Beetlejuice was just the beginning

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Tim Burton’s newest film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is out soon, and it made me think just how many of the director’s films are either huge VFX blockbusters or do a great job of using subtle – but a lot – of effects. So I wrote about it for Inverse.

STYLE FRAMES 2016 is close, and has the big studios in design

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In the design world, it’s pretty easy to look new projects up, watch the latest pieces of advertising and check out making ofs. But it’s not always as simple to hear from the people – the creatives – behind the work.

Luckily, there’s a Design Conference in New York on 7th and 8th November called STYLE FRAMES that’s going to be hosting some of the big studios and the big names in design.

I wish I was going.

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Frank Balson from Blur is presenting at STYLE FRAMES. He helped make that crazy Deadpool opening sequence.

Here’s a list of some of the studios attending:

Blur
MPC
Passion Pictures
Framestore
Nexus
MK12
Imaginary Forces
ManvsMachine
Ubisoft

There are a whole bunch more – check out the full list here – representing design, animation, VFX, interactive and VR.

The conference organisers have given me a discount code to share with vfxblog readers. It’s SFVFXBLOG and gets you 10% off STYLE FRAMES tickets.

By the way, STYLE FRAMES is run by Stash Media, Inc. (they publish Stash Magazine and the Stash Permanent Collection) and FITC (creative tech events), so they know what they’re doing.

Looks pretty cool, hey?

The vfx supe who doesn’t really think about vfx, and how you can learn from him

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Rob Legato has won two visual effects Oscars (for Titanic and Hugo). He also got nominated for Apollo 13 and he’s won a couple of Emmys for his work on two Star Trek TV series. You most recently saw his vfx supervision in The Jungle Book, an almost all-CG film.

But Legato is one of those vfx artists who doesn’t really think in terms of CG or visual effects – he just thinks in terms of how the shots he’s supervising will be part of the final sequence, the final shot, the final frame. Continue reading The vfx supe who doesn’t really think about vfx, and how you can learn from him

Chicken kung fu

THE MASTER

Animal Logic’s The Master: A LEGO Ninjago Short plays before Storks in cinemas right now, and I got a chance to talk to some of the team about how it was made. And about LEGO chickens. Here’s the story at Cartoon Brew.

Doug Chiang’s 4 principles of Star Wars design

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Doug Chiang didn’t go to art school.

But as many readers would know, he worked his way up at places like Rhythm & Hues, Robert Abel and Associates and ILM, landing the role as the head of the Lucasfilm art department on the Star Wars prequels starting in 1995. Here he worked with George Lucas on designing a new angle on the Star Wars world.

‘What was it like working with George?’, Chiang says people ask him all the time. It was terrifying for two reasons, he explained in a packed out session at the recent Trojan Horse was a Unicorn event in Portugal.

The first reason was that Chiang was trying to fill the shoes of his heroes – Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston. And the other thing was something Lucas told him on the first day, ‘Forget everything you know about Star Wars.’

That revelation completely blew Chiang’s mind because he had been angling almost solely towards mimicking McQuarrie and Johnston’s famous Star Wars designs. However, Chiang reflects now that it was a blessing since it allowed him to dig deep on what was the design philosophy of Star Wars – what makes it work? The end process in the prequels would be slightly different, but the process would be identical to what had come before.

These are the four principles of Star Wars design Chiang came up with. Continue reading Doug Chiang’s 4 principles of Star Wars design