RedShark News

Rebuilding Robocop

Published in Post

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

A high-end rendering technique that was previously only availble on workstations (and even then very slowly!) is coming to your phones

Seriously good fur

Published in Post

Fur. It's hard to model in CGI. For a start, it's not one object but hundreds or thousands or millions of them. To make them convincing you have to model them; understanding how they move relative to each other, and to the animal or human that they're attached to

The best video game trailer ever

Published in Post

The greatest video game trailer ever

Tempo: Red Giant's calling card

Published in Post

Increasingly, the makers of visual effects software produce shorts to showcase their products. This week, it’s Red Giant Software’s turn to dazzle

A User Interface is a piece of history - and the future

Published in Technology

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

Holograms: Will we ever need them?

Published in Distribution

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.

Photorealistic rendering gets easier

Published in Technology

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

Is this the most remarkable CGI in a film, ever?

Published in Technology

Weta Digital is at it again! This time, the red-hot VFX house is inventing new ways to overrun the Earth with primates, as evidenced by an illuminating behind the scenes featurette for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Blender: Jack of all trades, but in a good way!

Published in Post

Anyone working with digital tools today has a wide choice of applications for specialized tasks. An office suite consists of a program for writing text, one for spreadsheets, presentations, a database etc. For a VFX workflow you might use a tool for tracking, one for compositing, one for editing, various tools for simulations and specialized applications for modelling, sculpting, texturing and animation. RedShark contributor and Blender expert Gottfried Hoffmann reports

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