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In the final installment of Peter Jackson’s video blog, the director introduces The Hobbit’s post crew, while the team scrambles to complete the film.

How did they make that - thing - move?

Blender 2.71 is released

Published in Post & VFX

Blender 2.71, the latest version of the popular and increasingly powerful open source 3D modelling and animation suite, has been released

This isn't a photograph - it's an amazing render

Published in Post & VFX

This is a picture that looks more like a photograph than a photograph. And whereas a photograph can be made in an instant - you can imagine the time it took Brazillian artist Gilvan Isbiro to create this masterpiece

This is a very successful attempt to build a system that can simulate walking with all types of two-legged characters. It's extremely funny as well!

The Great Gatsby: Stunning VFX/CGI breakdown

Published in Post & VFX

You really can't believe what you see these days. And that's even more true for historically-set dramas where to recreate authentic 360 degree retro environments would be so expensive as to severly limit the scope of the productions

Here's an exciting and rather insipiring new sci-fi short, Atropa, featuring gorgeous visuals and deft direction, all of which has been achieved on a shoestring budget.

The Butterfly Effect

Published in Technology & Computing

Unity introduces version 4.0 of its game engine/character animation system with a jaw-dropping CGI short, courtesy of Passion Pictures

Holograms: Will we ever need them?

Published in Studio & Broadcast

Holographic TV: I have to declare a bias here. The Princess Leia hologram scenes in Star Wars convinced me that we will never need holographic TV. This is nothing to do with the fact that video holograms are always depicted as being fuzzy and unstable (presumably to stop them looking real, in which case you couldn't tell they were holograms). No, my issue with them is that while real life may be 3D in the sense that you can walk around it, drama isn't.

What do I mean by this?

Holograms in the cinema

Well, imagine being in a cinema watching a holographic film. If you're sitting in the centre of the auditorium, about half way up, then it's all well and good. But if you've arrived late and you're sitting at the side, then you'll have a bad time, because none of the actors will ever look at you, unless they're making transitory, sideways glances.

That's the problem in essence. Everybody gets a different view. It's not film making: it's moving sculpture.

All of which is a scarcely relevant introduction to a news item this week about a breakthrough from the International Society for Optics and Photonics, who have managed to merge the disciplines of hologram-making and computer generated images.

It takes longer with a computer

Until now, making holograms from computer images has either been impossible or has taken far too long to be of any practical use because of the rendering times. You can only make computer holograms if you calculate an extremely large number of viewpoints for every point on the holographic object's surface - a recipe for waiting a long time for something to happen.

But now, they've found a way to use more CGI-like techniques. Instead of calculating the result at ever conceivable point, they use polygons instead, massively reducing the calculation times.

The society claims to be able to produce photorealistic holograms in reasonable timescales, and if I'm wrong about the unsuitability of Holograms for film making, then this could be the breakthrough that everyone except me has been waiting for.

We're still working on RedShark's comments system. Meanwhile, if you'd like to respond to this article, drop an email to me, david.shapton@redsharknews.com. We'll publish the best comments.

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