Saving Mr. Binks

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Focusing the Hatred of the Galaxy, a Digital Star is Born! There are long diatribes on the Internet tearing George Lucas to shreds for the creation of Jar Jar Binks.  Such vile hatred for a character in a movie —an individual that does not exist — is curious.  Normally this level of vitriol is reserved for politicians and rapscallions (though the character was a politician in Episode II and III).  Fans of Star Wars despise this creation, and make it their hobby to eviscerate him. As I said:  Curious. It seems easy to overlook all the good that Mr. Binks is.  Jar… Continue reading

The British VFX tradition — Poppa Day to Alien

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Great British VFX Documentaries Online. From Poppa Day to Matte Painting in the 60’s and 70’s, Dennis Lowes webpage is an amazing documentary resource of visual effects in Britain. Want some in-depth information on the making of Alien you did not know? He has multiple interviews on video with images to back it up. His videos introduce us to a great collection of talented people, and disciplined work, from which we all can learn. Great education, motivation, and fun, and there is more than what is shown in the images below (including some of Dennis’ own work if you are… Continue reading

Why Dimensionalization is Bad

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By any other Name it is Good Old Fashioned Sculpture. The term Dimensionalization should leave the lexicon of stereo conversion.  First off, it is a buzz-word that Madison Avenue could have invented that says very little about the process, and it also calls forth images of an automated process that is simple to do.  Secondly, it is a copyrighted phrase for a now defunct company, but mostly it is an inaccurate description. As an example, think of this sentence: “I have converted a 3D world into 2D with the use of a camera lens.  It is now dimensionalized”.  The word… Continue reading

Cinemagic Magazine — Back from the past

If you made super-8mm movies in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s, and loved visual effects, you read CINEMAGIC, originally created by Nightbeast director Don Dohler, and then helmed at Starlog press.  (I remember calling David Hutchison and John Clayton to give me information on folks in the SPFX biz quite often).  In these magazines you learned stop motion, rear projection, matte painting, foreground miniatures, and prosthetic makeup as low-budget as you could make it.  It also allowed you to advertise your productions in a section of each issue.  Mark Sullivan (famed matte painter who is also chronicled for his… Continue reading

Correcting Star Wars Tennis Shoe Myths — apologies

In 1996 the Internet was still young, and George Lucas was making changes to Star Wars. As I was an avid Star Wars fan — it was instrumental in my career choice — I created The Bogus Star Wars Homepage to chronicle it, collecting what the fans were finding, and directing my hopes to what Industrial Light and Magic might do with its new tools. (The page is pretty long in the tooth design-wise, and is a time-capsule of thoughts prior to rerelease) Little did we all know how much would change, but it was incredible to see Star Wars… Continue reading

Matte Paintings — The Lost Art

They used to be called SPECIAL effects, and thats what matte paintings were — alchemy. What else would you call a mixture of paint, glass, and photography with magic as the result? A few years back I slammed together an outline of a book, and invited several matte painters from the Glass pane days to consider documenting the craft for a generation who is rarely taught any art technique, but surviving on raw talent. There was sluggish response at first, thinking that digital artists have little desire to learn the old ways — no longer deemed relevant. I disagree with… Continue reading

The VFX Tube

In 2008 I was struck by the lack of institutional knowledge of VFX in the industry. Each person has their collection of inspiration that brought them into the artistic field, and most of mine came from the Starlog Press, and TV VFX specials that occasionally showed up. So I set up my youtube account to inspire and educate, and I uploaded many of the old documentaries I could find. I add to the favorites whenever I find inspired VFX visuals, or documentaries that teach us more. Subscriptions to other sites usually lead to bigger collections of VFX know-how and examples.

It is important to know our history so we can learn from it. This channel is a repository, and signpost to VFX knowledge.

Enjoy!

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/AgraphaFX

 

AG