Goodbye Uncanny Valley

Alan Warburton: It’s 2017 and computer graphics have conquered the Uncanny Valley, that strange place where things are almost real… but not quite. After decades of innovation, we’re at the point where we can conjure just about anything with software. The battle for photoreal CGI has been won, so the question is… what happens now?

time for sushi

Directed by David Lewandowski. Previously: going to the store and late for meeting.

Stick around until the end of this video for some ads for the incredible goods on offer in the official store of Lewandowski’s channel: goingtothe.store.

The future of independent, artisanal, high-effort nonsense on YouTube is uncertain. I appreciate your choice to support this work with the purchase of my unusual merch.

Deluxe Dakimakura Body Pillow

Enjoy the intersection of luxury and comfort in this Japanese-style body pillow. The 160 x 50cm pillowcase is made from durable, silky 2-way tricot material.

The incredible $90,000 Premium Edition Chess Set

Premium Edition Chess Set
Remember that time you watched that YouTube video? Why not commemorate the experience with a premium chess set carved in ethically sourced arctic mammoth ivory and rare meteorite alloy. Handcrafted by artisans specializing in these elements for a combined 38 years, this product reflects a dedication to premium YouTube memorabilia.

There are other more modest items too, like towels and pillow cases.

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Epoch

By Ash Thorp

Epoch is an experimental film intended to take you on a voyage through our solar system and beyond. It is a personal project orchestrated to share our enjoyment and admiration for science fiction films and literature.

To optimize your viewing experience, Epoch is best experienced with a full screen, no artificial light intrusion, ample sound speakers, and an open mind free of predictions or expectations in order to allow the film to guide you on its expedition and take you to another place entirely.

See also: Wanderers — a short film by Erik Wernquist

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Epoch: a voyage through our solar system

“Epoch is a result of merging my love of design with space and moving imagery. It is a visual exercise intended to communicate that childhood wonder and enjoyment without any commentary. By primarily utilizing visuals and music, it will allow the viewer to experience the passage through their own imagination.” — Ash Thorp

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Still File

…is a series of 4 photographs recreating computer renderings as physical scenes by Skrekkøgle, a product and digital design studio in Oslo.

Cube, sphere and cone geometry with material textures mahogany, clear glass and white marble. Placed on reflective checkers plane.

Floating colored cube without environment. Low greyscale resolution creates gradient banding in background.

Three white Utah teapots – scaled, rotated, intersected and distorted. Diffuse lighting, composed on matte yellow plane.

Patterned spheres with pink metallic texture. Panoramic photo of a beach added on cylindrical environment, mirrored in both the base plane and in the metal spheres.

See also: Other posts tagged ‘3D’ and ‘CGI’.

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Still File: Real recreations of computer renderings

The photos’ artifacts, surroundings, camera settings and lighting has been shaped intending to resemble 3d graphics of different types.

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M.A.M.O.N. (Monitor Against Mexicans Over Nationwide)

M.A.M.O.N. (Monitor Against Mexicans Over Nationwide) is a satirical fantasy sci-fi short film that explores with black humor and lots of VFX the outrageous consequences of Donald Trump’s plan of banning immigration and building an enormous wall on the Mexico – US border.

Birth Movies Death: Incidentally, the title – M.A.M.O.N. (Monitor Against Mexicans Over Nationwide) – is a play on the Mexican slang term “mamón” – literally “sucker,” but more commonly used as an equivalent to “cocksucker,” “douchebag,” “fuck-knuckle,” “clown-shoes,” or “Donald Trump.” It can also refer to a baby’s pacifier, which conveniently also applies to the Dictator-Elect.

Overwatch Animated Short: “The Last Bastion”

Explore the origin story of Overwatch’s inquisitive transforming robot in our fifth animated short: The Last Bastion!

The Giant’s Dream →

The first fully adjustable car rig that creates photoreal CG cars.

The Mill: The Blackbird

The Mill BLACKBIRD® is able to quickly transform its chassis to match the exact length and width of almost any car. Powered by an electric motor, it can be programmed to imitate acceleration curves and gearing shifts and the adjustable suspension alters ride height, rigidity and dampening to replicate typical driving characteristics.

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Hyper-Reality by Keiichi Matsuda

Hyper-Reality presents a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media.

(via)

Shape of things to come

Hyper-Reality

One vision of our AR future.

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RMS Titanic

Watch the RMS Titanic sink in real time over 2 hours and 40 minutes in this animation produced for a VR computer game in production, Titanic Honor And Glory.

The animation includes text frequently appearing with what is happening on board the ship. This also includes visuals of various interior rooms flooding, lifeboats launching, rockets firing, and the Californian on the horizon.

The game sounds fascinating

In our game, you’ll be able to explore the ship inside and out. You can access every room, corridor, cabin, and pantry, with as much interactivity as we can achieve. A tour mode is available where the player can simply explore everything at their leisure, but the main focus of the game is the story mode.

Beginning in the city of Southampton, England, which is being reconstructed on an expansive scale and with as much accuracy as our ship, the player is on the run from the police. He’s accused of a terrible crime, but most importantly, he’s innocent. He must pursue the true culprit, requiring the player to find a way onto the Titanic just before it departs.

Playing through all five days of the voyage talking to passengers, gathering clues, and unraveling a grand mystery all while avoiding detection from authorities, the hero, Mr. Robert Morgan, has no idea that his whole world is about to change. When Titanic collides with an iceberg in the middle of the North Atlantic, the player must race the rising waters to complete the mystery, prove his innocence, and, most importantly…. survive.

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Watch the Titanic sink in real time

The animation was created in Unreal Engine 4.

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Danielle

Anthony Cerniello: I attempted to create a person in order to emulate the aging process. The idea was that something is happening but you can’t see it but you can feel it, like aging itself.

Danielle

Anthony Cerniello took photos of similar-looking family members at a reunion, from the youngest to the oldest, and edited them together in a video to create a nearly seamless portrait of a person aging in only a few minutes.

(via kottke.org)

State Zero

A post apocalyptic short film by Andrée Wallin:

In the near future, the capital of Sweden has turned into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. We join four soldiers on a routine mission in ‘Zone 3’, with the assignment to investigate an old surveillance tower that just went offline. That’s the setting in first-time director Andrée Wallin’s short film, who also wrote and production designed it.

VFX breakdown →

The Verge: Rendezvous with Rama

Inspired by this fan’s tribute to Rendezvous with Rama and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lightfarm Studios in Rio, Brazil created this detailed digital image. (via)

Rama and the Monolith

Behind the scenes video…

See also: Wanderersa vision of humanity’s expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens.

Craft and creativity

The Verge

‘Rendezvous with Rama’ is a hard science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1973. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a 50-kilometre (31 mi) cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth’s solar system. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries. This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke’s bibliography. — Wikipedia

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Connor Kerrigan’s YouTube channel Who Cares Again? deserves more subscribers.

The Chickening

An insane remix of The Shining by Nick DenBoer and Davy Force.

Official selection TIFF40 and Sundance 2016!

The Chickening poster

See also: Star Wars v. Star Trek & Bartkira the Animated Trailer

fxguide talks to the visual effects artists who worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

fxguide’s John Montgomery sits down with Industrial Light + Magic in San Francisco to discuss their stellar work on The Force Awakens. Hear from senior visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett, visual effects supervisor Patrick Tubach, animation supervisor Paul Kavanagh, environments supervisor Susumu Yukihiro, compositing supervisor Jay Cooper and asset build supervisor Dave Fogler as they run through key scenes from the film.

The Force Awakens has been heavily marketed as a move away from the synthetic CG-fest that the prequels were and as a return to the spirit of the originals with practical effects work being used whenever possible. However it is pretty clear watching the VFX breakdowns in this video that computer generated effects were used extensively throughout the film.

“I’m very happy if people honestly believe that a lot of this stuff is done in-camera and they believe all of those things are really happening, but the truth is it’s just a massive amount of work.”

TFA-Maz-skeleton

Update: ILM just posted these VFX breakdowns onto their YouTube channel.

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The visual effects magic of ‘The Force Awakens’

fxguide’s John Montgomery sits down with Industrial Light + Magic in San Francisco to discuss their stellar work on The Force Awakens.

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ZERO-DAY by beeple

The next world war will not be invisible.

After the success of STUXNET, a virus written by the United States to destroy Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, the U.S. government could no longer deny it was developing cyber weapons meant to do physical damage. With US companies and agencies under constant attack from state-sponsored Chinese hackers, it is only a matter of time before tensions boil over and more sensitive infrastructure is targeted. As more or our devices (cars, homes, etc) become connected, we will become more and more vulnerable to the physical threat of cyber warfare.

More stills on Behance
Equally awesome process video after the jump →

Wire Cutters

A chance encounter proves fateful for 2 robots mining on a desolate planet.

It’s like a grittier Wall-E.

Boing Boing: On Reddit, filmmaker Jack Anderson explains that the making of his film involved a “$0 budget but thousands of hours of love and about a YEAR of rendering.”

See also: Wanderers, a vision of humanity’s expansion into the Solar System.

Pixar in a Box
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Pixar in a box! Animation lessons from the masters

Well now, this is something!

Khan Academy: Pixar in a Box

A collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy. Sponsored by Disney.

Don’t let the kid-friendly intro video put you off exploring the content. It all seems very good and there’s loads of mathematics, as you would expect from Khan Academy. They cover modelling, animation, rendering and other fun subjects like crowd ‘combinatorics’. I didn’t spot anything on lighting though, outside of the context of rendering.

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Animation Master Hayao Miyazaki’s Work Comes to Life in This Beautiful 3D Tribute

Made with Blender, Gimp, Octane and Natron, and lots of love for the films of Hayao Miyazaki.

Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki made with Blender 3D

Updated to include this making of video found via the Blender’s ‘User Stories’ blog

Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki – Making of

I found it especially interesting how he was able to edit the entire animation directly in Blender.

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A tribute to Hayao Miyazaki in 3D

Miyazaki has come out of retirement (again) to make an animated short that will only play at the Studio Ghibli Museum that will be entirely computer generated.

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Why CG Sucks (Except It Doesn’t)

RocketJump Film School:

Are computer generated visual effects really ruining movies?

We believe that the reason we think all CG looks bad, is because we only see “bad” CG. Fantastic, beautiful, and wonderfully executed CG is everywhere – you just don’t know it. Truly great visual effects serve story and character – and in doing so are, by their very definition, invisible.

Renderman
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Pixar’s RenderMan is now free!

RenderMan is now free for all non-commercial purposes, including evaluations, education, research, and personal projects. The non-commercial version of RenderMan is fully functional without watermark or limitation.


In this video subsurface scattering is demonstrated using the skin shader from RenderMan For Maya on an Alien from Toy Story.

Currently there are only RenderMan plugins for Maya and KATANA, but Cinema 4D and Houdini support is on the way. Personally I’m hoping someone will get on Blender support ASAP.

RenderMan Plug-in Support 
  Supported Underway Potential
Maya      
KATANA      
Cinema4D      
Houdini      
3DS Max      
Modo      
Rhino      
Lightwave      
Blender      
Nuke Supported via AOVs, LPEs & Deep Textures

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Wired: The Warped Astrophysics of Interstellar

Kip Thorne is an theoretical physicist who helped developed the concept for the movie Interstellar.

“The story is now essentially all Chris and Jonah’s,” Thorne says. “But the spirit of it, the goal of having a movie in which science is embedded in the fabric from the beginning—and it’s great science—that was preserved.”

The film put so much effort into the appearance of the black holes that they actually made some legitimate scientific findings…

Black Hole

“We found that warping space around the black hole also warps the accretion disk,” [Double Negative senior supervisor, Paul] Franklin says. “So rather than looking like Saturn’s rings around a black sphere, the light creates this extraordinary halo.” That’s what led Thorne to his “why, of course” moment when he first saw the final effect. The Double Negative team thought it must be a bug in the renderer. But Thorne realized that they had correctly modeled a phenomenon inherent in the math he’d supplied.

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Building a black hole

‘Some individual frames took up to 100 hours to render, the computation overtaxed by the bendy bits of distortion caused by an Einsteinian effect called gravitational lensing. In the end the movie brushed up against 800 terabytes of data. “I thought we might cross the petabyte threshold on this one,” [CG supervisor at Double Negative, Eugénie] von Tunzelmann says.’ — Wired

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