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CG Society has a production focus on work by Platige Image on The Witcher 2′s cinematics.

Platige Image is known throughout the production community for developing the most astonishing short films, music clips, TVCs and cinematics. There were a lot of characters on the boat environment and the simulations of destruction were the most difficult parts of the project. The whole set becomes part of the story. “We wanted the ship and its demolition to become a kind of character in itself,” explains Jackiewicz, the CG Supervisor for the project.

Read more, and click to see CGS’ exclusive breakdown video

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CG Society has a production focus on the making of John Carter.

Excerpt:
Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, who most recently directed the animated feature Wall-E, for which he won an Oscar, helmed the film, his first live-action movie, borrowing Pixar’s general manager Jim Morris and producer Lindsey Collins to act as his producers, and writer Mark Andrews to work with Stanton and Michael Chabon on the script. “We also brought in a couple people from Pixar at key times as consultants,” Stanton says. “But that was it. This is a Disney film; it isn’t Pixar’s first live action film. We had to keep the lines clean.”

Filmed in the Utah desert and on sound stages in London, the film brings to life Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic novel ‘A Princess of Mars,’ one of the first science fiction stories to send an American onto another planet, and one of the first interplanetary romances. The time is soon after America’s civil war. John Carter [Taylor Kitsch], a dispirited veteran, finds himself teleported to Mars, a planet with two warring tribes of people that look something like him, the Zodangans and Heliumites played by actors, and more alien-looking, four-armed, noseless green-skinned humanoids called Tharks, which are always CG characters based on actors’ performances.

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The Hub asked Roger to create a clever and playful stop-motion ID to promote the newly launched network owned by Hasbro. The objective was to come up with a story that showcased the creative imagination of a child. Roger landed on the idea of a kid who transforms his desk into a colorful DJ setup ordinary objects one would find on a kid’s desk.

Roger started with sketches of the DJ setup. In this initial phase of the project, they could start to imagine the types of objects a child would use to build a DJ booth. After the design was locked, Roger went on to previz the entire spot in 3D where all the choreography was worked out prior to filming. This way the artists were allowed to experiment and refine the spot before going into the more time intensive process of stop-motion animation.

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CG Society has an article about the medical animation produced by Cosmocyte using Cinema4D.

Excerpt:
Maryland-based Cosmocyte has been creating stunningly vivid and accurate medical and scientific animations and illustrations since 2005. Using Maxon’s Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects, they do most of their work for academic and non-academic clients, such as Science magazine and the Stanford University School of Medicine. “I know a lot of big medical animation companies use Max and Maya, but we like Cinema because of its flexibility and easy learning curve and I know a broad cross section of companies are going in that direction, too,” says Cameron Slayden, Cosmocyte’s founder and creative director.

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CG Channel has an interesting interview with Avatar’s motion capture producer James Knight. He talks about the motion capture pipeline used, their virtual camera, and also about the problems they encountered.

On Avatar, the motion capture volume was 72 by 32 feet, and we had 102 cameras capturing the data. We had a scaling volume off to the side where we would do range-of-motion work, and there were seven cameras for that, then 95 capturing the live motion-capture data.

Every morning, we’d ‘snap’ each actor in by recording them in the T-pose. Each one had different marker placements on their bodies, since they’re all different sizes and move differently.

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fxguide has an article with Blur studio about their creation of the main titles and with Method Studios and Digital Domain about their composites for director David Fincher’s latest film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

“From a story perspective the goal was to illuminate the key moments of all three books as well as the most relevant personality traits of the two main characters,” explains Blur creative director Tim Miller. “But to do it so abstractly that it would take several viewings to really understand the visual metaphors. Conceptually it was supposed to feel like a dreamscape, a nightmare of Lisbeth’s (Rooney Mara), dark horrific, beautiful and covered in what David called ‘dream ooze’.”

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3D World has an interview with the CEO of iKinema about the concept behind the online browser-based motion retargeting and customising platform.

“3D World: How does WebAnimate differ to other software like MotionBuilder? And are features from other mocap packages going to be added?
Alexandre: WebAnimate is a much simpler application than MotionBuilder. Having said that, WebAnimate is a very powerful application as it includes our core IKinema solvers. The IKinema marker solver and the retargeting engine enable Webanimate to perform at similar and even greater levels than MotionBuilder, especially when we include our stretch-IK engine and streaming data in real-time from Vicon and Xsens. Furthermore, we are now adding the general rigging engine so WebAnimate can be used for key-framing animation. Key differences are that we support animation and retargeting on any creature, human and non-human. We are bringing our streaming interfaces from motion-capture systems and Kinect for real-time retargeting, but still we will not include any scripting features and SDK for integration of third party extensions. We would like the users of WebAnimate to end up being the small studios and individuals who need to quickly access a tool and test their ideas or on their work for small animation or game projects. MotionBuilder would be always the high-end tool; we would like to provide another tool for the rest of the community, and in this respect we do not see an overlap.

Being in the browser, we would like to extend the features and provide abilities for shared-screen use. This would make remote demonstration and collaboration work easily achievable.”

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12月17日に発売されたばかりのPlayStation Vita。torneで録画した番組を見れるのですが、それ以外にも自分でエンコードしたような映像もちゃんと再生できます。ただすべての映像がそのまま見られるわけではなく、ちょっとした設定やらコツやらが必要らしく、それについて分かりやすく纏めた物があったので紹介させてもらいます。

詳しくはこちら

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fxguide has an interesting article with embedded videos about the destruction tools commonly used in VFX pipelines.

Extract from the article:
Destruction pipelines today are key aspects of any major visual effects pipeline. Many current pipelines are based on Rigid Body Simulations (RBS) or otherwise referred to as Rigid Body Dynamics (RBD), but a new solution – Finite Element Analysis (FEA) – is beginning to emerge. In this ‘Art Of’ article, we talk to some of the major visual effects studios – ILM, Imageworks, MPC, Double Negative and Framestore – about how they approach their destruction toolsets.

In VFX and CGI, RBS is most often relevant to the subdivision of objects due to collision or destruction, but unlike particles, which move only in three space and can be defined by a vector, rigid bodies occupy space and have geometrical properties, such as a center of mass, moments of inertia, and most importantly they can have six degrees of freedom (translation in all three axes plus rotation in three directions). Rigid bodies are also importantly defined as being non-deformable, as opposed to soft bodies, flesh sims, or deformable bodies. The one major exception to RBS is Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This is used by at least one major effects house – MPC – but until recently has been prohibitively expensive for all but real world engineering simulations in industries such as power plants and pipeline testing, for example.

Original article

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CG Channel has an interview with VFX supervisor Rob Nederhorst (Thor, Captain America, etc) and a preview video of his upcoming Gnomon Master class for compositing anf VFX.

“CGG: So what are those ‘little things’? VFX artists get to see a shot over and over again, but the audience only sees it once. How do you pick out the details that really matter?

RN: This is one of those things that just takes experience to realize. We all want the work to be perfect, but it rarely is. If you don’t notice something in the first two or three plays, in theory it won’t be noticed by an audience. But you never play it two or three times.

The other thing we do is always look at things in the context of the cut. That’s key. Sometimes the individual shots have issues that are just not apparent when viewed in the cut.”

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普段何気なく使っているPhotoShopですが、その元は意外と知られていないのではないでしょうか。写真屋と日本語になおされることも多いこのソフトの歴史は”文字通り”だったようです。

詳しくはこちら

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Computer Graphics World has an online exclusive about creation of the shoe-shaped home in the spot for Canadian Real Estate Association.

“Blue Source wanted to build a house shaped like a shoe instead of an oversized shoe, so we set out to create a house that felt like it was really built that way and had evolved over time,” noted Rob Moggach, who acted as VFX supervisor and Flame artist on the spot. “Building the house with CG gave us the flexibility to build a photoreal house that could be art directed to meet changing creative needs and be incorporated into an undetermined selection of wide and medium shots. We worked closely with Blue Source’s production design team throughout the design and development to get the look exactly right.”

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SIGGRAPH Asia 2011

fxguide has an interview with one of the speakers at SIGGRAPH Asia 2011: Bill Buxton about the relationship between computer graphics and interaction, etc.

“I think in the 80s, both the graphics side and the input side were equally represented at SIGGRAPH, and that’s changed over the years so that now it’s probably far more about the graphical side. So at SIGGRAPH Asia I’m going to talk about the relationship between the input side and the output side. I’m going to look at some of the historical things that happened from 1969 and even earlier.”

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様々な団体の調査を元に考察したところ、先進国でも日本の子供のインターネット普及率が低いとのこと。この調査ではさらに、かなりの低年齢層にまで携帯電話やタブレットの普及が始まっていることが示されており、アメリカではすでに「生まれた時からスマートフォンが身近にある」という新世代のデジタルネイティブが生まれつつあるようです。

詳しくはこちら

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CG Channel has an interesting article about the production process of making VFX short ColourBleed.

“My recent film, ColourBleed, is a nine-minute live action short, set in a bleak Eastern European city. It follows the unfortunate fate of an idealistic young girl (newcomer Milla Karkkainen) who crosses paths with a scheming and enigmatic old woman (veteran British actress Anna Barry). As the twisted tale unfolds, an increasing number of visual effects are employed to bolster the story.”

ColourBleed | Trailer from Peter Szewczyk on Vimeo.

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国産の映像編集ソフト「EDIUS」のサイト内にあるPIMOPIC(The Perfect introductin of motion picture)は、映像クリエイターとして実際に仕事を始めている人や、これから映像コンテンツ制作を目指そうという人のための教科書コンテンツです。
経験豊富なプロの映像制作者が、映像制作の各段階に分けて必要な技術や機材の基礎知識から実践現場で活かされるコツまでを伝授します。無料なのに理論までしっかりと説明してくれるところもあり、映像編集をしようと思っている人から既にやっている人まで、これは知らなかったという知識がきっとあるはずです。

公式「PIMOPIC

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Computer Graphics World has an online exclusive interviewing the executive producers and compositing supervisor about the VFX work by Uncharted Territory in the feature film “Anonymous”.

As executive producer and VFX supervisor of Anonymous, you and your team produced this project with a modest budget and achieved a high-end finish. How was this achieved?
Marc Weigert: For everything we do, we try to think outside the box. For me, that is the most interesting part about this job. Try to find a simpler, better, more efficient way. In our collaboration with Eyeon, a lot of work that is traditionally done in 3D, we moved into compositing. When you work in 3D programs, the feedback loop is fairly slow. So Eyeon developed tools in Fusion for us that would allow us to shift more work into the compositing space, and thus get instant, or near instant, feedback. For example, we used 3D volumetric fog inside Fusion. Particle systems for snow, breath, chimney smoke, and so on. All immediately visible and adjustable in the composite.”

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fxguide has an interview with Disney’s stereographer regarding the 3D conversion of The Lion King, recently re-released in cinemasa. Below is an extract regarding the method used for conversion.

“After that I would watch the film and basically chart out what I felt the emotional content was. I tried to quantify what the peak point of action was and make that a ’10′, and what were the quieter moments with expositional dialogue or that just were a breather in between action or big emotional beats, and these would be a ’1′.

Then I created these depth mark-ups, which was really the most intense part. For the shots that are 10s, like Scar having his final encounter in the showdown in Simba, or the big emotional moments when Simba sees his father in the sky – for those moments what you want to do is give them the most stereoscopic depth as you can, while keeping it comfortable for the audience. In the quieter moments, I give it the least amount that will still make the shot look good. I want all the shots to have an aesthetically pleasing quality and feel like nothing’s cardboard in them.”

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Studio Tendril has released the making of their ad for Bell’s new IP-based television service.

Concept art and in-progress shots are shared, and also a compositing breakdown of the various layers and passes used to create the final look of one robot shot.

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LPI-Japanはこれまで、Linuxを基礎から学ぶことができる電子教科書をweb上で公開してきました。同社の「Linux標準教科書」は公開開始から18万ダウンロードを数え、その使用実績から教材として高い評価を得ています。

8月16日、同社はLinux標準教科書のAndroidアプリ版を無償配布すると発表しました。

今後はLinuxサーバ構築の知識を学べる「Linuxサーバー構築標準教科書」や仮想化技術など発展的内容を含む「高信頼システム構築標準教科書」のAndroidアプリを公開予定とのことです。ちなみにどちらも同社のwebページから簡単なアンケートに答えるだけで無償ダウンロードが可能です。

Linux標準教科書

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