Inverse Light Probes and MatCap Re-lighting

Geometry-based MatCap light probes, and re-lighting in compositing.   Light Probes and a Little VFX History We will get into the subject at hand soon enough.  First let’s set the context: Photographs of chrome spheres are used in visual effects production to record actual location lighting and reflection.  These are …

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 …

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 …

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, …

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. …

Adventures in Stereo 3D: Part 3 — A Stereo Markup Language

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

Scribbling is the Universal Language. If a picture is worth a thousand words, it is likely that two thousand words will be required to properly describe how to correct a problem in a stereo 3D converted image.  I have seen the notes go on for pages (dictated some of them …

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

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, …

Halloween Photogrammetry

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 …

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

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

Another French Innovation Probably 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 …