RenderDigimania is a rapid animation production renderer, developed to to allow animators to animate, light, and shoot their characters and objects in a setting that gives them real time previews. In other words, it wants to make 3D animation a lot faster, without having to waste a lot of time rendering. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Sightings’ Category
Greetings from sunny Anaheim, CA, where the 40th annual SIGGRAPH conference is being held this year. I arrived on Sunday just in time to go to some early sessions and see a few of the exhibits.
Going early gave me time to review the Posters display and play “spot the TurboSquid model”. This year, Andrey Kravchenko’s Masha won the contest hands down.
One of my favorite features of Siggraph is the bookstore. The emphasis this year is on non-platform specific art and technology books, including this suite from Disney.
A favorite among early attendees is the Technical Papers Fast Forward, a two-hour roller coaster ride through all the papers being presented at Siggraph. Each presenter gets exactly 30 seconds to preview his or her paper and entice attendees to come to the full presentation later in the week. The Fast Forward is one of the most popular early events at Siggraph, attracting over 2000 attendees this year. Many presenters prepare amusing and informative videos and even dress up as zombies in an effort to attract attendees to their papers.
The Emerging Technologies exhibition literally got a smile out of me when I visited the Incendiary Reflection presentation. This group from the University of Tokyo posits that emotions can be influenced by our own facial expressions. The image below left shows my actual facial expression, captured by a pinhole camera and displayed on a mirror-like surface in a frame. The image below right appeared gradually a moment later, with my own facial features lightly displaced to form a gentle smile. While it might sound a little creepy, the result actually did make me smile. Future usage could include placement in clothing retailers, where the sight of yourself smiling in that retro 70′s lapel suit might actually convince you to buy it.
The next few days will be a whirlwind of courses, papers, panels, and of course the vendor exhibition. On Wednesday, I’ll be on a panel for the Birds of a Feather meeting “Teaching CG and VFX Online” in Room 202B, 11am-12pm. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood!
The Discovery Channel series Shark Week’s latest TV spot appears to be both horrifying and entertaining viewers everywhere.
Oh my gosh.. Snuffy the seal (shark week commercial http://t.co/vp0yDyg0VO
— Julia Wease ???? (@lilJweaZy) June 27, 2013
— Andrew Holstein (@asholstein) June 27, 2013
I've been an emotional basket case ever since I saw that shark kill Snuffy the Seal.
— Conner Morris (@ConnerSaurusRex) June 24, 2013
Poor Snuffy… Watch this new 'Shark Week' spot and let us know if it left you laughing, or a bit disturbed…. http://t.co/uOxO9AQ1aV
— FOX 2 News | WJBK (@FOX2News) June 27, 2013
— Jennifer Fink (@JenLFink) June 27, 2013
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) June 27, 2013
The attack on Snuffy is, of course, 3D generated as animal rights groups would hardly tolerate a provoked attack by a real shark on a real seal. However, the fact that the sequence appeared real enough to provoke such an emotional reaction from viewers is further evidence of just how far 3D technology has come. While we have been on the receiving end of ”thought it was real” claims for several years, 3D models have become nearly impossible to decipher between real world objects, live animals and even people. Use of photorealistic content is often employed in a fictional setting without requiring a suspension of disbelief nor, as in the case of Snuffy the Seal, a violation of ethical boundaries. We have come a long way from the days of films such as Jaws, where creating a realistic shark attack required complex animatronics and a massive budget. Today, filmmakers looking to shock or horrify their viewers almost universally choose 3D models to bring their ideas to life. Just look at how terrifying the 3D monsters in 2012’s Cabin in the Woods are!
Of course, even 3D models used to require a huge budget if you wished to avoid having your film turn into a comical disaster. For example, check out this outrageous sequence from the 2009 low-budget sci-fi flick, Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus.
The exciting difference between then and now is that photorealistic 3D models have become inexpensive enough that they are available not just to big Hollywood studios, but also for producers working on tighter budgets, including ad agencies working on thirty-second TV spots. The “Snuffy” spot is just one in a long line of Discovery Channel ads that has relied on the magic of CGI to entice viewers; some even starring models from the Turbosquid catalog.
So if you’re looking to recreate a “seal snuff-out” of your own, be sure to have a peek at some of these terrors of the deep!
TurboSquid artist Stuart Howes was excited to spot his model of the Saturn Apollo, promoting Legend of Apollo 4D, at the Science Museum in London. This amazing interactive film gives museum-goers a chance to experience the Apollo space missions of the 1960s and ’70s for themselves, enhanced by NASA archives and 3D animation.
If you’re in the area, you can book your tickets at The Science Museum to experience it for yourself!
And congratulations to Stuart for an awesome model sighting!
When British indie rock group, The Shallows, wanted a video for their song, “Honestly,” they turned to Jamie Fraser of Super Mega Action Plus. Jamie and his partner, Debs, are the creative forces behind Super Mega Action Plus, incorporating live action film with both 2D and 3D animation.
The Shallows loved SMAP’s style in another artist’s music video, so when it came to “Honestly,” Jamie expanded on some of that video’s themes with a dystopian twist: “[We] tickled ourselves with the idea that picking something up in the street could cause an apocalyptic flood. Just wanted to seed that idea, so that when folks see odd things on the street they might wonder about it.”
What came out of it was this, their first fully-animated video, smoothly combining 2D characters in a 3D world:
Jamie: This idea was made possible by Video Copilot’s Element 3D plugin being released recently, which has meant it’s possible to bring OBJ files into After Effects and work with them in 3D space.