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 4 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 Frenchmen Joseph D’Almeida and Louis Du Hauron, 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). …