Tracking for FRINGE Effect — Performance Transfer in Production

Grabbing an Actor’s Performance

In 2008 concepts and methods developed working on 3D conversion for IMAX films combined to solve a problem at Zoic studios for the Bad Robot TV series FRINGE. Those IMAX3D films required large amounts of match moved geometry to generate depth information.  During that time I experimented projecting two dimensional tracking information to the surface of a placed 3D model, as … Continue reading

How We Faked The Moon Landing: Part 1 — the Visual Effects of Magnificent Desolation 3D

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Magnificent Desolation VFX

To the IMAX Moon and Beyond


The Moon landings were real — we faked it later.

On September 23, 2005,  Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon in 3D released on giant IMAX screens. A 4K stereo3D experience of the Moon landings, and speculative missions from the past and future — which at the time was IMAX’s widest opening stereo3D film with 70 prints worldwide.  Produced and narrated by … Continue reading

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, and fling water off of its body at every flick or tiny movement. Time was as usual, … Continue reading

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.  What’s outside the frame is Masking Tape.  Smash away!

The Wild Blue Yonder From Closet Junk.

The fun part … Continue reading

Adventures in Stereo 3D: Part 2 — The Hyper-Glyph

This gallery contains 4 photos.

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Stereo3D Adventures


Updating the 1850’s French Innovation.

In part one of this series about Stereo 3D, we discussed the use of stereo anaglyph images as a tool for stereo artists and supervisors, not just for novelty 3D prints, and late night 3D festivals on TV.  Lightweight, and easily viewable in many situations, it is by far the most portable 3D format.  (Besides we all look cool … Continue reading

Halloween Photogrammetry

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Photoscan Software in Action — Where Have You Been All My Life?

Just for Halloween: 3D pumpkins!


AgiSoft’s Photoscan is a stunning development for visual effects production. It is at its root designed for virtual map making, but is agile enough for full-body scans in action poses. Yes, there are other services out there from Autodesk that do similar things, but this is $180, with … Continue reading

Adventures in Stereo 3D: Part 1 — The Rebirth of Anaglyph

This gallery contains 2 photos.

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Stereo3D Adventures

Another French Innovation

toytruck_anaProbably one of the oldest methods of viewing stereo 3D content is Anaglyph.  Invented in the 1850’s by a Frenchman, it has seen little update over the years, other than varying the color of the lenses (mostly as an attempt to deliver better full-color images).  It is a very cost effective format, but most experts in 3D scoff at it, as a stereo presentation with … Continue reading

The Art of Seeing Stereo 3D

Stereo vs. Reality 


Stereo 3D is not “real,” it is an optical illusion. We are all constantly told that stereo 3D is more engaging visual content, but having actually directed stereo VFX and helped create the whole field of Stereo conversion, I will say the verdict among audiences is mixed. I have been involved in IMAX and feature film stereo projects, and seeing the variation of opinion in online reviews; I am dumbfounded that anyone is actually … Continue reading