When you want to know, ‘How was it made?’


UPDATE: Russell Earl from ILM is now attending VIEW, to break down his studio’s huge vfx work in Captain America: Civil War (remember that airport sequence?). And the directors of Dreamworks Animation’s Trolls, Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn, will both be there too.  

Last week I wrote about Turin, Italy. The city has had a big effect on me ever since attending VIEW Conference there last year. And so did the conference, itself.  There aren’t many places you can find out the latest in visual effects, animation and computer graphics AND actually interact with some of the biggest names in those industries.

But at VIEW, you can. Continue reading When you want to know, ‘How was it made?’

Houdini in TVCs


You might usually associate Houdini with big budget film visual effects, but it’s been finding a large place in commercials for many years too. Like this Honda spot with vfx by Alt.vfx. I wrote about the work at the Side Effects website.



This Coldplay music video with VFX by Vania Heymann (who also co-directed the clip and GloriaFX and others just won the MTV VMA for Best Visual Effects. Check out the behind the scenes video which shows how some of the contrasting VFX were achieved – some very neat comp work and clever design in there.

Going back to the early days of Weta


It must have been an amazing time at Weta in the mid-90s. Here’s a piece I wrote for One Perfect Shot which looks at the making of The Frighteners with vfx supe Wes Takahashi, who got brought in from ILM to help Weta finish making the film. He and the studio did a stellar job.

Seeing more


It isn’t that long ago that the visual effects and animation industries were concentrated mostly in Los Angeles. For lots of reasons (ask me again sometime) the work is now spread throughout the globe.

One outcome of this ‘globalisation’ of VFX and animation is that there’s never been more conferences, events and meet-ups to hear from professionals about the films and projects they’ve worked on. Which means it’s more likely there will be somewhere near you where you can learn about VFX and animation.

But it’s more than that, too. Continue reading Seeing more

OK, what is this Megascans thing?


A few months ago I started hearing about Swedish company Quixel’s Megascans and that it had been used by MPC on The Jungle Book for some of the intricate plant and jungle life textures on that film. But it was still unclear exactly what Megascans, a material library based on real-life scans of mostly vegetation and other organic surfaces, ‘was’. So at SIGGRAPH I asked Quixel founder Teddy Bergsman. Overnight, Megascans has just been launched in public beta, which seemed like a good time to run this interview – hope you enjoy! Continue reading OK, what is this Megascans thing?