Jason Jue — 1977-2015 — The Sassoon Six Minus One

“I sit on the beach, drink instant coffee, and dive when I can.” Jason Jue   On April 5, 2015,  The Digital Makeup Initiative,  Stereo VFX, and Stereo Conversion Communities lost one of its pioneers.  Jason Jue, VFX supervisor, compositor, and avid diver passed away. Those who knew him grieve with …

Lost Concepts: Part 2 — Almost Human dMFX

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Lost Concepts

The Lost Concept Series explores production designs by Johnathan Banta that never saw the light of day — until now.   There is always so much work that goes into an entertainment property that no one ever sees. Were it not for the books that chronicle the preproduction of Star Wars, …

Fringe to Falling Skies — The Unwanted Rise of Digital Makeup

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The dMFX Chronicles

It Came From the 1990’s Okay, this will take a little bit of back-story… In 1997, I started to write an article in conjunction with Digital Domain’s Andre Bustanoby (fresh off of Titanic VFX) for the (now archival) website VFXHQ.  This article was to chronicle what we saw as the beginning of a new …

Vector-based Particle Emission: A 2D Method for Complex Particle Motion

    Using Motion Vectors as Fluid Forces I was stuck. The particular scene In front of me required that a character from existing footage be combined with tentacles of my own making, repositioned to come out of water at the edge of screen, combined with a sky matte painting, …

Lost Concepts: Part 1 — Almost Human

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Lost Concepts

  Almost Human Concept Art Occasionally a sketch can become something else.  I have taken to the iPad for illustration, as many have over the past few years.  it is convenient, and allows me to do more finished work as well as sketch on-the-fly.  Tasked to do some concept illustrations …

The Missing Millennium Falcon?

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series VFX_archaeology

Evolution of a Design This article contains an image recreated from memory of an actual  photo in an ex-ILMer’s archive — it is a re-creation for research purposes only, and not an official StarWars art piece. (However, the design has been verified to exist in the LFL archives by an insider.) …

Gorilla VFX : Episode 2 — What I Learned From Spider-Man

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Gorilla VFX

  Two Simple Tricks For Professional Results. After Jumanji it was all about gamma blasting to check the black levels, but with the 2002 Spider-Man talk at SIGGRAPH, two new composite analysis methods came to the forefront to improve quality — and almost nobody noticed. There he was, John Dykstra, at …

The VFX War: Part 4 —The California Drought

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series The VFX War

The Great Dust Bowl 2 There is little to no rain in California. For the last several years the once verdant fields of this great American state (both in size and productivity) have produced fewer crops as water restrictions expand every year. Los Angeles, is a desert, and has always …

Back to Harv’s World

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To VFX.   It all started in 1982 with a sketch in the corner of the Social Studies notebook (I probably was not paying attention anyway).  Originally an alien life form, not quite sure from where, but cute.  I’d already spent several years drawing Danger …

Gorilla VFX: Episode 1 — Couch Clouds

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Gorilla VFX

The title is not spelled wrong. Guerrillas are crafty, live by the seat of their pants fighters on the front lines. Gorillas are rough,  hit-it-with-your-fists solvers of problems. Both of these are distinct VFX mind-sets we embrace. This series explores solutions to problems that are a little unorthodox, but effective. …

The VFX War: Part 3 — The Slight Heard Round The World

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series The VFX War

Hollywood’s Juvenile Response to Brilliance. For 2014 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences promises in a Variety article to “get the visual effects presentation right this year.” They are in reference to last year’s global debacle of a presentation after The Life of Pi was played offstage as …