May 16

Paul Franklin | why the UK must build a legacy for the future

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Interesting blog article from Paul Franklin about the future of the VFX business in the UK.

PFranklin
Paul Franklin

Visual effects: why the UK must build a legacy for the future

It has produced mind-blowing visual effects for Hollywood blockbusters such as Iron Man 2 and Inception and won a clutch of awards including BAFTAs and an Oscar. But visual effects firm Double Negative is not American or Japanese – it’s British. Co-founder and VFX supervisor Paul Franklin, one of the Oscar-winning team that worked on Inception, discusses the little known success of the UK visual effects industry and the challenges it faces.

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DCMS Blog: Visual effects: why the UK must build a legacy for the future.

Sep 28

View Conference 2010 | CG Daily news

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Interesting speakers at the view conference for example:   How to Train Your Dragon, TIM JOHNSON. CG pioneer and innovator KEN PERLIN.PAUL FRANKLIN, visual effects supervisor for Inception. BRUCE HOLCOMB, who supervised the digital model making at Industrial Light & Magic for Iron Man 2. KIM WHITE, director of photography for lighting on Toy Story 3. HENRY LABOUNTA Senior Art Director on Need for Speed. PARAG HAVALDAR, software architect at Sony Pictures Imageworks, that leads the stereoscopic and performance capture technology group; DAVID SCHAUB, animation director at Sony Pictures Imageworks for Alice in Wonderland. ADAM AVITABILE of Look Visual effects, who brings VFX techniques practiced on the popular television series, LOST.
Read more at viewconference.it

Turin, Italy (26–29 October) – Once again Italy’s leading computer graphics symposium, has exceeded expectations by bringing together experts from around the world to inspire, engage, teach, and astound conference attendees. This year, key artists from Double Negative, Industrial Light & Magic, Sony Pictures Imageworks, PDI/DreamWorks, Moving – Picture Company, and Pixar reveal the techniques behind the films certain to be on the short list for a 2011 Visual Effects Oscar – Inception, Iron Man 2, and Alice in Wonderland – and for Best Feature Animation – Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon.

Keynoting the VIEW’s eleventh annual event is the award-winning director and executive producer of the critically acclaimed CG feature How to Train Your Dragon, TIM JOHNSON, whose career spans the length of CGI feature filmmaking. Johnson co-directed PDI/DreamWorks’ first animated feature, Antz, for which he received an Annie nomination in 1999. In 2006, he won the Annie for directing that studio’s film Over the Hedge.

“We are thrilled to have Tim Johnson with us this year,” says conference director Maria-Elena Gutierrez. “Tim is a director and a producer, and he has won awards for films and television productions, so he has a broad range of experience to share with us. The fact that he’s bringing us a world premiere of “Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special,” a 22-minute, fully CGI film that he directed, is a wonderful gift for our conference attendees.”

Also highlighting the conference is CG pioneer and innovator KEN PERLIN, director of the Games for Learning Institute at New York University. Perlin, who is a professor of computer science at NYU’s Media Research Lab, received a Technical Award in 1997 from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and the Computer Graphics Achievement Award from ACM SIGGRAPH in 2008.

Other can’t miss speakers: PAUL FRANKLIN, visual effects supervisor for Inception and cofounder of Double Negative, who received an Oscar nomination in 2009 for The Dark Knight;

BRUCE HOLCOMB, who supervised the digital model making at Industrial Light & Magic for Iron Man 2, as well as 18 other films at ILM including Avatar, Transformers, Star Trek, and Pirates of the Caribbean; KIM WHITE, director of photography for lighting on Toy Story 3, her sixth film at Pixar; HENRY LABOUNTA Senior Art Director on Need for Speed Hot Pursuit at Criterion Studios in Guildford, UK; PARAG HAVALDAR, software architect at Sony Pictures Imageworks, that leads the stereoscopic and performance capture technology group; DAVID SCHAUB, animation director at Sony Pictures Imageworks for Alice in Wonderland, VES award winner and member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences; and ADAM AVITABILE of Look Visual effects, who brings VFX techniques practiced on the popular television series, LOST.

The VIEW has become Italy’s leader in bringing information about the technology and techniques for creating digital entertainment in stereo 3D and this year is no exception. The Foundry’s Chief Scientist SIMON ROBINSON explains how Nuke evolved to meet Avatar’s needs; Pixar’s SANDRA KARPMAN reveals the creative decisions behind the imaginative short film “Day & Night,” and Look’s DAN SCHRECKER talks about techniques behind “Step Up 3D.”

In addition to the speakers, the VIEW offers practical workshops geared toward professionals and aspiring professionals who want to perfect their craft. Pixar’s DYLAN SISSON returns with his standing-room only RenderMan workshops. PAM HOGARTH provides practical career advice. Imageworks’ DAVID SCHAUB offers a master class in the art and science of animating eyes. The University of Utah’s CRAIG CALDWELL offers 10 secrets in animation. TERRENCE MASSON, SIGGRAPH 2010 Conference Chair and director of creative industries at Northeastern University, shares his very eclectic production experience. And author ISAAC KERLOW talks about the art of 3D computer animation and effects. They join professors and artists offering classes in storytelling, character design, digital painting for comics and 3D CG, as well as ZBrush workshops, Google Earth, NVIDIA, Blender, and many others.

MPC RECRUITMENT ROADSHOW @VIEW IN TURIN, ITALY
View Conference 2010 | CG Daily news.

Aug 15

INCEPTION | Paul Franklin – VFX Supervisor

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Nice article from the Art of Vfx about vfx supervisor Paul Franklin work on inception.

INCEPTION: Paul Franklin – VFX Supervisor – Double Negative

Posted by VinceFX in Inception, VFX Supervisor What is your background?
I originally studied sculpture at university in the 80s which is where I first started experimenting with computer graphics. I combined this with the student theatre and magazine work that I was doing at the time which then lead me into film making and animation. I worked in video games for a while as an animator/designer and then moved into film and television in the early 90s. In 1998 I helped to set up Double Negative VFX.

How was your collaboration with Christopher Nolan with which you have already worked on BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT?
Chris is a fantastic director to work with – he is very demanding, always pushing you to raise the bar in every area, but he also gives you a lot of feedback and involves you in the creative discussion which makes you feel a part of the whole movie making process. Chris told me at the beginning of INCEPTION that it would be an all-consuming experience, and he was right!

Can you explain how you created the sequence in which Paris is folded over itself?
Returning to the Paris environment, Ariadne, played by Ellen Page, demonstrates her new-found ability to control the dreamworld by folding the streets in on themselves to form a giant “cube city”.

The Dneg vfx team spent a week documenting the Paris location where main unit was scheduled to shoot. Seattle-based Lidar VFX Services did a great job scanning all the buildings and then delivering highly detailed data from which Double Negative built a series of Parisian apartment blocks. It wasn’t possible to get above the buildings so the Dneg VFX modellers sourced photographs of typical Paris rooftops to fill in the missing areas. We implemented the new pertex texture mapping techniques in Renderman to allow the CG team to avoid the laborious UV coordinate mapping that is usually associated with models of this type. The final folded streets featured fully animated cars and people – anything that’s not on the flat in the final images is CG.

How did you created the impressive scene of the cafe in Paris?
Early on in INCEPTION, Ariadne is taken into a dreamworld version of Paris by Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. When Ariadne realises that she is actually dreaming she panics and the fabric of the dream starts to unravel, disintegrating violently and flying apart in all directions.

Special Effects Supervisor Chris Corbould created a series of in-camera explosions using air mortars to blast light weight debris into the Paris street location. Whilst giving an extremely dynamic and violent effect on film, the system was safe enough that Leo and Ellen were able to actually sit in the middle of the blasts as the cameras rolled. Director of Photography Wally Pfister used a combination of high speed film and digital cameras to capture the blasts at anything up to 1000 frames a second which had the effect of making the turbulent debris look like it was suspended in zero gravity, giving the impression that the very physics of the dreamworld were failing.
Starting with a rough cut of the live action, the Double Negative VFX animation team used the in-house Dynamite dynamics toolset to extend the destruction to encompass the whole street. The compositors retimed the high-speed photography to create speed ramps so that all explosive events started in real-time before ramping down to slow motion which further extended the idea of abnormal physics. As the destruction becomes more widespread the team added secondary interaction within the dense clouds of debris to sell the idea of everything being suspended in a strange weightless fluid medium.

What did you do in the scene in which Ellen Paige turns large mirrors on a bridge in Paris?
Ariadne continues her exploration of the limits of the dreamworld by creating a bridge out of the echoing reflections between two huge mirrors.

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I also had a look in the credit list and found on swede, Digital artist  Henrik Söder , well done Henrik.

Fxguide article about Inception

The Art of VFX » INCEPTION: Paul Franklin – VFX Supervisor – Double Negative.