VFX Between Shots — Get Up and Build Something Real

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series VFX Between Shots

  With Your Own Two Hands When I was a kid, I built things with my hands.  Clay, wood, paper, tape, wire, and film combined together were enough to make a movie. If you had a motion picture or still camera, you could forge the materials of this world into worlds of imagination. I would draw cartoons, and animate them with pages of typing paper, colorize black and white photos with an airbrush, and manually layout pages for offset printing or silk screened shirts.  Now I use a computer, on which I spend all day rearranging electrons, which are eventually illuminated by photons, but which… Continue reading

Lost Concepts: Part 3 — Falling Skies

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Lost Concepts

Concept Art by Johnathan Banta As part of any creative process, there are a lot of abandoned avenues and choices. When a final  design concept is approved, all other art is shelved and a final creation guided from approved art. It is an evolution, sometimes directed, and occasionally as a last resort. For television work especially, design and manufacture of these creations happens under a very tight timeline. The TNT series Falling Skies was no different in this regard, and several concept artists (Neville Page, and Aaron Sims among them) contributed.  As Digital Makeup Supervisor for this show, I also had some… Continue reading

How We Faked The Moon Landing: Part 4 — The Visual Effects of Magnificent Desolation

To the IMAX Moon and Beyond Moon Flight Science! On September 23, 2005, Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon in 3D released on giant IMAX screens. It is a 4K stereo3D experience of the Moon landings, and speculative missions from the past and future. The film was honored with the first Visual Effects: Special Venue award by the Visual Effects Society in 2006. This multi-part article is based on a presentation about the visual effects at LA SIGGRAPH, the following June, however this article is an expansion of that text to emphasize an aspect that is unique to the production. Part 1: Prep and Landing… Continue reading