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Realism in VFX

Published on September 26, 2014, by in VFX.

One of the most common things that is said by an audience who has just witnessed spectacular special effects is, “that looked so real!” In fact, a VFX artist is recognised when his work features characters or backgrounds that appear to be real. This does not mean that the featured work must necessarily mimic real life. For example, no one really believes that a purple elephant exists just because they see it on screen. And yet, those very audience are enthralled to see a purple elephant whose skin texture and colour compositing is done by paying great attention to detail. That is when the audience come out of the theater saying,“that looked so real!”   A common misconception is that all a VFX artist does is to make objects look real. Besides merely replicating real life, one of the challenges that are overcome by photo real phenomenon is to re-create

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The Lego Movie: VFX Breakdown

Published on September 22, 2014, by in VFX.

Two years in the making, with most of its production done in Australia, The Lego Movie has already grossed over $400 million worldwide. A well-formed script demanded strong VFX effects and complex stop-motion techniques, and that is exactly what Animal Logic – the principal animators of the movie – delivered.   One of the key elements of the movie was that it had to be made out of bricks. At any point of time, the animators wanted to be able to select, animate and interact with those bricks to bring out the real essence of the script. This is why each brick was built and animated individually by an artist. For example, when a young kid doesn’t press the Lego down completely, it’s not mathematically perfect. So the artists brought a little ‘jitter’ into the animation making it look like the Lego blocks were not stuck on properly. The Legos

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Stereoscopy

Published on August 20, 2014, by in Animation, VFX.

We live in a three dimensional world. And a new renaissance of stereoscopic cinematography is attempting to bring that dimension to life on the screen. With stereoscopic filmmaking comes an entirely new set of creative techniques, rules and editing practices. Stereoscopy, or 3-dimensional stereoscopic filmmaking, is a technique for creating or enhancing the illusion of depth in an image by means of stereopsis for binocular vision. Stereoscopy creates the illusion of three-dimensional depth from two given sets of two-dimensional images. 3D stereoscopy filmmaking 3D stereoscopic films are produced by creating two views of the same screen with two separate cameras, slightly offset to simulate the distance between the eyes of the audience. By projecting these images simultaneously through a special system, with the audience wearing tinted glasses, these two views are sent to the appropriate left and right eyes where the brain fuses the images together giving the viewer a

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – A VFX breakdown

Published on August 14, 2014, by in Animation, VFX.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are the latest superheroes to hit the big screen. The four brothers: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo originally hit the theaters in 1990. They returned in 1991 with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Part 2, with the third part in the trilogy being released in 1993. This summer, they are back with their fourth film and they go to work to save the people of New York City from Shredder and his foot clan. Actress Megan Fox, who plays the part of reporter April O’Neil, explains it, “the animation, special effects and 3D are nothing short of amazing.” Video description: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – the official trailer Producer Micheal Bay spares no expense in utilising new technology to mesh with thrilling CGI action sequences, giving more than just a facelift to the turtles themselves. Armed with the sophisticated motion capture system of special effects company,

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Game of Thrones – VFX breakdown

Published on July 30, 2014, by in VFX.

Television production is experiencing a flurry of excitement nowadays. There’s a new kid on the block in the neighborhood of TV shows. It has combined creativity and imagination to weave a permanent web in the hearts of millions of viewers. With 19 Emmy nominations in 2014, Game of Thrones (GoT), now in its fourth season, has emerged as a leader in prime time networks across the globe. Based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series, elaborate mythological characters and breathtaking plot sequences constantly grasp the attention of the viewers. But the reason for GoT’s popularity lies in its command over the visual and special effects aspect of the show. In this post, we present the complete VFX breakdown of all the seasons of GoT. Video description: Game of Thrones Season 1 official trailer Season 1 The mainstay of the popularity of GoT is that the studio

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Kochadaiiyaan – a landmark in Indian Animation & VFX

Published on July 24, 2014, by in Animation, VFX.

Last May, the Indian VFX industry witnessed a milestone in special effects history with the release of Kochadaiiyaan. A Rajnikanth, Tamil, historic fiction thriller, and already being called the first Tamil animated film, Kochadaiiyaan comes packed with a number of notable breakthroughs in VFX technology. Video description: Trailer of Kochadaiiyaan The tech behind Kochadaiiyaan Soundarya Ashwin, director of the film & Rejnikanth’s daughter, went all out to shoot the entire movie in 3D motion capture, the same technology which was used to film the 2009 James Cameron blockbuster, Avatar. Motion capture technology involves recording actions of actors, and using that information to animate digital character models in 2D or 3D computer animation. Two hundred technicians gathered to complete the project in a record time of two years, which would have taken five years in a Hollywood studio. The studio worked with a modest budget of Rs. 125 crores when their

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Evolution of Indian animation

Published on July 4, 2014, by in Animation, VFX.

Animation means creating a set of images in a pattern that amplifies our imagination and takes us on a magical journey. These images can be drawn, painted or crafted using any means of artistic methods available. Amongst the big names of Pixar & Disney, it is a little known fact that the Indian animation industry is one of the oldest animation industries in the world. History Some little know facts about the Indian animation industry: Dadasaheb Phalke, Father of Indian Cinema, is also the first Indian animator. In 1914, he made an animation film about the growth of a peapod into a plant through stop-motion animation. In 1956, Clair Weeks, a Disney Studios animator was invited by the Films Division of India to set up & train animators for the first ever Indian animation studios. The first Indian animated film was The Banyan Deer in 1957. Veteran animators Bhimsain &

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Futuristic Visions for VFX

Published on July 2, 2014, by in VFX.

Making an animated movie requires dedication and commitment. Animators go through the rigorous process of visualisation, storyboarding, sound effects, light effects, character modelling etc to create the final film. Each of these areas is critically important. But the one area that has taken the film and animation industry by storm over the last 10 years is visual effects, commonly known as VFX. What is VFX? VFX is the process of creating visually-enhanced imagery with the help of computer graphics. It is used when the animator chooses to depict something that cannot be shot in a live environment and has to be simulated in a virtual world. For e.g. movies dealing with natural disasters like Twister or creating an outer space environment, as in Gravity. Techniques used in VFX VFX, like animation, is a broad term. There are different techniques of creating visual effects. One or a combination of these techniques

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Gravity – a gold mine of VFX

Published on June 3, 2014, by in VFX.

Film makers have always strived to push the limits of creative possibilities. Alfonso Cuaron’s VFX wonder, Gravity emphasises not only the advancement of technology but also the extent of imagination that a film maker can bring alive on screen. Dominating the nominations at this year’s Oscars & winning the award in seven categories, Gravity became a landmark in VFX development & story telling. Visualising the film The concept for Gravity was a difficult but not impossible. Cuaron was sure of his story & worked as per his imagination to create a stunning output that impressed the audience & the critics. Framestore Visual Effects Studio Framestore was the team behind the stunning visuals & computer graphics in the movie. They developed all the technology necessary to make the movie possible. Almost 90% of the movie was made by computer graphics. To the average audience the scenes would look amazing but to

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How to Shoot a Miniature Effect

Published on June 19, 2013, by in VFX.

Miniature is a very common term in the process of visual-effects film making. In the process of miniature shoot the real life object is duplicated to a smaller size. The concept of miniature has been used in many Bollywood and Hollywood films like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Cliffhanger, Terminator, Batman Begins, Ra-One and many more. Shooting miniatures is a very creative and interesting process. One needs to understand perspective, size, scale and proportion. There are a lot of visual effect courses that help you understand the basic and core elementsto help you enhance your visual effect skills. It’s not just a simple or small-size toy or model, which is used in miniature shoots. In fact, the details have to be more precise in the miniature sets/models, so that it should not look like a toy after the shoot. How We Shot a Miniature Effect? Inspired by old documentaries on miniatures,

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