Woh, a VFX event on Last Jedi, Apes, Blade Runner, Paddington 2, Star Trek and Neill Blomkamp shorts

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Check out that list again in the heading – those are some of the biggest visual effects  projects around, and they’re all going to be discussed by the studios behind the work at the upcoming SPARK FX 2018 in Vancouver.

It’s on Saturday 10th February at the VIFF Vancity Theatre, a neat cinema venue which will also host in the foyer a Career Fair featuring a ton of local studios looking to hear from potential artists.

I’m lucky enough to be one of the chairs of the event, so I’ll be there to watch the presentations – which by the way are from ILM, Weta Digital, Double Negative, Framestore, Oats Studios and Pixomondo – and to moderate one of the sessions.

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Photo by Cindy LMh.

The quick run down is:

9am – STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI with Dan Seddon from ILM
10:30 am – THE VISUAL EFFECTS OF BLADE RUNNER 2049 with Chris McLaughlin from Dneg
12:00 pm – DISCOVERING THE VFX OF STAR TREK with Mahmoud Rahnama from Pixomondo
1:30 pm – REAL-TIME FILMMAKING: INSIDE OATS STUDIOS & NEILL BLOMKAMP’S LATEST SHORTS with Oats’ Chris Harvey
3:00 pm – PADDINGTON 2: THE CHARMING SIDE OF A CG BEAR with Claire Michaud & Pablo Grillo from Framestore
4:30 pm – WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES with Dan Lemmon & Joel Whist from Weta Digital.

Check out the full program for the Saturday here.

Then, on Sunday 11th February, there’s another special VFX-related event with a Diversity Summit to be held at the Vancouver Film School. I’ll have more details on that soon.

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A pic from the Women in VFX panel I moderated last year. Photo by Ana Norambuena.

Last year, SPARK FX was an absolute delight – the talks were incredibly engaging, and then outside the main speaking room the career fair was one of the busiest and buoyant I’ve ever seen.

Hope to see you in Vancouver.

Re-visiting Jumanji

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Anyone who saw Jumanji in the 90s knew that CG and VFX was already changing films forever. I got to chat to former ILM animation supervisor and now director Kyle Balda about his work on it, for VFX Voice magazine.

The VFX magic of ‘The Shape of Water’

Recently, I was able to interview several of the effects filmmakers behind Guillermo del Toro’s amazing The Shape of Water. You can check those pieces out at VFX Voice and Cartoon Brew. The film has also been shortlisted in the final 10 movies for consideration for the visual effects Oscar, and will be at the VFX Bake-Off today in Los Angeles.

Now the studio behind the film, Fox Searchlight Pictures, has released a two-minute VFX breakdown. It showcases the digital effects by Mr. X Inc, championed by Dennis Berardi (Senior Visual Effects Supervisor), Luke Groves (Co-Visual Effects Supervisor), Trey Harrell (Digital Effects Supervisor) and Kevin Scott (Animation Supervisor). And it also serves to show the impressive collaboration between Mr. X’s digital work and that of the practical creature effects, led by Mike Hill (Creature Lead Designer/Sculptor) and Legacy Effects’ Shane Mahan (Project Supervisor/Make Up Effects). Enjoy the video above!

Ten things I learned from ILM about ‘The Last Jedi’s’ space battles

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Space battles are synonymous with Star Wars films. The original trilogy is fondly remembered for ILM’s use of motion control and miniatures. These days, like on The Last Jedi, digital ship models, photorealistic rendering and simulated crashes and explosions are of course the norm.

But to ensure the space battles in this latest Star Wars adventure echoed those memorable scenes from the first films, ILM employed several ways to bring them to life, even starting an in-house project to copy – at least to some degree – the look and feel of the original motion control miniature movements.

vfxblog recently visited ILM London to find out more on that process, plus a whole bunch of other things about the scenes in which Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) takes on the Dreadnought, and when Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) launches his spinning attack on the Resistance cruiser.

Continue reading Ten things I learned from ILM about ‘The Last Jedi’s’ space battles