Athena Studios played host to a special event produced by the Bay Area Chapter of the Visual Effects Society last month. During the event visual effects director of photography Carl Miller delivered a hands-on presentation entitled VFX - Keeping it Real. More than 45 people attended the presentation including VFX professionals from Pixar Tippett Studios and 32Ten Studios. David Tanaka Bay Area/Northern California section chairman of the Visual Effects Society introduced Miller. During the presentation Miller discussed how the lines between CG and practical effects continue to blur with the advent of digital cinema. He explored the evolution of VFX photography from its practical roots through the advent of motion control and CGI citing examples from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of The Clones and then moving into the latest developments in affordable digital cinema hardware. Miller also talked about how the tools and methodologies of pre-visualization and pre-planning help to keep CGI and practical VFX collaborative creative and affordable. In addition Miller stressed how to “keep things realistic ” so that cinematic stories may be believable and convincing. “We were delighted to have hosted this extremely insightful event at Athena Studios ” said Jon V. Peters Athena’s CEO/founder. “One of our goals with Athena is to help nurture and promote the extraordinary talent located in the Bay Area. Events such as this one led by Carl Miller a renowned DP with decades of experience allow us to foster the continued viability of the filmmaking community based in Northern California.” “This was a really great event for our Bay Area VES members ” said Tanaka. “I’ve known Carl for over 20 years back in the day when we first started working at ILM. Many talented VFX artists live in the Bay Area and it’s great that we are able to learn and grow as a community through the Visual Effects Society connection. The VES enables us to share our craft and experience with other members on both a personal as well as on a professional basis.” “Carl Miller had an amazing amount of information to share and was able to make it a fun and participative experience for our attendees. We’re looking forward to doing more events such as these through which we are able to create educational and networking opportunities for VFX professionals based across the San Francisco Bay Area ” Tanaka said.