RedShark News

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

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

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

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

The UFO in this video is fake. And so is everything else!

Published in Post & VFX

It's not just the UFO that's fake in this video - it's the car and the sky and the camera shake. In other words, the whole video is CGI. Even the pinging of the "Driver's Door Open" warning

It's well-documented that the VFX industry is in a state of flux. Meanwhile, there's a new generation of CGI artists.  Here's a piece made by students from the Platige Academy. It's their impressive short 'How to Train Your Robot'.

Photorealistic rendering gets easier

Published in Technology & Computing

Photorealism is not an objective thing. What might look real to one person might look phoney to another. It largely depends what your expectations are, and what exactly you're looking for

If I told you that User Interfaces play a large part in modern film-making, you might think I'm exaggerating. But I don't think I am

CGI brings back the dead

Published in Technology & Computing

Although it is always based on strict scientific principles, sometimes - and more and more often - CGI does something that seems miraculous

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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