Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
For better or for worse, audiences will get the opportunity to see an all CGI Peanuts movie in 2015. The first trailer was released today and it looks... not bad. Producer Paul Feig has promised a minimum of modern touches. We'll all find out one year from now.
We can take advantage of the dense and real-time nature of our system to perform novel Augmented Virtuality (a.k.a Mixed Reality) interactions... A user can choose a set of planes to alter the original input with an application display, allowing for instance to read a Facebook Wall on a real wall. The user can still safely navigate an environment without fear of collisions and perform tasks like zooming in/out as natural as walking closer/further from surfaces.-Dense Planar SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping)
A preview of computer graphics technology innovations to be presented at SIGGRAPH 2014. (Previously)
Christian Zander may have a commercial design background, he has a significant amount of work in a more abstract, generative style, as seen in his House and Bike blog posts, and strewn among his work portfolio. He has also worked with animations, both live (Kiss Kiss Kiss - "Ponte 25") and recorded (Kenton Slash Demon - "Ore" / I Got You On Tape - "Run From The Rain").
A new twist on the classic concept of the dancing baby animation. [– Possibly disturbing] [more inside]
Tiny Worlds: a series of films about tiny machines in the city like a tiny bulldozer, a tiny logging truck, and a tiny submarine.
Combining 3D scans of real life models in ultra high detail with the Oculus Rift and the Razer Hydra for movement controls to make one of the most realistic and spooky experiences in Virtual Reality [NSFW Artistic nudity] Welcome to the future. [more inside]
Today saw the release of the first trailer for The LEGO Movie, and there are some interesting things to note about it. [more inside]
Eerie computer-generated images reveal how UK landmarks could crumble and decay if humanity was wiped out. Gallery
You too, can build your own Gatling Droid ... these are instructions for creating a 3D CGI robot, and comping it into an office. Pretty comprehensive examination of a 3D pipeline.
Partysaurus Rex, a new animated short from Pixar, in which we join the characters from Toy Story for an ecstatic bathtime rave (poster). The short débuted ahead of ("opened for") Finding Nemo 3D in September 2012, and features an original soundtrack by electronic musician BT. [more inside]
Strange Oaks is the latest teaser trailer from the Barcelona-based Headless Productions (and friends), this time about a retirement community for witches. The Headless Productions Vimeo account has 13 more teasers and trailers, mostly featuring hand-drawn animation, some of which has since made its way into full movies. [more inside]
Without visual effects the average blockbuster movie would look like this. However as Hollywood comes under financial pressure they are putting the squeeze on the VFX industry that they rely on, who are in turn passing the pressure onto workers. Now VFX workers are organizing a protest in time for the Oscars, which will be celebrating visual effects as the companies responsible for them close down. [more inside]
Paths of Hate is a highly stylized Polish CGI animated short movie which to an extent mimics traditional cel animation, but goes far beyond what's practically possible with traditional techniques. It also has some excellent, high-intensity aerial combat. Possibly NSFW for some light blood and gore.
Foodfight! is an computer-animated "movie" starring Charlie Sheen, Hillary Duff, Eva Longoria, Wayne Brady, and Christopher Loyd. Set in a supermarket that transformed into a city when the lights came off at the end of the day and inhabited by mascots for food products coming to life. After a theft of company's computers in 2003, and numerous other delays, the film would not see the light of day until 2012 [more inside]
"Shot October 2012 while driving through Santa Clarita. There were two crafts. After sighting the first I stopped the car and ran into a field for a better look. What happened next was unbelievable." Except the unbelievable thing is that everything was faked, not just the too-real looking UFO, as Wired breaks down the elements in the video. But if you're excited about this video, watch out! ALIENS IN MEXICO !!! And Dominican Republic! More than five years ago! Except, it wasn't real then, either. [more inside]
Badly Recreated Animated Film Frames: "Take a still from a multi-million dollar animated film that required thousands of man-hours to create and replicate it in Maya in 30 minutes."
"With Jan Nickman's skilled direction and exceptional cinematography by Gray Warriner of Camera One Productions, this 40-minute video album transforms the Grand Canyon into something magical." Canyon Dreams was recorded as an album by Tangerine Dream, though it was first released with the videos of the Grand Canyon that were recorded over 3 years. Audio and video inside. [more inside]
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.
The BBC's new Olympics 2012 ad (full 2m40s version; SLYT) is a CGI masterpiece for the video gamer era. (best viewed with YouTube HD resolution settings on) [more inside]
A robotic disagreement turns serious when they drop the bass.
The Chase Another day out on the town for the girls (Animated Short)
Pipe Dream [2001, CGI (previously)]
Pipe Dream [2011, physical (another video) (yet another)] [MLYT]
Pipe Dream [2011, physical (another video) (yet another)] [MLYT]
Cartier has decided to celebrate its 165 years in business by taking two years to produce an incredible short film.
Archetype is a seven minute sci-fi short by Aaron Sims, which despite being a no-budget project, features amazingly high quality special effects. [more inside]
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King is at the top of the box office. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg. Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting, pulse-pounding, joyful tracks alongside the original video (part 2, 3, 4), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action. In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary on scenes like this; his work was later expanded into a full album, the Broadway stage show, and projects closer to his heart. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle (download guide), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups. Want more? Look... harder... [more inside]
What if Smurfs were real? (via.) Be sure to check out Nate Hallinan's portfolio for additional coolness.
Realtime face substitution SLVimeo
Going to the store. [Vimeo]
Escape from City 17, Part 2 is a live action fan film set in the Half-Life universe (previously, related?).
Transformers 3 scene from The Island. SlashFilm passes along the news that Michael Bay recycled shots from his 2005 film The Island in his new film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, saving costs by adding different CGI to the same car chase scenes. "I’m not sure how often this kind of thing happens, but my guess is that it happens probably more than you would think."
What would happen if you took a game like Braid and made it a first-person shooter? Something you'll have to watch at least twice (SLYT) [more inside]
It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century, 26 Academy Awards, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2, is Certified Rotten. Critics have assailed the film as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand," replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games, hyperactive chase sequences, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor from Larry the Cable Guy. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave -- a darkly magical original story set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror] is available at the official website, and character sketches have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave's associated short, "La Luna"!
Many would agree that the advent of CGI has made movies worse, not better. Blogger Gin and Tacos makes the argument eloquently: "The fundamental problem is that CGI, rather that being a tool that allows directors to explore new creative possibilities, just enables laziness."
Christophe Huet and other talented artists at the Asile studio in Paris produce amazingly lifelike and realistic CGI and photomanipulated creations. (Flash and audio, but the music, also created by Huet, is lovely.) Some images NSFW.
Michael Hansmeyer: Computational Architecture. Subdivision: Ornamented Columns -- "A full-scale, 2.7-meter high variant of the columns is fabricated as a layered model using 1mm sheet. Each sheet is individually cut using a mill or laser. Sheets are stacked and held together by poles that run through a common core." [more inside]
A look behind the surprising amount of CGI used during the production of Black Swan. [slyt] [nsfw] [spoilers]