Joomla gallery by joomlashine.com
Eye on Independent Films
Working In The Cloud
Studios and Soundstages
2013 Music & Sound Guide
The summer blockbuster Now You See Me, which has grossed more than $350 million USD worldwide since Summit Entertainment, a LIONSGATE company, released the film in the United States, features several complex visual effects sequences created by Montreal-based studio Rodeo VFX. But none proved more challenging than a key scene set at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – aided immeasurably by iPi Soft’s markerless motion capture solution iPi Motion Capture.
“We had been experimenting with iPi Motion Capture and knew going into the project that we would use it for some of the crowd duplication and we definitely put the software through its paces,” Jordan Soles, Rodeo FX’s Chief Technology Officer, says.
Those paces included a specialized workflow perfectly tailored to the needs of the scene. Soles explained that they began the process by using the iPi Motion Capture’s two Kinect camera set up to body scan their 100 or so employees, while simultaneously taking high res still images of their faces. After cleaning up the mesh, they composited the still photos onto the model to create a default rig.
From there they brought the employees back in, and filmed them using the higher resolution 6 Sony Eye camera set-up, this time acting like they were in the crowd at a big arena event – clapping, standing, talking, cheering, etc. That data was then cleaned up using Autodesk’s MotionBuilder, with final animation and lighting completed with Autodesk’s Softimage.
“The process worked particularly well because the scene was extremely well lit and because the camera is constantly moving quickly,” Soles adds. “However, this was a big challenge because of the length of the shot, which is over a minute long, featuring literally thousands of people we had to duplicate.”
For Jocelyn Hudon, Rodeo’s Head of Animation, iPi Motion Capture’s simple set-up and quality of mocap data was a key factor in the success of the scene.
“It’s very easy to set up – in a few hours we can be ready to capture animation data – and because you don’t need sensor suits or exhaustive clothing setups, we could capture data from different actors at any time,” Hudson says. “It gave us a great 3D animation base for our animators to work from, as well as a 3D reference for keyframing and motion data editing.”
And beyond the immediate success of Now You See Me, iPi Motion Capture has actually fundamentally changed the way Rodeo FX bids on crowd simulation projects going forward – giving them added confidence to go after complex assignments.
“We’re bidding work now that is centered on this kind of high-level crowd duplication effects,” Soles notes, “and we’re going after it with a high level of confidence that we can build out realistic crowd simulations with iPi Motion Capture and the approach we created for Now You See Me. It’s an extremely good piece of software, and when I look at its trajectory it is only is getting better. We feel really good about using it.”
In the beginning, there was film. Images captured on light-sensitive material that could be shared among many viewers. Later came magnetic material called “videotape” and it was good for many things. Then a revolution! The computer and digital charged onto the field.Read more...
In the western United States, studios and soundstages often come with a distinguished Hollywood heritage. In Santa Fe, N.M., Garson Studios was founded by an Academy Award-winning actress. In Hollywood, Fox Studios carries the cachet of one of the legendary major studios. Moving north, the stages of San Rafael, Calif.’s 32TEN Studios once hosted Lucasfilm blockbusters, while the new Reno Tahoe Studios in Nevada seeks to establish its own heritage as production incentives promise to attract film and TV business to the state.Read more...
At NAB this year, a section of the exhibition space was designated as the Cloud Pavilion. About 20 companies exhibited – to the extent that anything called a “cloud” can be exhibited – and discussed applications for this digital environment. A cynic might revert to one of the early clichés of computing and refer to some of it as vaporware; a nice pun, that.Read more...
- Unified Video Technologies Introduces Next-Generation Production Flight-Packs
- Rodeo FX Turns To iPi Motion Capture to Create Key Scene in 'Now You See Me'
- Eric Yealland Brings Unique Flair for Comedy Direction to Original
- Schneider Optics Announces Rebate on Cine Xenar III Lenses
- Special Effects Contributed By 32TEN Studios Help Make-A-Wish Come True for 5-Year-Old 'BatKid'
FirstCom Music 2013 Credit Reel
A blue sky sprawls between ridges frosted in deep evergreen, framing Alder Gulch much as when Native American tribes traversed this landscape 800 years ago. The town of Virginia City sprang up virtually overnight in the summer of 1863; within one year, it was the largest city in the Inland Northwest, with an estimated 10,000 residents. These days, few people continue seeking gold in Alder Gulch. But for filmmakers seeking ready-made Old West locations, the towns of Virginia City and Nevada City offer one more chance to strike it rich.
Chrosziel Camera accessories are the professionals choice! Chrosziel's broad range of well built, German designed and manufactured camera accessories offer reliable operation to last your professional career. Matte boxes in a variety of filter sizes and filter stages, with or without a swing away arm, Follow Focuses for smooth and accurate focus pulls with no backlash are available as single or dual sided versions and Vari-Lock, a Chrosziel exclusive, offers you the ability to set hard stops for quick focus pulls. Chrosziel offers a broad line of camera bases including 19mm bridge plates, lens supports and much more for Blackmagic, Canon, JVC, Panasonic, RED & Sony cameras.