RedShark News

Motion tracking - from obvious to subtle

Published in Post & VFX

Motion tracking is simple to understand, and not so simple to do. And, like a lot of VFX techniques these days, it's getting so good that you don't always know that you're looking at it

Rebuilding Robocop

Published in Post & VFX

The story is familiar and even some of the catchphrases are the same. But José Padilha’s reworking of the iconic 1987 action movie is an altogether sleeker affair

The greatest CGI is not in a Sci-Fi film but a costume drama

Published in Post & VFX

Baz Lurhmann's The Great Gatsby is built not around expensive sets but probably some of the best CGI ever seen (well, we should probably say "apart from Gravity"  - which, although it's in a CGI league of it's own, is not exactly a historical costume drama)

We couldn't resist bringing you this trailer for the film Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Cloony. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, this is quite simply the most breathtaking trailer we've ever seen

Scorcese's punk rock visual effects

Published in Post & VFX

Still believe The Wolf of Wall Street is an Old-School Rags-to-Riches tale? Think Again

Here's the inside story on the CGI animations in Life of Pi

Published in Production

Have you ever heard the collective sound of several hundred people's jaws dropping? If you've been to a cinema where they're showing the Life of Pi for the first time, then you probably have

The quest to find the way out of the Uncanny Valley is making progress

How A UK Studio Is Redefining Facial Animation

Published in Post & VFX

UK company Speech Graphics is gunning for the top-spot in lip-sync technology: mark their words. RedShark contributor David Valjalo reports

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, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'll publish the best comments.

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

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