There aren’t enough Spy movies being made these days – The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

There aren’t enough spy movies being made these days, so its good to see the latest trailer for Guy Ritchie’s Man From U.N.C.L.E. appear on the web yesterday.

The story is set in 1963 – Bond’s From Russia With Love came out in 1963 – which suggests an abundance of opportunities to play on the designs and style and costumes of that period. It will be interesting to see what Production Designer Oliver Scholl delivers. There isn’t anything like MFU on his CV, but Edge of Tomorrow was a fine looking film, so lets see.

Opportunities for digital sets and set extensions should be plentiful too, so I look forward to tracking the behind-the-scenes revelations from the various different effects houses that are involved.

VFX breakdowns of some superb digital set extensions from CGEV

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.

ITV News General Election 2015 Promo

One of the bigger projects that I have been working on so far this year, the ITV News General Election virtual set, in collaboration with the wonderful team at ITN. The design is an ambitious adaptation of the current ITV News set, originally launched in 2013. You don’t really get a sense of the extended spaces from this short promo, but we should expect to see plenty of revelaing shots from the Jib and Steadicam on Election Night, May 7.

I prepared the model and texture assets for the outer studio, which are imported into VizRT by ITN.

Tricaster Virtual Set Designs for PWC

Appearing in the background of these UK Budget reviews from PWC, is a very small part, of a much larger overhaul of their set designs and virtual sets that I have been working on.

The full and official re-launch is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks and features multi-zone, digital sets for use with the Tricaster, along with physical table and desk designs being built by Scott Fleary.

With virtual set design, it pays to hire a professional

If imitation really is the highest form of flattery, what should we make of it when, in addition to the imitation being embarrassingly poor, someone is trying to profit from it?

turbosquid
A poor quality, knock-off “Virtual News Studio” model for sale on Turbosquid.

Recently spotted for sale on Turbosquid, is this tacky imitation of the ITV News set. Rather than pick the fake apart, I’ll just include a comparison shot (below) from the actual ITV News set, designed and prepared by a team of dedicated and experienced professionals.

ITV News virtual set
The ITV News virtual set. An original set, prepared by a team of highly experienced designers (Lightwell, BDA/Jago Design/Lambie Nairn) together with a fantastic client, ITN.

The one detail I will mention is that the fake model uses 10,000 polygons, whereas the original newsroom model uses only 62 polygons, incorporates pre-baked lighting textures, and can actually function as a virtual set within VizRT – just one of the multitude of reasons why it pays to use a professional.