Virtual production is gaining more traction in the motion picture business. One example? The recent collaboration of several companies came together for both practical and creative reasons to bring the Disney+ feature the Muppets Haunted Mansion to life. “The Muppets and ARwall are a perfect fit,” says Rene Amador, co-founder and CEO of ARwall. His company creates virtual production technology for its own use and in turn markets it to other filmmakers. Its first product is ARFX, a suite of real-time tools developed natively for using real-time in-camera LED effects in scripted filmmaking.
Netflix’s Stowaway, starring Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson and Toni Collette, follows a space mission that is headed to Mars when an unintended stowaway accidentally causes severe damage to the spaceship’s life support systems. Facing dwindling resources and a potentially fatal outcome, the crew is forced to make an impossible decision.
Rising Sun Pictures has added two post-doctoral researchers from the Australian Institute for Machine Learning to lead a new initiative centered on the application of artificial intelligence to its visual effects pipeline. Dr. John Bastian and Dr. Ben Ward will develop pipeline tools based on machine learning and other AI applications as a means of streamlining visual effects production and creating visuals that look more photorealistic.
Assimilate today announced an open beta for its new and innovative Live FX software that enables real-time, live compositing for green-screen and LED wall-based virtual productions on set. Live FX is also ideal for creating quick comps when scouting locations. Live FX features the latest technology in keying, camera tracking, DMX light control, Notch Block integration, and a live link to Unreal Engine that simplifies on-set virtual production for not only previsualization, but even final pixel for in-camera visual effects.
With the film and television industry rebounding from the pandemic, now is a great time to begin a career in visual effects. Production activity, in Australia and worldwide, is expanding quickly as studios and streaming services rush to meet pent up consumer demand for new content. That, in turn, has caused a labor shortage, especially for professionals with specialized training, such as visual effects artists. Studios that produce VFX for film and TV can’t hire qualified talent fast enough.
Ghost VFX artists received a 2021 Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Single Episode for the Star Trek: Discovery installment Su’Kal. Led by supervising producer / lead VFX supervisor Jason Michael Zimmerman, the Emmy-winning Ghost team included VFX supervisor Ivan Kondrup Jensen and VFX producer Kristen Prahl. Also taking home Emmys were VFX supervisor Ante Dekovic, VFX producer Aleksandra Kochoska, lead VFX artist Charles Collyer, and on set VFX supervisor Alexander Wood.
Feature film and episodic imaging scientist Matthew Tomlinson and media workflow specialist Lucas Andrei will discuss color science and its application to traditional visual effects pipelines in the next edition of Post Break, the free webinar series from Post New York Alliance. The session is slated for Thursday, October 14th at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
In its latest project for Marvel Studios, Rising Sun Pictures delivered nearly 300 visual effects shots for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. RSP’s work centered on the creation of a vast, computer-generated environment representing a village called Ta Lo and its jungle environs. In the process the company developed a novel technique for facial replacement using artificial intelligence.
VFX Legion recently produced the effects for the vampire tale, Black as Night, a co-production of Amazon Studio and Blumhouse Productions. The movie premiered October 1st on Amazon Prime, kicking off the rollout of the final four films in the thematically related series, Welcome to Blumhouse.
In Marvel Studios’ latest feature film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the film’s antagonist Wenwu (Tony Leung) is unlike most of the villains seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The ancient character operates out of a remote fortress that has existed for centuries, and over the years, has grown and changed, reflecting his loves and losses. It’s an ever changing and fluid structure, created and edited by Marvel Studios longtime collaborator, Oscar-winning visual effects studio Digital Domain. [Editor’s Note: This article contains some spoilers.]