Demo Reel

Who is Miles Morales? And Ultimate Spider-Man Fan Short

It’s probably little more than wishful thinking on my part, but I would absolutely love to see a live action Ultimate Spider-Man movie starring Miles Morales. I don’t know if Sony would ever do anything like that. Perhaps Marvel would if they ever reacquired the Spider-Man movie rights. But until miracles happen, we’ll have to turn to fan films like this to imagine what it would be like if Miles ever made it to the big screen.

The Visual Effects of Prometheus

If you’re a big fan of visual effects and want to learn more about the production side of things, this half hour FX Guide feature on the visual effects of Prometheus should keep you entertained. I love this stuff.

Watch Out, Elliot’s Getting Uppity

AZM Ally Terrance Wong sent along this trailer for another live-action Akira adaptation by French director Fabien Dubois. Remember when I said I’d be okay with a white washed version if they renamed the characters? Well… uh… I’m not sure what to think of this.

I suspect that this teaser trailer is all we’ll ever actually see of Elliot Grahams. I don’t think we’ll be getting a full length feature out of this. So we’ll never fully understand the impact of an “uppity” Elliot. I mean, besides the recasting and renaming and the completely terrible voice-over, there’s not a whole lot here to either endorse or get pissed over. I think without the voice over, this thing would seem like a very strange perfume commercial. Hell, even with the voice over, this thing looks like a very strange perfume commercial. Akira, for douchebags.

I’m tempted to just laugh this off as a tech demo for Fabien to show off his compositing, color correction, and digital effects skills. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s worth unleashing the full fury of internet rantings.

From: Twitch

Experimental Rendering Technique Puts 3D Objects into ANY PHOTO EVER

Rendering Synthetic Objects into Legacy Photographs from Kevin Karsch on Vimeo.

It’s been a while since I nerded over imagine technology, but when I saw this video, I completely lost my shit. Shit. Gone. Completely. No shit forever. I don’t understand the technical aspects described in the material at the website, but I can damn sure see the results.

Until this technique came along, to achieve a similar effect you’d have to create some basic geometry, project the photo as a texture over the entire scene, bake the texture onto the geometry, place your geometry and then use that baked texture as a light source and then render that bastard using some processor intensive global illumination and radiosity engine. Then you wait and see if you got your geometry in the right place at the right scale at the right angle. And if there’s animation involved, you have to check to ensure you’re object is in the proper 3D perspective to the environment. Fucking headache. If I understand what I’m seeing from this video, this new technique streamlines that entire process and makes it much more intuitive.

This is going to be a huge game changer. The ease with which they’ve created these scenes means that it should even be more cost effective for low budget film makers to use CG in their projects. Now, that’s not always necessarily a good thing. I think modern day cinema has been scarred badly by overuse of CG. But if techniques like this make it easier to do, that leaves creators more time to spend on making some really solid CG models and less time figuring out how to get the shit into a scene.

This was presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH Asia 2011. I hope this technique gets incorporated into off-the-shelf software so that everyone can play around with it or that they develop their own product. I’ve never had the chance to get out to SIGGRAPH so I have no idea how that works. But I’d love to be able to use this for my own work.

Source: Kevin Karsch

First Look At Green Lantern is Meh

Now keep in mind that this is actually a commercial for Entertainment Tonight and not a proper Green Lantern trailer, but this sneak peak at the film sent along by AZM Ally WayneW doesn’t do the movie much justice. The clips they chose for this promo make the film look like a really bad comedy. And that suit looks just as bad in motion as it did on that magazine cover.

Still, it’s not a proper trailer so it’s a little too soon to break out the pitch forks. We’ll be getting a real trailer sometime later this week. But I’d keep them pitch forks handy. I suspect a real trailer won’t do all that much to allay our worst fears.

Oh Look, Someone Shrunk Some Na’vi

Dear Childhood,

No, there’s no fucking Santa Clause. We skinned the Easter Bunny and put him into a stew. The Tooth Fairy is on the corner turning tricks. And all those shows you used to like when I was you, yeah, they’re all gonna get fucked right in the eye.

I’m not sure what the point of this Smurfs teaser is except to irritate old people like me. It certainly doesn’t instill me with great confidence in the stupid thing. I have absolutely no idea what the movie is about. And if I didn’t know what a Smurf was, I’d think this is a movie designed to cash in on blue CG people. Which it is anyway.

Now as much as I hate all of this 80’s remake bullshit, I would most likely see a Jem and the Holograms movie on purpose. I don’t know why, but I always thought that it would have worked better as a film than a television series. I mean, how many times can you make fighting the Misfits interesting? It’d make a nice, neat movie that could tell the whole thing in one big chunk.

Jem, yes. Smurfs, no.

3D Will Not Fix Your Broken Movie

All of the CG animated films that have come out in the past year have been shown in 3D. And most of the major studios have decided that their big budget blockbusters will be filmed or screened in 3D. Now while technology has progressed to the point where we no longer need to wear those awesome and oh-so-dorky red and blue glasses, 3D-o-vision is hardly a new concept. It had a short life in the 60’s because, well, watching a film in blue and red is really annoying. And even though we no longer have to watch an entire film in this sort of blue/red chroma version to get the 3D effect, watching shit in 3D is sometimes really annoying.

There are times when 3D enhances the movie going experience. Honestly, if I had seen Avatar in regular movie vision I would have been much less forgiving with the sometimes eye-rolling plot. But in that instance, the 3D truly made watching the film a completely new experience. By stark contrast, when we saw Monsters vs. Aliens, the 3D was cute. But it didn’t help the story at all. The plot was horribly weak and I just never felt they went far enough with the tributes to the old monster movies. The 3D was there but the viewing experience wasn’t enhanced at all. And thus far, a majority of the films I’ve seen in 3D have fallen into the same category. Yeah, the shit be pretty, but it’s not really worth the extra ticket price.

The problem is that pretty soon, 3D is all you’re going to get. We actually looked for regular showings of Avatar when it first came out but they were at horrible times that we couldn’t make. And with that movie making more money than any other movie ever, more and more films are going to do whatever they can to encourage theaters to show only 3D versions. However, my sense is that the viewing public will soon tire of this new 3D fad. Red and blue 3D didn’t last much longer after the 60’s. I doubt very much that 3D will last much longer than the early 2010’s.

So, Angry Zen Minions, is 3D here to stay? Do you actually look forward to getting your pair of awkwardly large 3D glasses when you go to the theater? Or is it time for the shit to end?

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