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Month: November 2017

Pixar previews their real-time graphics talk at SIGGRAPH Asia

Presto screenshot. Image courtesy Pixar.

One of the featured sessions at SIGGRAPH Asia in Bangkok (27-30 November) is How Real-Time Graphics Helps Pixar Make Feature Films, being presented by senior graphics software engineers David Yu and Pol Jeremias-Vila.

I got the chance to ask them a few quick questions about what real-time graphics and effects initiatives are in use at Pixar, and what their talk will involve at SIGGRAPH Asia.

A visual journey through the screen graphics of ‘Blade Runner 2049’


Territory Studio is behind some of the coolest UI and screen graphics you’ve seen in recent films, from Prometheus to Ghost in the Shell and now Blade Runner 2049. What better way to see what they did for the Denis Villeneuve film than just let them show off their visuals. Here’s a look at designs and finals from the film, along with their notes on how they were made.

In every age, there is a cause worth fighting for…


That line begins the 1997 trailer for Starship Troopers. When I first saw that trailer I was spellbound. When I first saw the film, and realised there was A LOT more going on in the Paul Verhoeven film than people realised, I was hooked. It’s got to be one of the best satires made, and it sure has some of the best VFX I’ve still seen – thanks to a lot of players, from Tippett Studio to Imageworks, ADI and more. Recently I sat down with Phil Tippett to discuss the bug work, and how the film was greenlit, and what he thinks of VFX today – I was giddy doing this interview. Hope you enjoy it at Cartoon Brew.

Crafting the insane action behind ‘Thor: Ragnorak’s’ end battle


WARNING: Contains some plot spoilers.

Amongst the many and complex visual effects sequences in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, the final battle on Asgard is perhaps the most epic. Here, the evil Hela (Cate Blanchett), her d-guards and massive dog Fenris take on Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and several other characters, including a giant version of the fire demon fire demon Surtur.

It’s a sequence that involved significant fight choreography, CG character animation, enormous destruction and a surprising twist in Thor’s superpowers. Here’s a look at how Framestore, working with overall visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison, pulled off some of the battle’s key moments.

Ian Spriggs on CG portraits and designing characters for Neill Blomkamp


Ian Spriggs is a character artist with experience at several visual effects studios and most recently at Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios. Here, he has taken on some of the most elaborate modelling and texturing tasks of his career. Spriggs is also well-known for his CG portraits and self-portraits, including one of Blomkamp himself.

I sat down with Spriggs for THU TV at Trojan Hose was a Unicorn, and you can read a transcript of our conversation below, where we dive into his portrait work, coming on board and Oats and crafting the incredible Zygote creature for one of Blomkamp’s shorts.