From the box office takings, it would appear that the FIFA vanity project United Passions isn’t going to be seen by many people. Given the revelations coming out of FIFA HQ recently (and for quite some time before then) that’s probably what the film deserves. However, French VFX studio CGEV put together some very nice digital sets for the finished film, and they at least deserve a viewing via the above show reel.
Wired/FX Guide have posted a very concise look at the VFX work done by ILM, on the TV show, Agent Carter.
The television VFX work looks spectacular, but it’s even more interesting to see that these grandees of the effects industry are producing work for television*.
Is this a sign of the growing maturity of episodic television, or more related to economic conditions within the film industry?
*This isn’t the first occasion that ILM have worked on a television series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles would be one previous example.
Eon have just released a first featurette for Spectre, in which Daniel Craig returns as James Bond. In it, Production Designer Dennis Gassner speaks about the challenge of following Skyfall, and makes reference to the stunning location shoot in Solden, Austria – “We are going to continue the history of the Bond films, making things that are exciting for the audience to look at and what could be more exciting than to be on top of the world.”
“SPECTRE will be released on November 6th, 2015”
Having worked exclusively in digital formats for the past 15 years, I have recently been making a concerted effort to resurrect some of my practical design skills. Around five years ago, I started to sketch more frequently, as I began to take on more of a design lead on projects. It proved a great complement to pixels.
More recently, I have looked to expand upon this positive experience and started to explore the use of miniatures in filmmaking. The shots below are of a miniature I have been developing for a sequence of shots based on a snowy environment I have designed. Two faces of a section of a building have been constructed, and set within a snow covered landscape. This miniature set design will ultimately be extended through the use of digital set extensions and 3D tracking.
The shell of the building was made out of foamcore, which was then clad in balsa. The balsa was ridiculously pristine when first applied, but has since been aged and weathered with heavily diluted ink washes. The snow is a combination of polystyrene base, on top of which, model railway snow effects and marble dust (to add sparkle) have been applied. The icicles are made by applying model railway water effect gel to waxed paper. Once dried, they are glued to the eaves of the building. It’s not finished yet, but so far, it’s proved to be a hugely, enjoyable indulgence.
As with any miniature, depth of field has proved problematic. The only way to counter this, has been to dramatically stop down. Testing has shown f16 to be the absolute maximum, but to achieve optimum results, I am going to need to reduce the aperture even further. The direct consequence of this, is that I then need ridiculous levels of light.
I’m currently looking at stop motion techniques to achieve small apertures, with less light and longer exposures. This approach will allow for better digital environments through better depth of field and improved image quality and resolution compared to video capture.
I wanted to post these before Fortitude is screened tomorrow, as I started work on this last Autumn but business has been very busy and limited the opportunities to work on these kinds of personal projects.
Work schedules permitting, I’m hoping to have the first sequence completed by the Spring
The fantastic little Kick Light, an iPhone sized LED photography and video light unit, controlled by an app installed on your iPhone will soon have a diffuser attachment.
Anybody that has had a chance to play with one of these great little devices will understand that this is exciting news!
Update August 5th, 2014 – After a brief interlude pending a repair on a Kickstarter stage component (see comments below) I now have my Kick light and a Kick Diffuser. As soon as schedules permit, I’ll be looking to add a review and some test shots. Thanks to Morten at Rift!
A very concise micro featurette by FX Guide, for Wired, that looks at the push to get back to doing more effects in-camera. Whilst the reviews for the films story have been reserved (listen to Mark Kermodes review for BBC Radio 5), there is no denying that visually, it looks stunning. Despite being introduced as a look at the return to in-camera effects, the miniatures used in the movie flash by too quickly. At the same time, arguably the showpiece of the whole film is the Elysium Torus, but that’s a CG effect. Nevertheless, it’s not a bad way to waste 3 minutes on a Friday.