December 2005 Archives
More gallery updates! I've added some Sharkboy and Lavagirl images and Quicktimes over there. Make your way over to the sidebar and click on the Gallery. If you have a pair of 3D glasses, you can view the Quicktimes in 3D!
I'm just hanging out this holiday season, using my wife's new camera to take interesting pictures. Here are a couple that I thought were neat.
Like the title says, I finished putting together a new reel for this holiday season. Every year I like to put one together to keep my edit juices flowing. Click the 2005 reel link in the sidebar! If it doesn't play let me know. It's a WMV9 codec wmv file. Unfortunately I was not able put my Sharkboy and Lavagirl shots on, as well as any commercial work that I have done this year. So it's definitely not most of the majority of the work I accomplished this year!
The last work day of the year! It's still quite busy here at Tippett. We're finishing up some more shots, and I've got one to put to film tonight and several more for approval for early next year.
As the title of this post suggests, Tippett has put up the rest of the commercials for the Impala SS and Milka on their website. Click here to go directly to the commercial spot page. It's pretty cool to go back and look at the commercial work we've done in the past. Things have progressed quite a bit! The Milka Eagle and Downhill spots won't be shown on North American TV, so check them out while you can.
I'm not sure how often I will be updating this site over the next several days, so I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
Every year we have a holiday party. This year was no different, and our company party was held over in Oakland, at a sweet joint called the Lucas Taproom and Lounge. At my guess, around 150-200 people showed up, with significant others in tow, for a wonderful evening of comraderie and debauchery.
Ok, maybe not too much in the way of debauchery, but it was definitely a fun night! Like any holiday party, we had a Secret Santa gift gift giving. Ours is a bit different from others that you may be familiar with. Instead of a monetary limit, the only limit is your imagination! Most, if not all of the gifts this year were created by hand by the artists and craftsmen here. From several sculpted maquettes of people or creatures that we've created in the past (A Starship Troopers bug always shows up somewhere!), to machined toys with intricate moving parts, there's always something neat to see. This year, my personal favorites were a miniature snowglobe with the rat we're creating for Charlotte's Web, a sweet Wonder Woman display for our PR and marketing resident with her likeness, a foot high maquette of the Charlotte's Web rat, and a machined and movable dinosaur/bird/creature head.
I did not participate in Secret Santa this year. I keep procrastinating that I don't have any time. Maybe next year. Wait, let me say it now, definitely next year.
Among the juicy things that I accomplished this weekend was a screening of King Kong. While many of my coworkers managed to see this on opening night at the public theatre, I opted to go to a private function. Primarily because it was free and MUCH less crowded. Regardless, I'm sure the experience would be the same.
Last night I attended a VES showing of Narnia over at the Pixar theatre. This recently released Disney film was a little over two hours long, with approximately 1600 visual effects shots done by three major houses; Rhythm & Hues, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and ILM. Some smaller studios that also worked on this film were Hatch, Gentle Giant, Svengali, and WETA Workshop.
t the screening we had two guest speakers, Dean Wright, the visual effects supervisor, and Scott Farrar, ILM visual effects supervisor. In addition to the visuals of the screening, we were treating to a film reel from Rhythm and Hues which broke down the large battle sequence near the end, as well a short making-of of Aslan.
The movie itself was quite an epic. It's definitely a childrens story, but not a pretty one. I found it to be quite melodramatic. The actors portrayed their characters well, and the children did a wonderful job of communicating with full CG characters.
The visual effects were hit and miss. The most memorable, of course, was Aslan, the lion. In the making-of, they intercut stock footage of their reference lion, and then Aslan. The similiarities were striking. It's a treat to see this computer generated character on screen, full frame at times! Definitely a must see in the theater, just for the exquisite detail created by the team from R&H. SPI did some creature work as well, mostly relegated to the beavers and secondary creatures. The work they did was well done, as was the integration with the environment. Some items did pop out, but that's mainly because I've been working with a similar creature for Charlotte's Web! I must say that our fur will definitely be tops over the beavers. Stay tuned for that in June 2006. ILM did a bunch of creature work and the camp scenes for the film. They were brought in late in production, April of this year! These three big companies did a great job with 3D, from the minataurs, griffins, lions, tigers, cheetahs, centaurs (over sixty species of animals!), to more standard fare, environments and 3D matte paintings of the camps. Unfortunately among some of this wonderful work were some sore spots. Specifically some of the greenscreen compositing. There was not a lot of integration between the actors and the environments. So much so that they really stood out. It's a shame really. Over the past decade plus, we (the vfx industry) have succeeded in making beautiful 3D characters and imagery, from cityscapes to Gollum, but the compositing falls short. Integration and balancing between live action and computer generated environments does not match the level of exactness that we are able to create with just computer generated environments and characters.
Back to the film. Story-wise I will give this film a seven out of 10. I am not familiar with the story and didn't read the book growing up, so what was handed to me in the theatre was pretty much what I expected to happen. Visual effects-wise, I'll give the film a nine, detracting one point because of the horrendous greenscreens and their integration.
An early day today, finishing up the Sundance stuff this morning, and also hitting several Charlotte's Web deadlines as well. There are a lot of shots from me that are due to go out for final very soon. Right now I'm playing the hurry-up-and-wait game. Lots of TD renders that I'm waiting on, as well as new animation that has to be rendered. Basically, lots of waiting. It's inherent in any production facility.
For those wondering, the Sundance film we're working on is not affiliated with Tippett. Only a couple of us are working on it, pro bono, in our free time. The hope is that this film will be submitted to several other festivals, not just Sundance. Unfortunately I don't remember the actual name of the film, just what we're calling it in-house, so I can't tell you what it is!