August 2006 Archives
Today, the Nuke demo comes out! While the D2Software site hasn't been updated to reflect that, make sure you check in periodically! I'm not sure if there will be a registered direct download from the site, or if anyone can get it without registering their email. Stay tuned. Here are some specs to whey your appetite. I'll update this post with an actual link when I get it.
Experience 64 Channels OpenEXR workflow
Nuke delivers the industry's broadest support for EXR. Read, processes and write up to 64 channels of EXR image data, improving data management and workflow.
Power up your keying
Nuke's new image based keyer (IBK) gives artists the ability to manipulate color channels in a completely new way; working on each color channel individually. Now artists have the power to truly fine-tune keying images.
Have it your way
New savable layouts, GUI customization capabilities
and feature enhancements such as the 'bullseye' and 'input' buttons and TCL-based node labeling make navigating large scripts easier than ever.
Fulfill your need for speed
Even when processing high resolution footage on modest hardware with 32-bit floating point precision, NUKE's multi-threaded, scan-line based computation gives rapid feedback. And when it's time for the final render, NUKE is, bar none, the fastest in its class.
Satisfy your inner nerd
NUKE supports an extremely open architecture. Both its scripts and user interface are based on the TCL scripting language, which makes it possible to customize NUKE in innumerable ways. If you want to go even deeper, NUKE offers a full-fledged software developers kit (SDK) for creating your own C++-based plugins.
Use your favorite plugins
All of The Foundry's OpenFX™ (OFX) plugins are fully compatible with NUKE. Currently, the Keylight keyer, the Tinder collection (which includes lens flares, warpers, and lens blurs), and the Furnace collection (which includes motion vector retiming, wire removal, clean plate creation, grain, and texture tools) are available in the OFX format, with more collections added all the time.
Work on your platform of choice
NUKE is available on Windows™, Linux™, OSX™, and Irix™ platforms – all at equal cost. Licenses float seamlessly between all operating systems on the network, so every artist can work where they are most comfortable and creative.
Ah, it's been almost four months since the preorder purchase of this solid state digital PVR from ChaseCam. I've been eagerly awaiting this item for several different projects that I'm attempting. Because of its small size and remote operation, I'll be using it in several scenarios; as a recording device while motoring, shooting miscellaneous events for vfx projects, and strapped to my mask recording paintballing. I have several videos on Google Video that showcase the crappy footage from the ATC-1000. I have high hopes that this little device will surpass that.
Unfortunately over the weekend I went to play paintball over at SC Village, and didn't have this little device handy! Next time though. ;)
Well, it looks like the Emmys went pretty well on Saturday night! It was the creative arts section of the awards, where the Special Visual Effects award was presented. The winners were Rome: The Stolen Eagle for series, and The Triangle for miniseries. Congratulations guys!
Last week was also the final week of Flags of our Fathers.. We completed close to 450 shots, and I was on the show for the last five months. This week we start the second movie, Letters from Iwo Jima, which was changed from Red Sun, Black Sand. While the shot count is not as high as Flags, we do have a significant amount of work to complete before our two month deadline. We lost a couple compositors (of which I thought I would be one) to either other studios, fatigue, or vacation.
The trailer is now out for Flags of our Fathers and it's companion film, Letters from Iwo Jima. Check it out here! This trailer is for the Japanese audience. Unfortunately I don't have sound on this machine, but I'm sure you do! There will probably be an American trailer in the near future as well.
This morning from 9am to noon, I participated in the final selection voting for my peer group, Special Visual Effects. I jumped in the car and headed down to Dolby Laboratories in Burbank, a quick 20 minute drive through minimal traffic, at least at 8am in the morning! The swank Dolby Labs office was on the third floor, decorated in wonderful wood accents and textured seating. There were several Emmy Awards from the past years for Outstanding Sound, and some old sound equipment made when Dolby Labs was in its infancy. We were greeted with breakfast from 8am to 9am, and as I signed in I ran through the names of the people that might be showing up. Richard Edlund, whom I met last year at the Aero Theatre for the 2005 VES Festival, was listed but didn't show, as well as Jeffrey Okun. Mark Spatny was also listed, but I didn't run into him.
The entries, as you are aware, have already been publicized. Today was the day where the members of the ATAS SVE section would vote and rank the five nominees in each category. Approximately 20-30 people showed up, I would have hoped there would be more. After a quick breakfast, we were herded into the Dolby screening room, which is impressive in itself. Wonderful seats and of course, amazing sound. The sound presentation from the DVDs in the screening room was pretty amazing. The picture was from a DVD source, so while the picture was huge, the clarity was not. It's quite a shame because I know most of the shows that were nominated were shot and edited in HD or film. Maybe next year we'll actually get HD DVD or BluRay, so we can see all the detail. DVD just doesn't cut it, especially after staring at 2k plates for the past six months on Flags! I've been spoiled.
The entire voting process took about two and a half hours, and while there were nominees present for the voting, they could not vote for the category they were nominated for. We were given the same supplimental information like last time, and we actually watched the exact same nominee videos. However the second time around it was much easier to see what was outstanding in the remaining shows, and to rank them accordingly. Shows that I thought were amazing in the first round I only found adequate in the second.
Be sure to check in again next week, when the winners will announced! They will be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on August 19th. Good luck to all the nominees!
Another premiere today for the DD crew.. Zoom comes out in theatres, and there's a good article over at VFXWorld describing some of the effects that Digital Domain accomplished for the show.. While I did not work on the film, I had a chance to see some of the completed effects in our Monthlies. Here's the article, and a small excerpt.
Alain Bielik enrolls in superhero academy of Zoom to discover first hand how the vfx wizards behind the scenes made it all a reality.
Just like Galaxy Quest was playing the Star Trek mythology for laughs, Zoom is a comedy playing with the superhero frenzy. Both movies have Tim Allen as the reluctant down on his luck hero. In Zoom (released by Columbia Pictures on Aug. 11), he portrays an out-of-shape former superhero who has lost his powers. He must now teach a group of unwilling teen superheroes how to control their special skills... and ultimately how to save the world.
As with any superhero movie, visual effects played a key part in visualizing the special powers of the characters. To this purpose, director Peter Hewitt turned to Digital Domain and to visual effects supervisor Mark Forker. In charge of producing some 280 shots, the team also included vfx producers David James and Todd Isroelit, digital effects supervisor Serge Sretschinsky and CG supervisor Johnny Gibson.
Last night I had the fortunate opportunity to visit Zoic Studios in Culver City for their annual SummerFest gathering. A number of artists from the surrounding areas converged into this concrete and mortar behemoth on the outskirts of Culver City. Overall at it's peak, it looked like close to 100 people were milling about the interior of the facility. Inside, the architecture was very nice.. Large beams of wood were strewn about the place and were key members holding up the building, giving it a futuristic log cabin feel.
There was plentiful food and drink and music, and they had their reels on a projection loop in the main lobby. I met several people from Zoic, and managed to tour the facility and see their Flame and production suites. Overall it seemed like a very cool place to hang out and work. Nice people, nice work on the commercial and film side, and also some great TV work. Posters from Battlestar Galactica and Firefly adorn the walls. I also met an artist that works in Santa Monica that didn't know anyone there, like myself, so we chatted and discussed the state of the industry until the wee hours of the morning. When we finally left at around 9:30pm there were still a number of people milling about and chatting. I'm not a huge crowd person, and usually like a small gathering of close friends than a huge number of acquaintances, but it was good regardless of the amount of people I didn't know. :)
Over the past several weeks I've received a bunch of DVD screeners for the nominees for this years Emmy Awards. I'm voting on three categories. Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Miniseries, and my peer group, Special Visual Effects. My peer group will be voting in person this Saturday up in Burbank, and we'll be narrowing down the winner from the five we nominated a couple of weeks ago as mentioned in this post.
Needless to say, watching almost 30+ hours of footage in the past several weeks has been pretty tough in addition to working a bunch of overtime to finish up our show.. Luckily I've already voted for the Outstanding Comedy Series and just need to finish a couple Miniseries and send the ballot back by the beginning of next week.
The last entry of the compositing package reviews. Nuke is an up and coming desktop compositing package that truly excels where Shake has lost ground. A primary factor in its success is its constant beta testing by the compositing artists at Digital Domain. We have a plethora of technical and artistic compers which consistently help to evolve the production of Nuke. As such, Nuke is accelerating in its capabilities.
Finally.. In a little bit of downtime I quickly added email whitelisting for comments. If you've commented lately or frequently I've whitelisted your email so it won't have to go through moderation. It makes my life a little simpler, and everyone will be able to read your comment right away. Just make sure you comment with the same email every time! Give it a try.
| A little VFX description over at Film & Video.
Check it out! It details the VFX work on glowing meteorites and a CG shark. DD also did some great volumetric cloud work for a number of sequences. I have yet to see the film, and unfortunately there hasn't been a crew screening (that I'm aware of). Digital Domain completed about 220 shots for the film.
There's just something about Uma Thurman as a chainsaw wielding ex-girlfriend.
The film will open stateside on October 20th, 2006, and will premiere in Japan at the 19th Tokyo Film Festival on October 21st. Stay tuned for movie trailer information! It'll be out very shortly..