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

Built with Blender: Tears of Steel

Published in Production

For anyone that hasn't seen it yet, Tears of Steel is a heavily CGI-based short film that demonstrates the Open Source Blender's abilities as an end-to-end VFX and finishing pipeline

Blender 2.73 adds more features for storyboarding

Published in Post & VFX

With more than 200 bug fixes and some fairly hefty new features among a plethora of tweaks, Blender 2.73 is somewhat more than just a point release. Guest Author, Gottfried Hofmann, provides the details.

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

 Here's how far you can go without using CGI!

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

Plurality - Feature film plausibility on a shoestring

Published in Business

The blockbuster science-fiction movie look is now available to anyone with a good story, creative vision and persistance.

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.

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

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.

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