On the heels of the release of Season Three, Sebastien Bergeron, Founder and VFX Supervisor at Folks VFX, offers 12 facts about Syfy series,12 Monkeys. We were brought on board last season, for Season Two of 12 Monkeys. They wanted a change in the visual effects department, and I had a previous relationship with one of the associate producers, Keri Young. The kind of pro-active collaboration they were looking for was perfect for Folks and the fact that the series revolves around time travel –what science fiction is all about in my mind –meant that the show was a great fit any way we looked at it.
How They Did It: Marvel Studios’ ACES Workflow for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
How did Marvel Studios ensure that the amazing, eye-popping visuals created by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn, cinematographer Henry Braham, and VFX supervisor Christopher Townsend all ended up on screen as the filmmakers intended? Marvel Studios used ACES to manage the film’s color pipeline from dailies through to VFX, DI and archiving.
Weta Digital claim victory on “War for the Planet of the Apes”. Weta Digital has been at the cutting edge of visual effects design for nearly a quarter-century, during which time they produced some of the film industry’s most iconic visuals: the epic battles in The Lord of the Rings movies, for example, or the physics-defying fight scenes in various X-Men movies. And as for character modeling, well, they’ve done it all: from Gollum to Smaug, mutants to vampires, and King Kong to Neytiri. For their achievements, they have been awarded six Visual Effects Academy Awards and six BAFTAs, among numerous other accolades.
My name is Sterling Osment, I am a self taught VFX artist – with a innate passion for creating visual effects in CG, it all started a long time ago when I was involved with a small startup studio in Brisbane Australia, we were using SGI’s, Lightwave and Softimage. I was exposed to the high end pipeline very early and immediately was interested in the media creation of this style. I attended a Alias Maya 1.0 and Max function / presentation – I was blown away.
Would you give us a little “top 5” list of tools?
- A big brain with octopus arms ( for multitasking )
- A heap of patience mixed with connections and friends that share the same kind of CG interests.
Like many Game of Thrones enthusiasts, we experienced withdrawal of our weekly dragon fix as Season 7 came to a close. Being equal part VFX-enthusiasts, however, we were excitedly anticipating the release of the CG breakdowns to see how some the series’ best effects yet came to fruition. One in particular caught our eye, a breakdown from Mackevision showcasing their convincing simulations of armies and ship fleets, and we were thrilled to sit down with Lead CG Supervisor Christian Zilliken and Head of Business & Legal Affairs, Heiko Burkardsmaier to hear more about it. Check out what they had to say aboutt techniques used working on this season.
A Creative Flight plan……and how 99% of the time we’re off course
Paul is going to finish up the Sydney ACM SIGGRAPH events for 2017 with a talk about projects, research, and planning. You’re probably very familiar with his work on Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Allegiant, Insurgent, Iron Man Three, Prometheus, and so many others. He’s an engaging and entertaining speaker, you should come listen to him talk and look at his pictures.
Incredible Visual Effects of Prometheus
Behind the scenes of Allegiant VFX breakdown by Animal Logic
Hologram Table Effect
Attempting to make something photo real and at the same time come up some ideas for the problems which could be a director saying ‘I do not really know what I want to do’. Had discussions around what to do, a new exploration and exploring shapes.
Holographic table – blend between organic and high teck. How much to give the audience and how much to tease them. Holding a cloud of light. Test on a black screen then have their own problems when put into a set.
Working on the UI elements – when there is a frame work sent to the art department to design the graphic and then animate all the elements as motion sequences. They were not all flat cards, giving them volumetric space.
When all the elements are put on top of each other they accumulate in light and gets flat very quickly. The use of back face culling for graphics such as culling out the landscape behind giving a sense of volume, cheating the depth of field and relighting the characters. Giving it a sense of shape and volume, designed as a volume, not for one camera and can then move cameras around, rendering any angle and giving reflections. Grading down the objects beside the holograms to give them a sense of shape.
Constantly roughing out the graphics and going back and forward between graphics and the editor.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Using crazy fractals, thinking about how can we light it to make it different and a bit interesting. Fractals give fine detail and are uncontrollable, need to be able to manipulate them to find the structure you want. Selected pieces, carved that section out and use it. Instead of using the houdini cloud and typologies it, they took the point cloud information using lidar scans and were able to build up the set quickly.
cineSync to link up quicktime and can draw on pictures
Light studies, change the time of day and put a light sky around it and remapped it. Relighting and regrading.
Simple geo structures with complex fractals, instanced it with spheres usually giving a rough surface then worked out how to take the normals off the fractals and bent the surface, manipulating the surface to appear smooth.
Real hands replaced by DG hands with fluid effect simulation with pulses running up the hands and seeing through the hands.
With Matte Paintings you can get a lot of detail in very quickly and is harder to change. Decided to build the garden with assets that can be generated and used the fractal generator that was being used. Made the garden realistic, to look like plants and when signed off shifted the colours about 10% to gave it a bit of an alien look.
Original set with actors on it then a background plate as a layout, tree assets and sky plates with the ground plates being replaced and rototed off. Needed to shoot some more plates, the lighting did not match so well with what had already been comped, then needed to relight some of the actors, 3D light, 3D pull down exposures on some things. Removal of elements because the sound had already been done. The matching up and pulling together of shots from different times.
Colour cast has to be fine tuned and colour graded.
From concept art to taking the live action, track it, take out the vectors and put through Houdini and scatter particles with the live action colours.
Took the basic ideas and started shaping the characters and built up the detail.
Rendered everything at 4K, the camera was so sharp when CG was rendered out at the resolution of the film it was looking softer against the actors. Scaled down the CG to match the same kind of sharpness of the camera.
If you were to add up all the hours that were applied to the show it would take you about 37 years, not including rendering.
SOME OTHER INTERESTING POINTS
In camera is always better, production design, liaising with crew and matching and choose elements with the camera, know how the camera would resolve it and it is invaluable.
The more set the better, for the actors who are not staring blindly into a scene. This works well in a film that is well written and well planned for production design, now the turn around is getting quicker and there is going to be a lot of change. A director that is good with scripts and writing, does not do vfx and can run on the fly with it and shape the film in the last 2 or 3 months with running cuts and marketing testing. The stress is on the post production companies.
Tend to design a team that is gorilla based, multiple talents and plan for expanding at the end when you can thrown a lot of fire power at it. Design in such a way, need an asset set up where you can reshape and get a result quickly which is probably not matte painting. People tend not to shoot movies very well, lack of structure, proper script, inventing the story and use move multi camera set ups.
Not too many options, people get confused, gave three ideas with options they really liked and take out the one they like least. Not ‘no’, offer options, cannot do this, we can do this. Not tell all the problems, say this is the problem. Job is to offer solutions. Towards the end of the film, everyone want to get to the end, just like everyone else. Do you like a, b or c.
Movies that explore new territory, not cover areas that the audience already knows, as an audience were ahead of the story and knew what was going to happen. Lacked mystery and twists with an inability to connect with the key characters, not believing the journey they are going to go on. The story rushed and disjointed. Have been there so why are we making this.
Josh Clos works in 3D dynamic and procedural effects for television and commercials in New York City with a focus on effects involving particles, liquids, destruction and explosions. His breadth of work spans projects including Blacklist, Blacklist: Redemption, Notorious, The Tick, and the sigils teaser for Game of Thrones. His FX portfolio is stunning to say the least, and we’re thrilled that he has taken the time to contribute some of his techniques to the CGSociety community.
Blade Runner 2049: Art of VFX Interview
Art of VFX interviews VFX producer, Karen Murphy, on her role on Blade Runner 2049. “Blade Runner is the holy grail of SCI FI and you have to have a lot of guts to even sign up for the task”. Karen Murphy began her career in the visual effects almost 25 years ago. She has produced the effects of many films such as TITANIC, WILD WILD WEST, HUGO and FURIOUS 7.
Emma Watson is an amazing actress. After all, just look at her performance in her latest blockbuster Beauty and the Beast. But you’ll be even more impressed when you see what she had to work with. The movie is a mix of live action and animation, with Beast being played by Dan Stevens in an interesting suit…
“From one scene file, they can light 10, 20, 100 shots. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in our productivity.” How Katana helps SPIN VFX deliver hundreds of shots and work on 10 shows simultaneously.
It goes without saying that the CG on display is excellent, but bear in mind that this isn’t a run-down of the biggest or best visual effects projects of the year: it’s a run-down of the best visual effects breakdowns. Editing, presentation, and the quality of the making-of material on display all count for a lot here.
How FuseFX brought serious super power to the invulnerable, “Luke Cage”. Software used : Autodesk 3ds Max
What happens when a lifelong Marvel fanboy and Sr. VFX Supe at FuseFX gets tagged to work on Marvel’s latest superhero series, Luke Cage? He punches out enough super power to make bones break, buildings blow sky high – then viewer demand (at least speculatively), makes Netflix servers implode.
On the heels of the recent Luke Cage debut – and that now infamous two-hour Netflix outage – Greg Anderson gets on the phone from New York to effectively demonstrate how thoughtful planning, passion, and the right balance of VFX, puts true, super power, behind any project.
LOUIS MORIN ON THE REALITIES OF ‘ARRIVAL’ interview on CG Society
For freelancing Canadian Production VFX Supe Louis Morin, “Arrival” feels a bit like coming full circle. Cerebral, thought-provoking, not to mention visually striking, it nods to the classic that inspired his career choice: Kubrick’s, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Telling the story of a military-recruited linguist tasked to translate alien communications, Arrival had Morin leading a small legion of local VFX studios under Denis Villeneuve’s direction and was shot entirely in his home province of Quebec. Hailed as one of the best films of the year, Morin discusses the realities of making “Arrival” – the creative approaches and committed teams, the gut feelings and happy accidents, and of course, those understated, almost elegant photo-real effects. Software Used: Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Flame, Shotgun, Arnold Renderer
Louis Morin on the realities of “Arrival” interview with Autodesk
Fabian Nowak is an FX Lead/Senior FX TD at MPC whose work can be seen on films such as Passengers, Jungle Book and Guardians of the Galaxy to name a few. He was recently nominated to the VES Awards 2017 for “Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature” for The Jungle Book and has some valuable insight to share. Check out what he had to say about his experience working as a lead at the esteemed studio, as well as a few tricks of the trade for those in our audience who are carving a similar path.
More about the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 VFX James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a huge hit over this past summer and was jam packed with non-stop fun and creative visuals. Learn about what went into the film with behind the scenes looks, interviews with the visual effects team, and more.
Exclusive Interview with Marvel Studios’ VFX Supervisor, Jake Morrison
Exclusive Interview with Laika’s VFX Supervisor Steven Emerson
- Real-time playback of image sequences and movies
- Support for industry standard file formats including Cineon, DPX, OpenEXR, and QuickTime
- Command line utilities for batch processing
- Cross platform support for Linux, Apple OS X, and Microsoft Windows
- A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A VFX SUPERVISOR, WITH GLENN MELENHORST
- Mies van der Rohe Farnsworth House by Alessandro Prodan
- HAMMERING OUT VISUAL EFFECTS FOR MARVEL STUDIOS’ THOR: RAGNAROK
REBUS FARM – ARTIST OF THE MONTH
V-Ray | NUKE unifies the pipeline between NUKE artists and 3D artists for unprecedented workflow improvements at all stages of production, while providing access to V-Ray’s advanced ray tracing capabilities.
Andre McGrail, when The Foundry asked me to create a sting for their showreel using MODO and NUKE, I knew it was going to be a fun project. The brief left me with loads of creative freedom: take an existing lightbulb asset with The Foundry’s logo as the filament, refine it, and create an interesting animation. Creating a sizzling showreel sting – link
Pulldownit is a brand new dynamics solver which allows for the creation of fractures as well as massive rigid bodies simulations. By using its technology digital artists are able to simulate fast and easily the collapse of buildings, cracking surfaces or fracturing any kind of brittle material.
MATHEMATIC specialising in high end CG and VFX for advertising, TV, Print, digital, serious, short and now long format films. Specialised Flame Artists, Shoot Supervision, Nuke, Luster and After Fx compositors, Smoke, DaVinci and FCP.
Freeing Artists from Technology: Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite 2014
Key Insights & Updates in the Entertainment Creation Suite
Projection-mapping on moving surfaces
Incredible Visual Effects of Prometheus
Opel Ampera-e – Maybugs – VFX breakdown
Student Andreas Feix used NUKE to help him create a six-minute stereoscopic short in just one year. His efforts won him a Visual Effects Society Award, a place in the Electronic Theatre, and helped him secure a job at one of London’s top studios. Head of Education Nicki Morris has the story.
Game of Thrones: The Frozen Lake (HBO)
‘Game of Thrones’ Visual Effects – Inside ‘Battle of the Bastards’
The Best CGI Movies In 2016
The Mill BLACKBIRD
HBO’s “The Newsroom” – Intro Sequence
The Visual Effects Of Iron Man[Full Documentary]
Sense of Presence: The Future of Virtual Reality
Autodesk Maya Special Features by Duncan Brinsmead – Part 1
Autodesk Maya Special Features by Duncan Brinsmead – Part 2
These ARE the Droids You Are Looking For… wireframe
Spoil Boy (test render)
Alias|Wavefront – The Making of Maya Fluid Effects
Exclusive Interview with Dennis Muren, ILM Special Effects master talks about his creative journey and multi-award winning work on movies like Star Wars, Terminator 2, and Jurassic Park
Why CG Sucks (Except It Doesn’t)
Kung Fury VFX Breakdown – “Great balls of fire”
Kung Fury VFX Breakdown – “Miniature Madness”
DAWN OF THE..STUFF. FULL LENGTH TRAILER
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Bringing Smaug to life
Top 10 Landmark CGI Movie Effects
3ds Max 2015 extension 1 – Working with Alembic
The History and Science of the Slit Scan Effect used in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey
The WETA Effect, or, Why Special Effects Peaked in the 90’s. – StoryBrain
Pixels: Taj Mahal sequence – VFX breakdowns
Steven Dupuy FX Show Reel 2015
VFX Before and After Star Wars The Force Awakens PART 1
VFX Before and After Star Wars The Force Awakens PART 2
VFX Before and After Star Wars The Force Awakens PART 3
VFX Before and After Star Wars The Force Awakens PART 4
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Comic-Con 2015 Reel
Ouirich BOUNTHAVY – Reel 2015
[VFX Breakdown] Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime
JURASSIC WORLD BREAKDOWN REEL