New stunning ‘First Man’ VFX featurette

Just in time for the VFX bake-off, Universal has released a First Man VFX reel featuring the practical, miniature and digital effects work for the film. Check it out below: If you’d like to go further into the work, I talked earlier to visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert from DNEG and miniatures effects supervisor Ian…

5 things that rocked at SIGGRAPH Asia Tokyo

SIGGRAPH Asia Tokyo 2018 has just wrapped up, and it was a fantastic week. The attendance was up near 10,000 and you could feel the buzz at the conference centre. Here’s my run-down of 5 of the coolest things I was able to see there. 1. Behind the scenes of Pixar’s Bao If you haven’t…

Compulsory viewing: the Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH Asia Tokyo 2018

Here at vfxblog we’ve already previewed some of the VFX-related talks and dived into the Technical Papers process for SIGGRAPH Asia Tokyo this year. Now we look at the other conference highlight: the Computer Animation Festival. The ‘CAF’ takes in the Animation and Electronic Theater, and the VR Theater, plus a selection of panels and…

Ten things we learned about Framestore’s CG stuffed animals for ‘Christopher Robin’

Marc Forster’s Christopher Robin is easily one of the most delightful films of 2018, and also contains some of the finest fully-CG animated characters you’ll see this year. That work was led by Framestore, which had, of course, sharpened its expertise in integrating CG animated ‘stuffed toy’ characters with live action in the Paddington movies….

Tech papers: the secret to SIGGRAPH Asia success

The Technical Papers section of SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 in Tokyo is shaping up, as always, to be a key part of the conference. But how do authors get their tech papers into a SIGGRAPH or SIGGRAPH Asia conference? And what happens once they do? To find out, vfxblog asked Hao Li, who is a co-author…

Going back to ‘Pleasantville’: when doing a DI wasn’t so easy

In 1998, Gary Ross’ Pleasantville became the first major Hollywood feature to go through what’s now known as the digital intermediate, or DI, process. The film needed that process because its characters, stuck in a 1950s black and white existence, would slowly start to escape their repressive world as they begin experiencing colour. Getting there…

ILM’s Hal Hickel on the symbiotic relationship between actor and animator

At the recent Trojan Horse was a Unicorn event in Malta, I had the opportunity to sit down with ILM animation supervisor Hal Hickel for a THU TV interview. We talked about the wealth of CG characters Hickel has overseen which began with live action and motion captured performances, including Davy Jones from the Pirates…

SIGGRAPH Asia in Tokyo: a sneak peek at the VFX talks

It’s not long now until SIGGRAPH Asia hits Tokyo. The computer graphics event begins December 4th, and runs at the Tokyo International Forum until December 7th. SIGGRAPH Asia will have some fantastic talks, papers, displays and experiences for attendees. vfxblog will be there, and I highly recommend signing up now. You can find out more…

Solo’s old-school hyperspace jump

A new clip promoting Solo’s Blu-ray release is out, and it showcases the old-school techniques used to realise the hyperspace sequences on the Millennium Falcon. It includes a description of the technique by ILM’s Rob Bredow. Check out the clip below.

5 talks you have to see at VIEW

One of the great things about the VIEW Conference – taking place 22-26 October in Turin, Italy – is that you can basically sit down in the morning and stay all day to watch wall-to-wall incredible VFX and animation talks. And you can do that all week. It’s basically one inspiring speaker after another. This…

Adrift: what is real and what isn’t

Milk VFX recently delivered visual effects for the film Adrift, including several shots of a yacht at sea as it is caught in a devastating storm. The studio’s breakdown video reveals the extent to which they took plate photography and realised the ocean and storm effects with some fantastic CG and water sims.

The CGI tidal wave in Snake Eyes that no one got to see

This week is the 20th anniversary of Brian De Palma’s Snake Eyes, a film perhaps not thought of for any major VFX moments. But, in fact, the movie nearly did feature a key CG water sequence in what was still the early days of fluid sims. This was for the original ending, which involved a…

Looking for VFX inspiration?

I go to a few different VFX and animation industry events each year, but here’s a little secret about Trojan Horse was a Unicorn that I found out on the first day of the first year I went there: It is one of the only events designed to help artists find their place in the…

The performance (capture) of Thanos

Another new featurette preview from the Avengers: Infinity War DVD/blu-ray looks at the performance of Thanos by Josh Brolin. It includes some neat behind the scenes motion and facial capture footage. Check out the video below.

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

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…

New Infinity War featurette goes behind the scenes of Titan battle

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…

Super Mario Bros.: the other huge VFX film from 1993

Three members of the VFX team behind 1993’s Super Mario Bros. tell vfxblog about the more-than-slightly chaotic production and shoot, the advent of Flame for VFX production, getting their heads around scanning film, and that time they weren’t meant to see some Jurassic Park VFX dailies. www.vfxblog.com/supermariobros