The social (VFX) lives of Hollywood

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Illustration by Aidan Roberts.

One of the toughest things about covering visual effects can be getting great VFX imagery to display with a story. There’s often a lengthy approvals process, and sometimes film and TV distributors just want to keep certain things under wraps. That can make it hard to produce interesting stories; in visual effects, behind the scenes images and videos tell so much of the process.

But lately, I’ve started noticing that many actors, directors and filmmakers have been posting a bunch of fun on-set and often VFX-related pics and clips to their social media accounts. We’re talking actors on greenscreens, in mocap suits, being scanned, or otherwise interacting with the teams behind the visual effects shots they’ve been working on.

What I love about these postings, too, is occasionally they’ll hint at the VFX work to come, often months down the track. It’s fun to compare the original posting with what made it into the movie. So, come with me as I explore some behind the scenes frivolity on several upcoming and recently released films and shows.

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Continue reading The social (VFX) lives of Hollywood

Randal M. Dutra on ‘RoboCop’ and the stop-motion ED-209

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Illustration by Aidan Roberts.

Recently on vfxblog, I was able to speak to former ILM animation supervisor Randal M. Dutra about his work on The Lost World: Jurassic Park for that’s film’s 20th anniversary. I invited Dutra back to talk about his stop-motion contributions to RoboCop, which this week celebrates 30 years since its release.

On that film, Dutra was one of the animators of ED-209 at Tippett Studio (others included Phil Tippett, Harry Walton and Tom St. Amand). The enforcement droid was realized as both a full-scale puppet used on set and an articulated stop-motion miniature animated by the Tippett Studio crew, often against a rear-projected background plate advanced one or two frames at a time. Here’s Dutra’s thoughts on helping to make the ED-209 character so memorable. Continue reading Randal M. Dutra on ‘RoboCop’ and the stop-motion ED-209

Plane crazy

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Imageworks took on the visual effects for the final third act in Spider-Man: Homecoming, from the factory battle, to the plane fight and the beach confrontation. Here’s a look at how they did it, at Spark CG Society.

Visiting Weta Digital

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I had a chance to pop over to Wellington recently to chat to the team at Weta Digital on the new, and incredible, War for the Planet of the Apes. You’ll see some coverage coming out over the next few days, but here’s a hint at the first piece, for 3D Artist magazine. It has lots of cool details on Weta Digital’s new tools, and its approach to performance capture and new characters in the new film.