"Rogue One" is the latest addition to the epic space battle in the "Star Wars" universe, and damn, did it impress. From all angles, the film looked to hit on all the cues that made the original 70s and 80s films incredible, yet still filled it with plenty of new and relevant stories to bring it to life in 2016. Capping off a wild year of many celebrity deaths, it brings an interesting question: should we bring back deceased actors to fill a role?
Nice lighting and a controlled experiment can yield some pretty cool results, and luckily there are folks like the ones behind the brand Beauty of Science who just released a video showing exactly that. Simply put, they dissolved some M&M candy in a dish of water. And it looks amazing.
Audi took advantage of Monday night's presidential debates with its "Duel" ad spot. Nearly the entire clip plays in reverse, allowing the chronology of the true story and how the action unfolded to the point at which you began to unravel itself in an action-packed scene. The rewound clip -- fit for a 007 film -- features quite the production, complete with excellent, blockbuster-born sound effects to sell every punch and shattering glass shard. But it doesn't take much studying to see this was hardly as easy as rewinding an otherwise-normal action sequence: it took great audio to create this spectacle.
The recent remake of Mad Max: Fury Road has to be one of my favorite examples of both CGI and practical effects in modern day movie making working perfectly together. The way they created this world for which these characters live astounds me every time I see the film and truly set itself apart from other movies. Thanks to behind the scenes access and places like Gizmodo for the latest BTS footage.
Stop motion animation is by far one of the most forgotten mediums for filmmaking, yet it holds high respect for what it is and how it's done in large motion pictures today. Those pushing the envelope in 2016 are the geniuses behind Laika Studios where they blended hand crafted puppets, CGI, and 3D printing to build a world filled with imagination and story.
Science meets art once again. Abe Davis, a computer science PhD student at MIT, recently published a research about interaction with the objects in videos, by measuring and mapping the vibrations of their movements. His project, which he developed with Justin Chen and Fredo Durand, and patented by MIT, aims to be used both in engineering and videography.
Drive Like Maria just released a music video for their song "Deep Blue." What makes this unique is that every frame has been rendered with the "Dreams" effect using the Prisma App. This app uses AI to create effects that make your images look like paintings of famous artists. It has many effect options, and it really looks as though a lot of time, knowledge, and effort has been put together to create it. It looks like Waking Life, but instead of drawing each frame by hand, Drive Like Maria has taken every frame of their music video and run it through the app.
This Cinemagraph time-lapse was made using only 12 JPEG images. The software allows photographers to create motion within a static photograph. You need to upload each image to the website, and then you design the movement within each image. Once you get a moving image "flowing" you can render it out and import it into Adobe Premiere Pro to create the final time-lapse.
As you probably know, much of the epic imagery in "Game of Thrones" is computer-generated. It's a monumental task, and this video from Rising Sun Pictures, the visual effects company responsible for that amazing imagery, really puts into perspective the amount of work and imagination required to pull off such a feat.
Beyond any doubt, the effects and compositing techniques used in the first three films of Star Wars trilogy were the game changer in VFX world. Although there has been a rapid improvement in the VFX technology for the last 40 years, we can say that Star Wars was one of the pioneers. So, how was that possible to achieve realistic results in a movie produced in 1980? Mark Vargo explains the mathematics, optics, engineering, and software behind the blue screen photography and compositing in detail.