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Top 10 special effects in Hollywood

Published on October 1, 2014, by in VFX.

Ever wondered what production teams did before the advent of computer generated imagery? Even today, a lot of sequences that we assume to be the work of computer animators are actually created by a dedicated team of special effects artists who specialise in creating masks, body suits and prosthetics. In this post, we have drawn up a list of the top ten special effects done in Hollywood without the help of computer graphics. These are the genius of some talented individuals.  Jaws (1975) Director Steven Spielberg overshot the budget on this one because of his insistence that the sharks be shot at sea instead of in a tank. Art director Joe Alves headed a 40-person unit to create three prop sharks. They were named ‘Bruce’, after Spielberg’s lawyer. The ability of Jaws to scare the living daylights out of audiences even today puts the movie in the list for the

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New animation techniques used in The Amazing Spiderman 2

Published on September 29, 2014, by in Animation.

With the revamp of the Spiderman franchisee and the release of The Amazing Spiderman, new standards were set for the Hollywood animation and special effects industry. The 2014 sequel of the movie gave us three new villains along with the creative opportunity to take Spiderman stunts to new heights. In this iteration, Peter Parker has become proficient in his swinging skills and is somewhat of a thrill seeker, swinging through the city canyons and enjoying the adrenaline rush of leaping from tall buildings and free falling until the last possible second before firing his digitally enhanced web shooters.   Director Mark Webb was particularly sensitive about making sure that the physics remains grounded and believable. To meet that directive, special tools were created by the development team to assure that the gravity and other physical properties remained in check. Wherever possible, if exaggerations were made, the tools served as a

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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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How to Find Jobs in Animation and VFX

You’ve had professional training in animation. You’ve painstakingly learnt all the relevant software in order to join the in-demand artists of the special effects industry. But how to find the right job opportunity that will decide the course of your entire career? How to land the best job in the market with the best studios? Here are the top five guidelines for landing the very coveted position of an animation artist. Be focused One of the key elements of securing a job in the industry is to know what you want to do, in a very specific manner. You may be talented in a number of areas but it doesn’t help to be all over the place. Being unfocused is the surest way to be shown the door in an interview. Whether you want to be a particle effects editor or a character artist or even run a render farm,

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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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Top Web Design Trends of 2014

Published on September 9, 2014, by in Graphics.

Wish to know what’s hot on the internet? Here are the top five trends that have been doing rounds in the world of web design.  Flat design This is going to be apparent in a lot of digital design that we will see this year. Web design companies, in particular, are showing a lot of interest in flat design. This is mainly due to the fact that flat design is very popular in operating systems such as Android or even the new iOS7. It is easy to configure because it does not rely on CSS, and is instead based entirely on the colours or layouts that the designer chooses to use.   Large images and video Our attention spans are getting really short. Consumers don’t want to read on the internet for a long period of time. The message has to be sharp and quick. Thus, the focus is shifting

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Top 5 software used by the gaming industry

Published on September 9, 2014, by in Gaming.

Game design software can vary greatly, depending upon the needs of the company that creates the game. Sometimes gaming companies/game developers use their own proprietary software, but many game designers standardise around popular commercial coding tools, which allow them to code a game easily and quickly without building from the ground up. Listed below are the top five game engines that are available in the market today:   The Unity Engine Unity is a cross-platform game engine, developed by Unity Technologies, and is now the default software development kit (SDK) for Nintendo Wii U. With an emphasis on portability, the graphics engine targets the following APIs: direct3D on Windows and Xbox 360; OpenGL on Mac, Windows, and Linux; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS; and proprietary APIs on video game consoles. Unity has been responsible for the birth of some of the blockbuster games such as Battlestar Galactica Online, WolfQuest,

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Big Animation Studios vs. the Birth of Indie Production

Published on September 3, 2014, by in Animation.

With the release of blockbuster animations, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in the 1980s, Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. and every other major animation studio began hiring artists and designers from every corner of the globe. European artists swarmed Los Angeles, studios hired kids out of college, some even before graduation. Big production houses began to explode by increasing staff numbers, buying property and paying magnificent salaries. These artists quickly became hot commodities. But soon things began to feel formulaic and studios fell into that trap. The big studio system lost sight of the story element and concentrated too much on the slickness of the production. With bigger budgets nobody wanted to take a chance with the creative process. In this scenario, independent studios & production houses started making movies and benefitted from the audience’s demand for something different. Where in the animation industry scenario are they now? When did this

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An Introduction To Digital Photography

Published on August 22, 2014, by in Graphics.

Just getting started in digital photography? What are the important aspects of this growing field? This post will introduce the basic concepts of digital photography and get you shooting great digital pictures in no time. Shoot Raw! People don’t like to shoot in the raw formats because it takes up too much room in the memory device. But remember the negatives of a film roll? If you threw them out after you got your 4×6 prints, how would you make enlargements of the picture? Think of the raw file as your original negative. You can always go back to it to make your pictures better. Composition Get the composition right. It is essential to crop in the camera and not on graphic design software. Positioning of the camera is crucial to getting the correct lighting and depth in the picture. Fill the frame with all that is required in the

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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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