Producers are the unsung heroes of the visual effects industry. Working on the periphery, their contributions aren’t always acknowledged, but their role as project manager, budget overseer, client advocate and cheerleader to the visual effects team is essential to the success of the project. If artists are the gears that drive the visual effects engine, producers are the grease that allows the gears to turn smoothly.
Thinkbox Software has acquired code to bring its particle renderer, Krakatoa, into Maxon’s Cinema 4D modeling and animation software. Initial efforts to link the plug-in with Cinema 4D were led by Ugly Kids artist Daniel Hennies, who collaborated with a developer to program a bridge to the stand-alone version of Krakatoa. Leveraging the C++ API of Krakatoa SR, Hennies and a small team were able to fully integrate the particle renderer with Cinema 4D and first demoed the technology at SIGGRAPH 2013.
The challenge of bringing Marvel's Thor: The Dark World to life involved many creative people working simultaneously in The United States and Australia. Many of the film’s signature creatures were realized by the teams at Luma Pictures in offices in Santa Monica, California and Melbourne, Australia. One particular highlight for this movie was the Stone Man.
The Foundry has released the new version of its node-based compositor, Nuke, which includes many features and updates for artists working across multiple industries. The product was launched at a live streaming digital event hosted in London’s West End.
Thinkbox Software has released XMesh MY, a geometry caching plug-in for Autodesk Maya. Designed to streamline animation and visual effects production pipelines, XMesh is a set of tools for saving animated scene geometry in a condensed format that yields smaller files for faster loading, manipulation and sharing across facilities and applications. Also compatible with Autodesk 3ds Max, the robust and scalable multi-threaded solution allows artists to quickly open, share or receive computer generated assets from internal studio departments or external facilities.
Marvel’s Iron Man 3 thrilled audiences with astonishing visuals, many of which were created by superimposing computer graphic imagery on to live-action stunt footage. Challenged by the precise matching those visual elements required, the Iron Man 3 effects team relied on six Canon EOS C300 Cinema cameras as “witness cameras” for accurate close-up tracking of stunt actors’ movements. The footage captured using Canon EOS C300 cameras was then used by visual effects facilities as a reference to convincingly overlay photorealistic CGI of Iron Man armor and other imagery on to main-camera footage.
Amazing in Motion is a set of projects by Lexus that explore the complexity of motion. The second installation of the brand series, Swarm is a spirited story featuring custom-designed small aircraft known as quadrotors that roam through various locations in Vancouver, Canada at night.
Filmworkers helped Chicago agency DDB recapture the thrills experienced by visitors to Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair in a new ad campaign for The Field Museum.
Framestore used 16 Vicon T40 cameras on the pre-visualisation for space scenes in Gravity. Framestore integrated the cameras with Blade – Vicon’s data capture and data processing system – to help create complex and extremely realistic visual effects. They will also use the cameras for pre-vis on the upcoming film Jupiter Ascending.
Blur Studio, co-founded by Tim Miller, created the three-minute prologue sequence that sets the stage for the highly anticipated sequel Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World.