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October 10, 2013 6:50 pm


Alfonso Cuarón‘s new cinematic thrill-ride Gravity opened this weekend to great critical acclaim. Framestore was the lead VFX vendor on this project, working for three years to develop the stunning long zero gravity shots that Alphonso required for the film. Along the way they developed some new, cutting edge techniques for matching the lighting of live action elements to fully CG environments, and have raised the bar for CG photo-realism. I had the opportunity to work on this film for a year, mostly involved in the dimensionalisation of the live action elements (mostly Sandra Bullock and George Clooney‘s faces), to match the stereoscopic 3D in the rest of the movie. I am immensely proud to have been a part of a project like this, I think the film is an absolute triumph, and I think it will be remember for a long time to come. Go see it!

FXGuide has a very detailed and fascinating article on how Framestore created the ground-breaking visual effects for Gravity. Read it here.

April 14, 2012 8:14 pm

Canon 1D C – The new DSLR capable of 4k video

The EOS 1D C, Canon’s promised DSLR capable of 4K video was announced on Thursday 12th. The camera will be a variation of the 1D X, but with reworked circuitry and heat management in order to prevent overheating from the massive data rates. It will also have some of the features from the C300, Canon’s recently announced cinema camera, which should allow the two cameras to be used together.

This is a pretty exciting piece of kit as it demonstrates the impact that RED’s 4k (and higher) camera’s have had. It seems that we are seeing an end to the era of generating digital film at 1080p and upscaling to 2k for broadcast, and a move towards the generation of material at higher resolutions.

I am, however, slightly confused by the fact that the camera only shoots 4k at 24fps. After all the fuss a few years regarding the 5D mark ii only shooting HD video at 30fps, I am surprised by Canon’s decision not to include 4k at 25 and 30fps. At 24fps, the 1D C’s 4k functionality is clearly aimed at the film market. But for all it’s bells and whistles the camera is still, at it’s heart, a DSLR with added video functionality. I’m sure that the camera will be welcomed with open arms by the indie film market, but it is not a dedicated film camera. At a predicted $10,000, it will function as an affordable 4k crash cam but I find it unlikely that it will be adopted widely adopted on professional film shoots.

Conversely, the potential for this camera in TV and commercials is clear. In the FX Guide RC podcasts, TVC director Jason Wingrove has discussed the usefulness of shooting 4k and the convenience of HDSLRs for commercials. So with the option of 25 and 30fps, the 1D C would be able to fulfill both of these needs, and yet Canon has neglected to include them.

Of course, the camera has not yet been released and things may well change. I will be following this camera with interest and anticipation.

January 1, 2012 9:50 pm

The Year in Visual Effects

A whistle-stop review of some of the year’s biggest visual effects movies, paying respect to the incredibly detailed work done by some of the industry’s premiere artists. From the people at The Daily, with interview footage from FXGuide and Scott Broock.

October 15, 2011 11:02 am

the art of roto

Mike Seymour of FXGuide has written this incredibly detailed article on The Art of Roto. It covers rotoscoping in all of its many guises, from Max Fleischer‘s original machine right through to the most current software and techniques.

As someone who is just getting started as a roto artist, its great to find such a thorough overview of the field. Plus it means that when someone asks me “what is rotoscoping?” I can just point them to this article.


The Art of Roto