RedShark News

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.

This holiday we're re-running some of our most popular articles, in case you didn't see them the first time. Today: 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

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

The Butterfly Effect

Published in Technology

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 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.

How A UK Studio Is Redefining Facial Animation

Published in Post

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

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

R'ha: The best sci-fi short of 2013 (so far)

Published in Production

It didn’t take long for a sci-fi short to make noise in 2013, courtesy of animation student Kaleb Lechowski, who took a can-do approach in realizing his mini-epic

World War Z VFX Breakdown

Published in Post

This past summer's blockbuster zombie epic, World War Z, astounded audiences with terror at the largest of scales. Visual effects house MPC was with realizing much of the film's mind-boggling mayhem...and this VFX breakdown.

This is the most compelling film trailer we've ever seen

Published in Post

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

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