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Top 5 VFX films of 2016

Published on December 13, 2016, by in Filmmaking, VFX.

VFX is here, there, and everywhere. There are hardly any movies today that do not use visual effects, at least, in parts. This year too we had our share of VFX treat. We look at the top five VFX films of 2016 that made a lasting impact. The Jungle Book Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book has already made it to the top five of Oscar’s predicted nominations list for the Best Visual Effects category. And at the risk of sounding biased, we confess that we are already rooting for it to win. But this should come as no surprise as the movie has pushed all technological limits. We, for one, were mildly spooked watching Kaa (the python) in 3D, and how real she looked. Be it in English or Hindi, we just can’t get enough of Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan, and King Louie. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find

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6 animated short films to watch to pep up your mood

Published on November 21, 2016, by in Animation, Filmmaking.

Need something to pep up your mood? But don’t have much time? What better way than to watch a short film! The popularity of short films is on the rise, thanks to increasing users on the internet, and the growing interest in web-series’. The availability of these films for little or no charge has only added to the demand. We list six animation short films that will turn that frown upside down. Zero How often do we see people discriminating on the basis of status? Zero turns the concept on its head with some breathtaking stop-motion animation. In this world, beings are judged on the basis of their number. Here the protagonist is discriminated against for having the number zero. But the end is not as dark as it sounds. This is a feel-good love story, and is sure to put you in a good mood in no time. Lifted

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VFX breakdown of Doctor Strange

Published on November 18, 2016, by in Filmmaking, VFX.

While we wait for Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch steals our hearts as the unfriendly and egoistical neurosurgeon, Dr. Strange. Of course, this marvel wonder could not have been strange without visual effects. Read on, as we bring you the VFX breakdown of Doctor Strange. The story Eminent neurosurgeon, Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange lives a normal life until he meets with a car accident and loses the use of his hands. He then goes on a quest to find a cure, landing in the mystical realms of the Marvel universe, complete with bad guys. Special effects Vicon Motion Capture Technology and UK-based studio, Framestore were pivotal for creating the breath-taking visual effects for the film. Stephane Ceretti was the production VFX supervisor on the sets. Some of the major sequences that would have been impossible without VFX were: Mandlebrotting & Kaleidoscopic background elements Astral form Magical energy shields with revolving sparks Mirror

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How visual effects in horror films helped Hollywood

Published on November 9, 2016, by in Animation, Filmmaking, VFX.

Horror films and VFX go hand-in-hand. Since the early days of film, right from Méliès to the latest Saw movie, visual effects have always been an important part of bringing stitched together exhumed corpses, and the undead chewing down on a man’s interior to the big screen. So following the Halloween season, we thought of taking a look at the evolution of visual effects in horror films. Early films Before technical advancements in visual effects, and software, there was magician-turned-filmmaker, Georges Méliès. Méliès is credited with making the first-ever horror and vampire movie in 1896 – The Haunted Castle. Definitely no match for current visual effects in Hollywood, the movie made effective use of the diesel and steam innovations, of course, assisted by the magician’s own tools of illusion & sleight of hand. And thus was established the long-running link between horror and VFX. The living dead Vampires have rules

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Why should you watch Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them?

Published on October 25, 2016, by in Animation, Filmmaking, VFX.

Even before Chetan Bhagat took credit for making people read again, there was another author who had started the process with a lot of success (and good writing). J.K Rowling, and her Harry Potter series, encouraged an entire generation of people to start reading. So it is only obvious that when her writing is adapted for the big screen, we make a beeline. Come November, and we will be counting days for the release of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, a prequel to Harry Potter, and an adaptation of her book by the same name. Here’s why we are looking forward to this movie. The story Based on Rowling’s book by the same name, it was first mentioned as a part of Harry Potter’s course books in his first year at Hogwarts. With popular demand, Rowling wrote the book in a school text book style, and released it

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VFX breakdown of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Published on October 20, 2016, by in Animation, Filmmaking, VFX.

If you like Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare before Christmas, Sweenie Todd & Frankenweenie, you must have loved Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It is a classic Tim Burton movie in his characteristic Goth-fantasy style. Although his star performer, Johnny Depp is missing from the cast, his distinct style is evident throughout the film. We take you through the VFX breakdown of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The story Based on American author, Ransom Riggs’ debut novel of the same name, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about a boy who, after a family tragedy, discovers a part of earth he never knew existed. He picks up on clues that lead him to an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island. All the children living in that orphanage have unique abilities. The right place The movie was filmed in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Florida, USA. Burton wanted the

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VFX breakdown of Mirzya

Published on October 17, 2016, by in Filmmaking, VFX.

Mirzya opened last week to mixed reviews. But one thing that no one could deny was the sheer brilliance of the VFX & production design team. The movie recreated the legend of Mirza-Sahiban, and each frame was pure delight to watch. We look at the VFX breakdown of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s new adventure. The story Mirzya is an epic love story set in Rajasthan. As mentioned, it is inspired by the legend of Mirza-Sahiban, a tale of two lovers, played out in two timelines – real & mythical. Their trials & tribulations form the crux of the story. Ideation Mehra got one of the best VFX teams to shoot this fantastical love story. He worked hard for three years, along with the actors, to create this film. The actors did their part too as they were rigorously trained in horse riding, mounted archery, and polo. The team The best from

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John Lasseter’s principles of animation

John Lasseter can easily be considered the father of modern 3D animation. With Pixar & Toy Story, he revolutionised the 3D animation industry. Over the years, Lasseter has become a force to reckon in the 3D animation industry, and swears by seven principles. We give you Lasseter’s principles of animation. Principle #1 Never come up with just one idea Whether a short film (Pixar is famous for their shorts!), or a feature film, always have more than just one idea. We would say, have at least three ideas to be on the safe side. Of course, there will be that one idea that you will be very keen to make. Start working on that idea. But keep a few back-ups. Chances are that your favourite idea may hit unforeseen roadblocks. Often, you have thought so much about that idea that there is no place for any changes or modifications. But

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Seven Disney castles that really exist

Published on September 6, 2016, by in Animation, Filmmaking.

Disney castles are what dreams are made of. But who said that dreams can’t come true? These seven castles in Disney movies were inspired from real castles & monuments across the globe. Castle DunBroch (Brave) – Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland Castle DunBroch was at the heart of Disney’s Brave. Story artist, Louis Gonzales wanted to create an earthy & solid castle, unlike the usual prim & proper, Cinderella-like castles. Eilean Donan Castle became the model for Merida’s home. Sleeping Beauty Castle – Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria One of the most popular fairy tale structures, the Sleeping Beauty Castle is also the entrance design for Disneyland. But the real castle is in Bavaria. The Sleeping Beauty Castle was based on 19th century Neuschwanstein Castle. Looks like the castle was originally built for a fairy tale effect; it was inspired from the operas of Richard Wagner. The castle of Corona (Tangled) – Mont

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Top student film festivals around the world

So you’ve completed your course, and you’ve made your first film. But how do you take it to maximum people? This is where student film festivals come in. Student film festivals are the best way to reach audience, and take your first step in the professional world of animation filmmaking. To make life easier for you, here’s a list of the top 10 student film festivals around the world. St. Petersburg International Festival of Debut and Student Film Beginning (Russia) As the name suggests, if this is your first film then this is the best place to start. Starting from a 5-minute fiction film to a 30-45 minute feature film/ documentaries/ animation, the festival accepts them all. Best part: The festival also offers special programs & workshops to hone your skills. Calgary International Film Festival’s Youth by Youth Cinema Program (Canada) Exclusively for students’ shorts, this festival gives a platform

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