual set with virtual cameras and get the coverage of the scene they want. In the hands of an experienced filmmaker this can be a powerful tool.
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In some hands, it can create an expensive mess, so it will be interesting to see what happens. The landscape in our industry is rapidly developing to include new audiences. The area of overlap between gaming, mixed reality and conventional media is growing into its own viable, sustainable medium. That growth is being accelerated because Silicon Valley is playing a significant role in Hollywood and has made some big bets on where they believe audiences, creators and the overall business is headed in the coming years. As a visualization company, we have seen an early reluctance by the major studios to embrace virtual production, augmented reality and the integration of the game engine melt away as these technologies become more effective at increasing production value and reducing costs.
Our clients have crossed the threshold and are very familiar with tools that were first forged in the gaming industry and are now a familiar sight on set. The next wave of content producers is tech-savvy and less averse to disrupting the status quo with applied science than content producers in the past. They have access to analytics.
This new resource will fuel dramatic change. We see this happening in the location-based entertainment space now, where audiences are used to early adoption of state of the art technology. As the technology matures, a new audience will emerge. We are designing our pipeline to serve that audience by empowering the expanding and diverse creative community with tools that amplify their voices. In the next year and into the future, the march toward photo-real digital characters — human and otherwise — will continue.
The desire to blend digital effects with practical effects will continue, and it will lead to some great collaborations between artists and companies of different backgrounds. It would dramatically affect VFX processes on set for the better and, one would hope, allow us more time in post to focus on integrating elements rather than isolating them. Having the VFX teams involved during development can save tremendous amounts of time and money during production and post, and ultimately lead to better-looking effects, a better work environment for the artists and a better experience for the audience.
Combining complex CG content with cameras and real-time rendering technology is an exciting and powerful tool, one which will become integral to the ever-escalating ambition of cinema to portray the fantastic and bring to audiences images and stories never before seen on screen. We should expect to see the envelope of photo-real rendering push further. The next generation of believable, immersive digital worlds and fully-realized digital characters will continue to exceed the bar. Photo and motion-capture techniques, as well as hair, muscle and shading tools will continue to improve.
Add the potential of machine-learning techniques and the horizon broadens for faster as well as stronger results. Spanning all technological advancements, the perennial requirement for the sharpest artistic eyes creating and nurturing VFX images will only compound. The number of VFX shots the industry produces as a whole is climbing, and audiences are smart and discerning. The illusions we created yesterday will be found out tomorrow, so it goes without saying that the detail and realism produced by the tools and techniques we harness will be held to closer scrutiny from the accumulating authors who put their names to the images.
The ability for a director to visualize a mostly or even fully CG scene in real time as he or she walks around the set will also have a positive impact on VFX artists and their work. Looking at War for the Planet of the Apes and Furious 7 it becomes crystal-clear that digital characters in live-action feature films are on the rise. But one of the biggest breakthroughs from a pure story-telling point of view are the possibilities that de-aging of well-known actors brings to the table.
In , our company, Uncharted Territory, was approached by director Harald Zwart [The Karate Kid remake] who came to us with an incredible screenplay about a protagonist who meets his younger self and has to first bond and then work with this character throughout the story of the film.
It was clear from the get-go that a young look-alike actor would not do. It clearly had to be that same person. Unfortunately, we had to turn him down in because the technology was still in its infancy. Now I look forward to this and other screenplays with similar storylines and technical challenges being turned into thrilling feature films.
VR and AR will for sure be a big topic in We used the Ncam system extensively on Independence Day: Resurgence.
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It is a multi-sensor hybrid technology that creates a point cloud of the environment and instantly locks our pre-created digital environment to the camera image the director sees on his monitor. The camera operator was able to pan with the moving jets, and also the actors finally knew what they were looking at, besides a big blue screen. A key technical trend that will continue to drive processes for VFX shops is global integration.
At Method and other facilities, different outposts used to handle different shows or special-. We can adjust on the fly to redistribute capacity and share capabilities as one fully integrated global operation. Cloudbased tools have matured in the past year and had a big impact in making this possible. The software and tools are so advanced now that VFX artists can create massive alternate universes that are photoreal. World building will also be key as VR continues to take hold. This not only affects environments, but also character design and even assets like weaponry and costumes.
In , we also will see much greater use of virtual production as the tools continue to improve. Looking back on the releases from the last few years, I believe that studios and filmmakers have become less fearful in incorporating entirely digital actors into their productions.
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We have seen with notable films such as Avatar and War for the Planet of the Apes that through these VFX advancements a greater creative range allowed for new story and character developments to be pursued. Scene Graph Based Workflows: While in the past a lot of focus has been placed on standardizing file formats for specific use — cases like animated mesh caches, volumes, point clouds — we will see a more widespread adoption of workflows that deal with the complexities of a scene graph.
While these workflows. While simple data-driven solutions have been used in VFX production for a while — for example, to control geometry deformations in rigs — more applications for this new, more powerful wave of technology are being found at a steady pace and making their way into production workflows.
It will be interesting to see the impact this will have on work that might today still be a candidate for outsourcing. VFX and animation production generate a huge amount of data from a variety of sources: production tracking software, bidding, time-keeping and accounting systems, render farms, IT infrastructure and asset-management systems. These are rich sources of information that show a huge amount about how you spent your available human and machine resources.
These historical insights will help in more rational decision-making to validate past changes and investments, and they will help in predicting possible problems earlier. Virtual production and the use of game engines in film are both technical and creative trends that will become even more widely used in effects films. There have been significant advancements in technology over the last couple years that can make the virtual filmmaking process intuitive for filmmakers, and a large part of that is the utilization of game engines, such as Unreal.
In our field — visualization — planning out sequences in previs can directly transfer over to a virtual scout or even a shoot. Using previs animation and preliminary motion capture exported into a game engine, we can set up master scenes for the filmmakers to shoot which can be rather complex. The rendering capabilities of the game engine make crowds, lighting, atmospherics and depth of field all adjustable and shootable in real-time.
We used Unreal on Logan, and deployed it on War for the Planet of the Apes for the entire visualization pipeline through to finals. The animation and assets made in that early stage can be used in live-action production for Simulcam setups or as virtual assets in virtual production.
It gives filmmakers a more intuitive and accurate idea of how their film is going to look, giving them the ability to better realize their vision. The new trends that people are playing with is machine learning and deep neural networks.
Pipelines are getting more complex, and there are a lot more shared shots between FX facilities which makes this format interesting. MaterialX also shows potential for exchanging materials between renderers and facilities who use different renderers. The lines are being blurred between layout and final renders. A software like Clarisse makes it so much easier to quickly build very complex shots with a ton of assets and geometry in a very user-friendly way. Facilities are building libraries of assets for quick and easy reuse. Facilities rely more and more on custom libraries of animation vignettes to use to quickly lay out crowds instead of turning towards complicated AI based systems.
We even build huge libraries of pre-simulated FX elements that we can quickly lay out when building a shot. These can often be directly used in a final render or they can serve as reference for the FX teams in order to guide the final simulations. Since scenes are increasingly huge and complex, people turn more towards procedural and simulation tools. It already contains many tools and it is so flexible that it can help automate content creation that would otherwise be very costly to create by hand.
Deep Images still is a good tool to render and merge complex assets that can even come from various renderers. The Cloud and GPUs are more easily accessible these days and can help distribute otherwise very costly computational. Color spaces are easier to manage thanks to better and easier-to-use standards. However, with all invisible effects, VFX can fix small continuity errors, set issues, dress issues and even the makeup.
Think of it as Concept Art in motion. As audiences binge on ever-magnified spectacles of the fantastic and on ever-developing platforms, the pressure for new ideas is the greatest it has ever been. There is a clear trend to defer idea creation in the belief that the best creativity evolves over time. The danger is that the visual effects process that empowers this deferment is seen simply as technical and not creative in its own right.
Time must be shared for VFX artists to gestate a creative answer to creative questions, and VFX filmmakers will find it increasingly necessary to find techniques and practices that allow the creative space to deliver volume on tighter schedules at a sustained quality. Expect another gain of invisible effects. A multitude of CG will ultimately be part of the final film, but the reliance on practical explosions and stunts is clear. Wonder Woman and Dunkirk have that sense of grit and grime designed to make them look more hand-crafted than some of the big effects-driven blockbusters.
Not too many studios can boast two decades of existence in the sometimes volatile visual effects industry. But Double Negative, founded in , reaches that milestone this year, having grown from a person startup to a global studio with thousands of employees. Ultimately, DNEG has emerged as one of the powerhouse visual effects studios in feature filmmaking. It is known for anchoring major releases, as well as continuing to work on a range of lower budget films, and has now branched out into television and animated features.
While it is now a massive visual effects studio, DNEG started small. It was formed largely by a group of artists who had been working together at The Moving Picture Company in London for several years. Polygram backed the group to start their own outfit, with the first project the Vin Diesel sci-fi film Pitch Black. The studio was without a permanent base in London and was yet to purchase much-needed workstations. Also, Pitch Black was filming in Queensland, Australia, the other side of the world. Very quickly, in fact, the studio began forming key relationships with filmmakers, producers and film studios.
As film production in the UK ramped up, so too did competition among visual effects studios, many of which happened to be located in the Soho area of London. Those films, and the commitment of Warner Bros. For that to happen, DNEG had to grow — quickly and creatively — not only in London but around the world. Another event also had the effect of expanding the studio: its merger with Prime Focus World in This global expansion certainly reflects the state of the industry — many other studios have set up in multiple countries, attracted by lower costs of production, tax credits, incentives and the availability of a near hour production schedule.
By the time of this final film, the VFX studio had become one of the major vendors for the franchise. For a studio in operation for 20 years, a surprising number of crew who were there at the beginning or in the earliest days of production are still at the studio, and have risen to become experienced supervisors, producers and part of management.
Enemy At the Gates : A major compositing project that pushed for a photorealistic depiction of the epic battle for Stalingrad in the Second World War. Many other experienced supervisors started their careers at the studio. We understand new talent may want to flex their wings and move on and try other companies, but while they are at DNEG we want to them to enjoy their experience and get the most out of working on the projects.
Interstellar : DNEG collaborated with Professor Kip Thorne of Caltech on research and development into the visualization of blackholes for Interstellar, taking the idea of physically plausible visual effects to new levels, and earning a VFX Oscar. Blade Runner : The studio delivered grand views of a future Los Angeles, as well as intricately orchestrated scenes of the holographic assistant Joi in one of the most hotly anticipated VFX films of last year.
DNEG is still primarily known for feature film visual effects. I was helping to create the Stone Giant and Guillermo had precise ideas about how he wanted the dust and debris to move. Moments when you get to directly create with someone of that caliber are to be treasured. And yes, I still have the drawings. I love creating amazing images with lovely people. While trying to load a 1, ft. So I quite literally bled for that film. Watching people start from scratch and grow. The bond we create as animators makes the work stronger and makes my job a lot easier. Shows are amazing experiences at DNEG, and a huge part of that is the crew we get to work with.
The projects are bigger and so we have grown the company, and the result is that we can do more creative things because we have fantastic, talented crew that work hard and know what they are doing. The company has invested in a more flexible pipeline that links the whole company to maximize this creative process allowing everyone to contribute in creating great shots. These include animated features — via a partnership with Locksmith Animation — and television. DNEG TV, in particular, has been one of the busiest new parts of the studio after launching only in DNEG might have grown in size and the scale of work it outputs, but the common theme among its crew is the level of creativity afforded to them every day, even in the sometimes cutthroat world of visual effects.
Chris is famous for putting as much reality on film as he possibly can. If he can get it in camera then. Although the film was a major blockbuster release, DNEG generally approached the visual effects as if they were largely invisible effects shots. In particular, the studio participated in the publication of new scientific papers involving the visualization of black holes. Pictures and Paramount Pictures Corp. Featured in the film were numerous animatronic characters, matte paintings, miniatures, miniaturization effects via oversize sets and bluescreen compositing, stop-motion animation and even rear projection.
McAlister, also represented a shift towards the digital realm of visual effects. VFX Voice: What are your memories of coming onto the film, initially? My earliest recollection is sitting in the art department meetings with George and Ron, as they talked about the early drafts of the script, to give us an idea of the kind of imagery they would like to see us do.
The script was still pretty fluid. They had a strong outline, but they were still open to changes as we contributed art and as they continued to have their story meetings. At this point, we needed to create a functioning model based on the approved sketches, at which stage we adjusted the length of the limbs and joint location, literally inventing a whole new internal anatomy. We were guided by the notion that well-thought-out internal mechanics or anatomy is an essential condition for obtaining a real and believable object, whether it is a living being or a complex piece of machinery.
The resulting working anatomical model featured some adjustments to the exoskeleton silhouette and designated secondary lines and shapes considered medium-size. Next, based on the sketches, anatomical model and key stylistic references, we proceeded to a more detailed modeling of the exoskeleton. First, we made a sculpt model to solve various design issue regarding small details, textures and materials. Once all the artistic solutions were found, work on the model started to flow more naturally. First, the sculpting artist worked on the detailing, then several modelers performed retopology and UV mapping of the geometry.
As we mentioned before, the rigging process began at the early stages of work on the exoskeleton. The rig itself was divided into three modules: 1 — animation rig, 2 — deformation rig, 3 — shading asset. The deformation rig was designed for the deformation of the highly polygonal geometry of the exoskeleton, and to deliver the caches ready for final rendering. The deformation rig was based on a muscle framework developed inside the company.
One of the features of this framework is its softbody muscle dynamics, which we used in most of the shots. The shading asset was designed to render the exoskeleton, from a technical perspective containing a library of shaders and a small preprocessor that prepared the geometry for rendering. Input data for the shading asset were the cache files generated by the deformation rig. Shading was carried out in two versions: black and white. Since in quite a significant portion of the film the action occurs in the area destroyed by the crash, all the surfaces are covered with dust, ash, debris and dirt.
Therefore, any object lacking these traces of interaction with the environment would look out of place. How did you manage their interaction on-set with the actor and the crew? Rinal Mukhametov, who played the real alien, masterfully handled difficult moments during close-ups with amazing plasticity, like when the antagonist grabs him by the shoulders and lifts him into the air, so all that was left to add was the rotoanimation and CG character. For the second line, together with the stunt group, we created metal structures based on prearranged techvis.
http://smtp.manualcoursemarket.com/125-pas-cher-plaquenil.php On long shots and in the background, everything was done full CG. How did you work with the stunt team to enhanced their work especially on the slow-mo shots? The stuntmen made several rigs for their guys in gray suits, who were replaced later by the aliens. This helped everyone during the shooting, and gave us an understanding of what it would turn into later. Plus, it gave the right physiology to the stuntmen playing the thugs. In a couple of frames, we had to completely replace the stuntmen with digital doubles, as we kept failing to achieve the desired choreography in the shot.
Can you tell us more about the gravity effects on the water in the shower sequence? But it nonetheless required a lot of manual work, including the restoration of cameras on close-ups with the actress, and then incredibly precise rotoanimation. But the main challenge here was the artistic component, where the general picture of the frame and droplet movement dynamics made the viewer feel what we wanted them to. We kept going through different versions until the director and we all realized we had finally hit the nail right on the head.
After this, the sequence was finalized rather quickly. What was the main challenge on this show and how did you achieve it? Plus, it was our first time with a character as sophisticated as an alien with so many close-up shots. We were familiar with all the other tasks, but almost all of them now were more complicated and bigger, including the destruction scenes, digital doubles and digital environments.
This allowed the studio to work more efficiently and resolve the numerous unplanned issues that emerge during the work process, as well as be much more flexible following changes in the plans. How long have you worked on this show? How many shots have you done? What was the size of your team?
What is your next project? What are the four movies that gave you the passion for cinema? This film gave me true insight into what I wanted to do with my life. Simon Robins Illustrator. Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou Editor. Luke Robins Editor. The Confederates expel the Digiopitans from their land, branding them as terrorists. Little does he know there are worse horrors awaiting him inside.
Interview with the Author Q. Why did you write Digitopia? I wanted to write a high adrenaline action adventure comic book which is high on danger but has an undercurrent of what is driving the danger. In this book I wanted to explore the levers that society, the media and those who drive governments use to control the population. I've always been interested in this, I think some of the best comics are those that go beyond the big action set pieces and explore the human condition, to what extent governments, corporations and the media controls societies and how societies allow themselves to be controlled.
Is Digitopia 1. Digitopia is the first book in what we hope will be a series of either 3 or 4 comics. My ultimate aim is to combine the issues into one big graphic novel. Why comic books? I think comic books have always been the agents of change. I find I can weave a complex story using imagery and visual metaphor into the panels in a way that would be wordy in a normal prose book.
Comic books have a long tradition of exploring the human psyche. It's in our very nature to want to explore our imaginations, by their very visual nature comic books are such a natural way to go on these types of journey. How did the comic book come about? We actually ran a Kickstarter campaign on this which was fully funded. The whole book was possible because comic book fans wanted to see this comic book made - it's quite different to the mainstream superhero comic books - the subject matter clearly struck a chord with the audience on Kickstarter.
Tell us about the subject matter, what are the themes you want to explore? I really wanted to explore themes around demonising and dehumanising a group of people and how media double standards fuel that.