Paul Franklin to Discuss Interstellar at FMX 2015

I will host a Q&A on the making of Interstellar with Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Paul Franklin at FMX  (May 5-8 in Stuttgart, Germany).

The discussion/presentation will take place on May 7th, as Franklin will take the audience through the development, filming, and post-production of Christopher Nolan’s epic space adventure.

Interstellar drew on the great traditions of cinema, combining them with the very latest techniques to create a unique vision of deep space exploration and the wonders of the universe.  Franklin will show how his long-standing working relationship with Nolan informed the design process and the film’s unique working process.

Other announcements for the 20th edition of FMX include:

Arrow Virtual Reality Pioneer Mark Bolas Comes to Stuttgart

FMX invites virtual reality pioneer Mark Bolas to Stuttgart. Bolas, who is the director of the Mixed Reality Lab at the Institute for Creative Technologies and an associate professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, has been exploring presence and immersive experiences for over three decades, putting forward his thoughts on the medium of virtual reality as early as 1989. Bolas’ decision to open-source his seminal work and research has helped to usher in the current VR revolution. The influence of his lab’s DIY VR projects (FOV2GO, VR2GO, MxR Unity Package) can be seen in current commercial products like the Samsung GearVR, the Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. Bolas co-founded Fakespace Labs, Inc. in 1988 and developed and sold VR hardware and systems for dozens of major research labs throughout the decades. Bolas will strike  up a conversation with Ken Perlin (professor of computer science at New York University).

Arrow MinionsAsterix and Manou the Swift: Highlights in European Animation

More than two months before the Despicable Me spin-off Minions celebrates its theatrical release in July, its genesis moves into focus. Jacques Bled and Kyle Balda (Illumination Mac Guff) describe how they developed three distinct characters out of a multitude of similar creatures who have managed to acquire a huge following among cinemagoers worldwide. Furthermore, Simon Thomas and Nicolas Trout disclose the artistic challenges and technical pitfalls they experienced during the production of their first animated feature film Asterix: The Mansion of Gods. The European Animation track is further complemented by a multitude of animals. First of all, there is Christian De Vita’s 3D stereo action adventure tale Yellowbird, which was released at the end of 2014. The ambitious film was produced by the French studio TeamTO; Yellowbird is their first CG animated feature film. Veteran French producer Guillaume Hellouin enlightens FMX attendees on the production of the feature that sought to stay true to the life of birds when it came to modeling and movement. Moreover, Andrea Block and Christian Haas (both LUXX Studios Stuttgart) return to FMX to shed light on the European production Manou the Swift and its mammals and avian creatures with regard to the R&D innovations that were introduced to successfully realize fur and feathers.

Arrow VFX Case Studies feature Taken 3 and Exodus

In addition to Interstellar, the VFX Case Studies spotlights Taken 3 and Exodus: Gods and Kings.  Rodolphe Chabrier (Illumination Mac Guff), who worked as VFX supervisor on Taken 3, delivers a talk dedicated to the third and final installment of the franchise. Adam Davis, who works as global head of Crowd Simulation & Motion Capture at MPC, illuminates the artistic and technical challenges that had to be tackled to build the massive armies needed to fulfill Ridley Scott’s vision in Gods and Kings.

Arrow Photorealistic Characters and Art Direction in Games such as Assassin’s Creed 4

The high visual and artistic quality of games is a recurring theme at FMX. Ubisoft’s Raphael Lacoste immerses himself in the Art Direction and Image Composition of the open world videogame Assassin’s Creed 4. He details the creation of immersive and interactive environments that give the player great freedom to move through the virtual world – an aspect that received high critical acclaim when the game was released. His presentation is complemented by Javier Nicolai von der Pahlen (Activision Blizzard) who presents his current research that concentrates on the creation of photorealistic characters with gaming hardware in real time, explaining how this research can be applied on a large scale for every single character in a game. Moreover, Pierre Raymond who founded Hybride Technologies (now a division of Ubisoft) showcases the latest projects and developments that currently take shape at Hybride.

Arrow SIGGRAPH Papers feature mechanical characters and self-refining games

Adam Finkelstein curates four presentations on the future of graphics technology with his “Highlights of SIGGRAPH” track. Stelian Coros(Carnegie Mellon University) starts off his presentation with an emphasis on the “Computational Design of Mechanical Characters” that will allow animated virtual characters to be brought to the real world. Further insights come from the Carnegie Mellon University when Matt Stanton talks about self-refining games – interactive and cinematic games that are based on a specific pre-rendering technique that learns from players. In contrast, Pierre Bénard (Université de Bordeaux) presents his findings with regard to the techniques used to produce stylized depictions of 3D animations. From France to the Czech Republic: Daniel Sýkora introduces his revolutionary Ink-and-Ray technique that adds global illumination effects to hand-drawn characters, thus making the 3D look feasible for traditional animation.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Events, Movies, Oscar, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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