Behold the Candela Vibrophase, the world's first candle powered guitar effect. More details here. Brought to you by Metafilter's own (well, sort of) Zachary Vex.
Over a decade ago, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow laid the foundations for today's effects-driven blockbusters. Why haven't its creators made a film since?
"Usually the kind of sound effects you heard in the earliest cartoons were strictly sound effects produced by musical instruments. What happened with Treg Brown is entirely different; he would bring in sounds that were recorded in the library at Warner Bros. If someone came quick to a stop, he would bring in a car skid from a Jimmy Carney gangster movie that they had recorded. If somebody was hit on the head and flew out a window there'd be a thunderclap followed by the sound of a biplane in a spin recorded for Dawn Patrol. It was this imposition of realistic sounds into the fantasy world of the cartoons which gave them comic impact."
CRASH! BANG! BOOM! The Wild Sounds of Treg Brown, (Part 1 Part 2 [SLYT]) is a short documentary about legendary sound editor Treg Brown.
Kubricks' 2001: One Man's Incredible Odyssey - "With today's article I've decided to cover the truly outstanding visual effects and design work from one of the single most influential and remarkable pieces of cinema of the twentieth century - Stanley Kubricks' 2001-A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) - a film that just gets better and better with the passing years"
This is a tale nobody wanted to be told. It’s a cautionary tale about an obscure 1980s horror movie cobbled together from work by two separate groups of filmmakers working on the same set with two totally different casts. There’s also a savage businessman, crooked real-estate dealings, betrayal, madness, death, ex-Green Berets, ex-porn stars, and one of the founding fathers of the United States. - The Dissolve on "Spookies"
HTML Theremin Headphones optional. Supposedly better in Chrome or IE, but I had no problem in FF.
“One day, we looked around and realized that almost no one is making tokusatsu anymore,” said Shinji Higuchi, one of a handful of Japanese directors who still have experience in the genre, having directed three movies in the 1990s featuring the giant fire-breathing turtle Gamera. “We don’t want this technique to just quietly disappear without at least recognizing how indebted we are to it.” - The last days of the rubber-suit monsters.
“What I wanted was for kids to see a movie where they don’t need to aspire to be in an army to aspire for an adventure. And I used very deliberate language that is a reference to westerns. I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal, rangers . . . it has the language of an adventure movie. I want kids to come out of the movie and say, I want to be a Jaeger pilot! I really think that would be my dream come true.” - Guillermo del Toro on being a monster loving pacifist. Designer Wayne Barlowe talks about Pacific Rim's creatures. But has maneuvering at Legendary doomed the film before it has even opened?
Revisiting Cinefex - a nostalgia wormhole into the golden age of model work and practical effects and the odd piece of early CG via backissues of the quarterly magazine of motion picture visual effects. The latest issues covered touches on Young Sherlock Holmes's Stained glass knight - mainstream cinema’s first fully-rendered CG character created by Industrial Light & Magic's Pixar group.
RetroWebMatic provides real-time vintage photo effects for websites, with five presets: toasted, lo-brow, tool shed, parchment and vinaigrette. If you'd like to stick with filtering photos, Pixlr's O-Matic does just that, with tons of preset filters, photo "aging" effects, and frames. If you have Photoshop handy, here are 16 tutorials, two tutorial videos, 14 vintage/grunge texture packs, and 16 action packs.
Spaceships that became other spaceships: The Millennium Falcon, The Colonial Viper, The Eagle Transporter - from the blog of Gavin Rothery, visual effects designer on Moon. Previously.
100 Free Photoshop Podcast Tutorials — While many Photoshop instructors focus on features and tools, Richard Harrington covers both the specific skills and techniques you'll need. [requires iTunes]
Donald Thomas "Tom" Scholz (born 10 March 1947) is an American rock musician, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, inventor, and mechanical engineer, best known as the founder of the hard rock band Boston. He is also the inventor of the Rockman guitar amplifier. [more inside]
"This just blew my mind out of my nose and onto my keyboard." A spectacular show of 3D mapping light projections on 3D surfaces at the last Mobile World Congress presented by Alcatel-Lucent. Originally found via this blog:
Behind the opening scenes of Blade Runner. “Doug and his Entertainment Effects Group team created thousands of acid-etched brass miniatures lit from below with hundreds of bundles of fiber-optic lights, shot in forced-perspective through layers of smoke to create layers of light refraction, creating depth.” The first of a three-part series on the making of Blade Runner’s unforgettable opening sequence.
Santa Claus  / Le Voyage dans la Lune  / A Royal Wedding  / 2001 : A Space Odyssey  / Stargate Films Demo Reel  / 100 Years of Visual Effects
Stargate Studios opened in 1989, and has been doing visual effects for some the most successful tv shows of the past few years such as Heroes, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy and 24. Green screens allow them to artificially blend and create scenes that you wouldn't expect. Their official website has more on their Virtual Backlot and other Tech Demos.
You know that guitar sound at the start of "Touch Me I'm Sick"? Or when Keith plays the big riff in "Satisfaction"? That's fuzz. I love fuzz, and I was very happy to stumble across this fine documentary about fuzz pedals and their makers. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 7, Part 8 Should be enough there to sustain your interest for a while... (Previously...)
Looking to boost your mad Photoshop skillz? Here's a trio of sites that offer the latest in PS tips and tricks. Best Photoshop Tutorials has vectors, icons, and free brushes. PShero works with effects and shapes, and Photoshop Girl features photograph enhancement. That should get you started.
Legendary special effects artist Stan Winston has passed away from cancer at the age of 62. From Mr. Roboto to the Terminator to Iron Man, he leaves an almost unparalleled body of work.
Shoegazer 101 Shoegazing (also known as shoegaze or shoegazer; practitioners referred to as shoegazers) is a genre of alternative rock that emerged from the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It lasted until the mid 1990s, peaking circa 1990 to 1991. The British music press (notably NME and Melody Maker) called this genre "shoegazing" because the musicians in these bands often maintained a motionless performing style, standing on stage and staring at the floor while playing their instruments; hence, the idea that they were gazing at their shoes. The shoegazing sound featured extensive use of guitar effects, and indistinguishable vocal melodies that blended into the creative noise of the guitars. Some notable bands are Ride, Lush, Swervedriver, Slowdive, Curve, and American bands Lilys and the Swirlies. [more inside]
A world of sounds. Despite their difficult URL, The Freesound Project has grown at a rapid pace over the last year, arguably surpassing archive.org's audio library when it comes to sound effects, field recordings, site design, and usability. Now Freesound is combining their sound library with geotagging and Google Maps, allowing users to navigate the world by sound too! (previously on mefi)
The Steam Tank is a brief visual effects reel by Chris Paul, from the Vancouver Film School. It begins with a somewhat mundane steam powered tank attacking a mounted gun in a downtown building, but then replays the event shot by shot, showing the original filmed plate, and adding on each cgi component, to give a good idea of how cg & reality interface in an effects piece. warning: link goes to direct download of 56MB QuickTime mov
Videohelper.com sells music and sound effects to film/video producers. Here's their FAQ. It's the most fun FAQ I've ever read when I wasn't even trying to have fun. Though they are a serious business, their entire site is in this style. I want to work there!
Will we ever know what is real anymore? The making of the Matrix sequels. After these movies, will we ever be able to tell what is real or not on the small and large screen?
Not that I'm into that sort of thing, but PillReports - apparently a spinoff of BlueLight (wonder how much KMart offered for that one) - offers moderated discussion about Ecstacy, so you might be able to get some idea of what that pill you just paid $20 for is likely to do to you. Things there aren't verified by actual lab tests like they are at DanceSafe, but it's better than being completely uninformed.