The made-in-Maya short that’s now more than 20 years old

Cowboy

Do you remember Mel the cowboy? Then you’ll hopefully remember Ruby’s Saloon, a fun Alias|Wavefront demo short produced around the time that Maya was being made and released. I tracked down some of the ‘product specialists’ behind the film for this new oral history. (And if you also remember Chris Landreth’s Bingo, stay tuned for a look back at that short film that was made in Maya, too)

www.vfxblog.com/rubys-saloon

New Infinity War featurette goes behind the scenes of Titan battle

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A new featurette released to promote the Blu-ray/DVD release of Avengers: Infinity War goes behind the scenes of the battle against Thanos on Titan. There’s lots of b-roll, stunts and motion capture footage here, plus a rare look at the stunt-vis process. The final visual effects for the scene would ultimately be completed by Weta Digital, which I wrote about for VFX Voice. I also dived into Weta Digital’s CG Thanos (which was also completed for other scenes by Digital Domain) at Cartoon Brew.

The Avengers: Infinity War Blu-ray/DVD releases 14 August.

Going old-school: forced perspective and other effects in Ant-Man and the Wasp

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Ant-Man and the Wasp utilises the latest in visual effects tech to bring its story to the big screen. But some of the most fun shots in the film also have some of the most low-tech effects solutions.

These are where Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) visits his daughter’s school with Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) to retrieve a hidden suit. Ant-Man’s new suit is malfunctioning, causing him to grow or shrink unexpectedly. At one point he has to hide in a broom cupboard now too small to hold him, and later he and Wasp appear in the same room passing a bag between them with Ant-Man only half-size. Finally, Ant-Man has to climb down some normal sized steps but at his now half-height.

Several visual effects techniques overseen by VFX supe Stephane Ceretti – who describes the work in the video below – including forced perspective and meticulous compositing, made the sequence possible. Continue reading Going old-school: forced perspective and other effects in Ant-Man and the Wasp

What the heck is SIGGRAPH’s Real-Time Live! (and why you should definitely see it)

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There’s so much to take in at SIGGRAPH these days, but a couple of events are becoming absolute ‘must-sees’. One of those is Real-Time Live! which is an evening of on-stage presentations of real-time tech – ie. it’s live, and anything can happen.

If you’re not already aware of how Real-Time LIVE! works, vfxblog spoke to chair Jesse Barker about how it all happens. And read on below the interview to see what presentations will make up the event on Tuesday, 14 August, 6-7:45 pm, at West Building, Ballroom AB at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Continue reading What the heck is SIGGRAPH’s Real-Time Live! (and why you should definitely see it)

Going through a phase: DNEG on Ant-Man and the Wasp’s Ghost effects

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In Ant-Man and the Wasp, a new character introduced in the film is Ava Starr, aka Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen. An accident has caused Starr to suffer from molecular instability, giving her the ability to phase through objects. She uses these powers against the film’s heroes in the hope of finding a cure through their quantum research.

DNEG led the effort to realise the CG Ghost asset and the phasing effect, with other studios also handling Ghost scenes. DNEG visual effects supervisor Alessandro Ongaro tells vfxblog how they approached the effect. Continue reading Going through a phase: DNEG on Ant-Man and the Wasp’s Ghost effects