I’ve been doing a lot of coding and pontificating about mixed reality over the past six months or so. And my conclusion is that we’re converging on an obvious thing: A mixed reality Operating System (OS) environment.
That may not seem like any kind of huge logical jump. It may seem obvious. Perhaps you feel I just blurted something out that’s at least a year and a half behind the times. But I’ve gone into a bit more concrete detail than that. More later. Continue reading “Mixed Reality and the OS”
Most compositors know that the first thing they should do to a shot is de-grain it. They also know that they have to add back grain at the end before delivery. A shot delivered without grain is unacceptable work. And it needs to match what was given.
As a result, there are a myriad of grain management tools out there. In my experience however, they’re often used completely incorrectly.
A good VFX supervisor has a particular kind of check that they do. It drives compositors crazy. Especially the ones that don’t know how to handle grain well.
If you like math and really want to the skinny on it, I give you: Bruce Linbloom. In particular, I’d recommend the section on XYZ to RGB to XYZ transformations.
If those really huge square brackets seem scary, it’s all too tempting to cast off the math and fall back on statements such as:
It looks digital.
It isn’t organic.
It’s too clean.
It feels dead. Not alive, like film.
Those are candy colors.
It looks too much like video.
It’s extremely tempting to speak from behind the opaque veil of divine-artistic-intuition. But it’s not good to hide from the truth. If one tries to pierce the veil of divine-artistic-intuition, one is often labeled a heretic and their opinion is cast away by the bourgeois (gab gab gossip gossip gasp glare). As such, many attempts at straightening the path and getting proper color-science into the mix, tend to fail. If someone with enough creative credentials steps into the conversation and makes an observation of divine-artistic-intuition, they win (golf clap). Data, math and science don’t override invalid conclusions in modern Hollywood.
The EPI books are a series of short illustrated novels, akin to a TV series or comic book. Each book moves the story along incrementally in a bite-sized manner. Each book contains illustrations of key moments from the story. The books are sold individually. They are meant to be short, cheap and fun. Like candy. Continue reading “EPI Book 1: it’s Complicated”
This article is really the best and most comprehensive look at what we did and how we did it. Unfortunately, there is no free on-line version of this article. If you want it, you’ll need to get a copy.
The awards season earlier this year was a very tense time. I never felt comfortable posting about it because I didn’t want to toot my horn too loud. It was all a little too big.
This past January, I was honored to present “The Tree of Life” to the VFX Branch of The Academy at their yearly bake-off. We were one of 10 films singled out and honored to be competing for the nomination for The Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
I wrote a short three page piece that was part of our overall written submission. I was up on stage at The Academy Theater, along with Dan Glass and Mike Fink to answer questions after our highlight reel was screened. I even had the opportunity to quickly answer a question in the very short 2 minute Q&A that followed. To be clear: I was personally up there for nomination for an Academy Award. Which is an honor and moniker that really has so overwhelmed me, that I’ve kind of avoided flaunting it to the extent I probably should have. How do you do that without just seeming like a totally self absorbed jerk?
Ultimately, we did not make it to the next phase, which was the nomination for the “Best Visual Effects” award itself. However, the film did get nominated for “Best Picture.”
At this point, I’m very comfortable with the reality that our “Universe” sequence is a primary component of the film. Were it removed, it would greatly change the character and value of the film overall. I’m also very comfortable claiming both creative and technical authorship of our piece along with my collaborators, Dan Glass, Mike Fink and Doug Trumbull, under Terry’s direction. And I couldn’t be prouder of our team and work.
I spent over two years working directly with Terry, in Austin Texas, on the project. I was afforded the rare opportunity to take the “Universe” sequence from Terry’s words on the page, through creative development, and to final composite and conform. I’m not sure I’ll ever be that involved in a project in such totality again, unless its my own.
As with any creative project I get that deeply involved in, there are all kinds of things that I’d want to change. It’s never finished. It just happens to be done.
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional or a scientist or an engineer. I could be completely and totally wrong. And while we’re at it, this is true for nearly everyone you talk to. Follow my advice at your own risk. But these are extraordinary times so…
The MR ROBOT VR movie that released at the start of season 2, to me is the first real strong serious attempt at a piece of VR filmmaking. It wants to be taken seriously as top tier content. It has a real shot at accomplishing its goals. It’s a known property. It’s MR ROBOT, which is considered to be excellent. It’s the same great content and characters. Continue reading “VR Review: MR ROBOT”