State of the Art - The Industrial Light and Magic special effects thread

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by ShaneP, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
  2. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
  3. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    More Avatar goodness here at AWN: Avatar: game changer

    Goes into the setup of the whole endeavor. Also covers ILM's contributions, including space shots, opening flyover of the forest, parts of the end battle, etc.

    ILM's shot count numbered around 250.

    Thx to simon.
  4. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    Jason Reitman, director of Up in the Air toured ILM yesterday and took this photo of someone's cubicle:

    Toy Story

    [face_laugh]

    How can that person get any work done?!
  5. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    ILM has been given a Technical achievement award from the Oscar academy for the development of iMOCAP.

    'Bout time!

    Congrats ILM!

    imocap awarded

    edit: It also appears that Hilmar Koch and Hayden Landis, along with Ken McGaugh, picked up another certificate for ambient occlusion rendering.

    :cool:
  6. Kaero_Shan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Hi guys!

    I`ve a few questions concerning imocap

    1. Why did it take so long for the technical achievement award? Was this political?

    2. For which films was imocap being used besides Pirates 2 and 3? Does only ILM use this technique or are they selling it to other vfx-companies like in-house software (Massive comes to my mind)?

    Im sure I forgot something to ask.....

    Thanks in advance for your answers!
  7. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    I'll answer #1. There's usually a lag time in technical achievement honors and when the technique was first used. This is not unusual.

    I think they also used some imocap for Terminator Salvation for the shots of the terminator grabbing Bale after he crashes his choppa.
  8. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Fxguide's fx podcast with ILM's John Knoll about ILM's role in Avatar. ILM and Avatar

    thx to Ian Failes at vfxblog(and fxguide) for the link.
  9. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    Don't know if there's anyone here who hasn't seen this yet, but thought I'd put it up anyway.

    This is some test footage from the ILM Frankenstein project from '99. Here: ILM Frankenstein

    It was animated by ILM's animation supervisor Tim Harrington.
  10. Kaero_Shan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Impressive stuff, even more conisdering it`s only test footage from 1999!
  11. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Yeah this was supposed to be Universal's next project after The Mummy. But they canceled it after ILM had been developing it for over a year. They went with The Mummy 2 and Van Helsing instead.
  12. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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  13. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    I actually hated that for the Enterprise interiors, the assembly plant was fine except for the stupid thing of having the Enterprise assembled on Earth as opposed to in orbit like all previous films. When watching it the first time I thought, hmmm that looks like a beer factory and lo and behold it actually turned out it was one. I thought those high ceilings and walkways, etc. looked ridiculous. It should be (with space at a premium) more like a submarine or aircraft carrier, like the original movies.

    If it wasn't the same at least it looked very similar. But yeah probably art of the same tech, especially since LucasArts had a lot of that technology inside Zeno for game development.

    Nice one and apparently there's going to be an Iron Man 2 Superbowl commercial, along with one for The Last Airbender and Shutter Island.
  14. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    If you go to FXGuide there's an interview with John Knoll about ILM's work on Avatar. Still haven't finished hearing but very goo so far.

    Hahaha, fantastic. I've seen some crazy cubicles myself. You could also see some great ones during the 60 Minutes story aout Pixar.

    But apparently ObaQ didn't win though if I remember correctly ambient occlussion wasn't mentioned in the original consideration list. And yes ambient occlussion was developed at ILM, I think originally for Pearl Harbor and Jurassic Park 3 (so it's been a while). It was presented at SIGGRAPH at a Pixar's User Group Meeting (I think in 2001).
  15. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    As Shae mentioned, yeah it can take a while for Scitech noms to make their way towards recognition. As I mentioned in my previous post, ambient occlusion took about 10 years to be recognized. Usually contributions must have been in use for some time to show their impact and for the committee to consider. The only "politics" involved is that some years seems the SciTech committee don't have many "software or cg" winners (mostly equipment say lenses, ausio equipment, etc.) and other years they do have a lot of CG stuff. I guess it helps to keep things balanced.

    As far as iMocap, not sure about Terminator: Salvation, but it was used in Confessions of a Shopaholic. And yes, it's and inhouse tool.

    One of the stories I heard is that one of the reasons ILM got Hulk was in part as compensation by Universal for screwing then on Frankenstein. Not sure how true it is though.
  16. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    That story actually originated at Variety back when Frankenstein vs the Wolfman was first canceled.

    Funny how we mention Kim Libreri at ILM. Apparently, he's back there again. I don't know what he's working on though.

  17. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Congratulations to all the Oscar nominees.

    Trek was nominated for best vfx, along with District 9 and Avatar! :cool:

    Here's the full list: Avatar! Avatar! Avatar!
  18. Kaero_Shan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Really on Confessions of a Shopaholic?
    Haven´t seen this film yet, but I can´t imagine a scene where imocap would have been used?
    Now I´m curious :)

  19. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    Ahhh yes Variety, probably someone at the old site mentioned it.

    Yeah last I heard Libreri was at DD with some big promotion (CTO, VP of Technology or some such thing). But I guess he's back. My guess would be he's on Battleship (after ll he did Poseidon), most other supes have their projects: Pablo finishing the Last Airbender, Ben Snow on Iron Man 2, Farrar starting on Transformers 3. Hmmm though there's musical chairs at ILM. John Knoll who was in charge of Rango went on to supervise Avatar so Tim Alexander stepped in, but he was on Harry Potter 7 (so whose in charge of that now, maybe Early Russell?).

    It's a dream sequence where some mannequins come to life. Live performers with clothes (no CG cloth) were iMocaped on the location.
  20. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    I saw the mannequin sequence in Confessions and it was very well done.

    Malducin,if you remember, both Star Trek and Potter 7 were finished in late '08 but then delayed to take advantage of summer release. So Tim Alexander is still on Rango far as I know. The other reason Knoll left Rango, besides Avatar, is he's doing tests for a project that is top-secret and very cutting edge. No I don't know what it is(of course).

    And Russell Earl is on Red Tails.

    Geesh, when is Dennis Muren going to come out of retirement?




  21. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah sorry forgot about about Red Tails.

    What I meant was that Tim Alexander was assigned to the 2 final Potter films, but now e's on Rango which is full time till 2011. So somebody else must be assigned to HP7.

    Muren is probably still working on his book as well. Hope that Spielberg can entice him to do a new project
  22. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Geez, I said Potter 7 didn't I? I meant Half-Blood but you probably figured that out.

    Okay, I see you mean. Yeah, I don't know who is on Potter 7. Maybe Ed Hirsh?

    And what is it with me and confusing Russell Earl and Philippe Rebours? Rebours is the one on Red Tails, not Earl. This is the second time I've messed up those names.

    EDIT
    No Shane, Earl is the one on Red Tails. :oops: I give up. :p
  23. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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  24. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
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    While this is not about ILM vfx, it does feature another Lucas company, Skywalker Sound.

    This is an interview with Skywalker Sound's Chris Boyes about his work on Avatar.

    A really great behind-the-scenes look at the terrific sound work done for the film.

    Here is the link: Skywalker Sound and Avatar

    Give it a look.

    Thx to ILMVFX for the link.

  25. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    Hahaha, don't worry I'm constantly confused myself trying to keep track of eveything.

    Hmmmmm maybe Bill George is on HP7? He has experience with the franchise and haven't heard from him since Twilight. I'm sure Roger Guyett is preparig something else.

    BTW:

    Full The Last Airbender trailer