Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Special Effects in Animation and Live-Action

Special Effects in the film industry has grown tremendously, this method gives a film a cool feel, It is an interesting way to tell a story in a more believable way. Many directors have used many elements to make their films more interesting since the end of the 1800s. Directors have used animation, and stop motion to make a believable story and capture the audience’s attention. Movies such as the King Kong are a perfect way of using stop motion, and many more special effects were added to many other films that it became a really important part of the film industry.  In the 1990’s computer Generated imagery (CGI) had evolved and gave the filmmaker the opportunity to be much more realistic and maintain safety while doing the effects. Computer revolutionized the way audience see movies because of its possibilities and the endless amount of effects that can be created and added it films. In this paper I will compare special effect between the waves from the movie Deep Impact (1998) and the waves from the animated movie Surf’s Up. They both are computer generated and they are both realistic waves and oceans although in different styles.
Deep Impact
            In the movie Deep Impact (1998) the water looks very realistic although it might not be correct in terms of speed, force, texture the especial effect artist did a very good job to make it believable. The transparency and the waves are very well executed and framed nicely to give the up and down shot a very dramatic scene. The transparency of this effect is close to the real liquid and it has a nice feel of volume that makes it look heavy. In the movie Deep Impact, when water is about to destroy New York city, it show the waves rise very high that the actual scene looks very realistic. This special effect might have taken a ton of computer-generated power to render; it is close to what would have happened in the real scenario. However, many steps took place in order to made the scene look real. For example, when the waves destroy the bridge, the artist had to take off the plate of the bridge and replace it with a CG model.
Many of the special effects were created using Softimage software and ILM’s proprietary code. The set that they built the bridge, overtaking, the building, the cars, and the debris were made in Maya 3D or Alias back in 1998. And many live action shots took place and were replaced with the CG model when they showed the destruction.  The artist had to used tons of references on how the ocean and waves behaves and well as the study of physics. Artist also many scientific theory on how the water behave after the comet hits the ocean just like in the movie deep impact. The particle system that they used was a better choice but they couldn’t tell what was the exact result after rendering. This effect took a long time to render since they rendered several million particles and they had to use all the processors that they had in spite of the powerful system that ILM had in place.
Surf’s Up
           Surf up is a very interesting and complex animated movie. The way the production used and integrated of live action and the wave rig system was unique because of the way the animator interacted and animated the waves. However the system was too sensitive that it could make the controls used to animate the waves look unrealistic. At the same time to animate the waves they had to use a lot of references on how water behaves, surface, trails, as well as whitewater simulation. Animating the waves was a real challenge, as well as the care and time that it took to make the waves work the waves were animated so the secondary effect would follow in a nice manner. This wave animation was rendered in Maya, Houdini, and render Man software. This process took many months, Parts of the wave was made from Nurbes Primitives in Maya3D software and used many blend shapes and lofted curves profile to made the waves, which were placed together to made the waves. Many tests have to be done to make the look believable and many wave trains. Animators used the Wave Visualizer system to simplify the visual of the waves on how it was going to behave. Many particles were used to achieve the look of whitewater or splash effect. Many other steps took place in order to make the water.  Rendering the ocean by itself was or made a hole in the ocean with the displacement shader was the best way to combine the ocean and the waves.
There were many other difficulties or considerations about making a wave. The process took many months to develop, such as wave patch, energy, wave variation and direction, but most of all the most difficult task was to make the waves crashing from cross section. In addition, the other difficult part was to add motion blur to the waves in order to make it look very realistic.

            Many filmmakers have innovated the use of computers to make something much more believable, and safe when making complex scene where it needs to show an explosion, fire, blast, or any other dangerous attempt in place of creating a real explosion. In the 1930’s many of the movies had created the special effects by using the stop motion to create an effect that the characters were actually moving. Even today the movies from that time still look very realistic. But with the invention of the computer it is easier to make something very complex in order to make something look very realistic. CGI has helped the filmmakers to make live action, animated 3D films in a way that tells a story in a very convincing way. In these movies Deep Impact and Surf’s Up, the waves are very realistic even though they each are very different. One is more realistic and the other is a stylized, but at the same time both are very complex to do but believable.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Outline for the Third Term Paper

Outline for the Third Term Paper

For the third paper I will write the thesis statement and I will be comparing the visual effects of waves from the movies Deep Impact (1998) and Surf’s Up 2007.

Deep Impact
-         Waves created by software:
-         Realistic
-         Textures
-          Force
-          Impact, and
-          Speed

Surf’s Up
-          Color
-          Realistic
-          Speed
-          Height
-         Texture
-           Impacting


I will incorporate the thesis and give a brief statement of the essay. How bad are the effects in each movie and the efficiency. And the difference between animated waves and more realistic one.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Stop-Motion Character Animation

I used clay to make the figure with different poses then I used photoshop to leave just the figure and took it to After Effects to animated. It was a long process working with the figures.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Science Fact or Cinematic Fiction?

           Movies have become very popular in the movie industry they have become one of the highest grossing films. Directors use physics to make their films look real, however in some of the movies physics goes beyond as they break the rules of physics and become something believable, but at the same time it is an exaggeration of what a real human would do in real life.  This is true for fantasy stories, comics, and animated films as well as action like:  Falling, flying, punches, breaking walls, jumping and many more actions that directors used in the movies. I will write my paper and analyzed the exaggeration of physic that is applied in the movies such as Transformers 3, Van Helsing, and the Incredible Hulk.

In the Transformers movie the first thing that is wrong is when the spaceship falls in the noon and explodes. dust flies in the air and there is huge fire from the spaceship when it crashes. However, that scene defies the third rule of Newton. “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In space as in the moon there is no air or sound that can create a fire or explosion. The gravity is so strong that everything just falls, and in this scene even the dust is shown as if there is air or oxygen. An explosion needs oxygen in order to have a combustion like in that scene. In addition, it is not possible to transport an object or matter through space, in the movie the director used a laser ray to open a door to earth. Another example, Tom falls in prime’s hand from a very decent height and nothing happened to him. From that fall anybody would have died from hitting a heavy metal like prime’s hand. The speed that the transformer moves is unreal because they are made of heavy metal. The heavy object would have to start slow and gain speed as it goes faster. The other scene in this film is when the soldiers jump from a high rise building and use a special suit that spreads under their arms like wins and allow them to fly, this action violates the rule of Newton again because a fall like that would not allow a person fly, but just free fall with out able to control it. In the scene they manage to fly around the falling building without a risk of getting hurt. There are many more scenes that defy the rule of physic in this movie.

            Van helsing was another movie that defies physics in many ways. For instance, the werewolf hops like he has not weight at all. An animal about that size would have weighed a lot and would have not moved as fast as he did in the movie. Another scene is when Anna has to slide down using a rope in order to cross a broken bridge in the same scene she was like half way down the rope and catches a knife in mid air with one hand while the other holding a rope swung across then falls and bounces many times with out getting hurt or at least getting a scratch. A fall from that distance would have done serious damage or even kill a person. A real human would have not bounced but just crashed to the ground. Another scene where they defy the rule of physics is when Aleena flies and does many turns in the air with a speed that makes her looks very blurry, in addition, her wings disappears like magic and turn into a silk cloth. There is a scene where Aleena hits Anna and she doesn’t even get any momentum; she just easy turn and hits her and Anna falls far away and as she falls she slows down carefully and falls. This defies the rules of Newton as falling objects gain speed when falling. The other scene that violates the rules of physics is the fight scene between the wolf and the Dracula, they both hit and fall hard on objects with out breaking any bones, this and many scenes definitely defy physics in many ways.

The Incredible Hulk is a movie based on the comic book and one of the movies that became a hit. However, this movie defies physics in many ways. Firstoff, when Bruce converts into the hulk, he breaks walls like paper as he escapes. This breaks the third rule of Newton: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The exaggerated action would hurt anybody who even punches the wall and would even make them bleed in real life. Another action of The Incredible Hulk is the scene where he jumps, it looks fine when he gains momentum; he runs and as he runs he starts jumping which is fine considering his weight, however the jumping is way to exaggerated because he jumps so far away as if he was rubber. Another violation to the rules of Newton is an explosion where the Hulk flies out from the explosion, he does not get hurt, only suffer a minor wound, which seals or heals instantly. Moreover, another scene also showed that the Hulk gets mad and lifts a military tank like lifting a table. Which is really cool visually, but cannot be applied in real life and after that Hulk grabs the military tank, swings it and throws it far away. Then he proceeds and bends one of the tanks to prevent it from firing. In addition, there is this scene where hulk grabs a missile, bites the top of the missile and spits it back at the helicopter. These scenes totally defy the rules of physics. Yet another scene is when The Hulk grabs a rocket and it starts taking him into space and he falls from that distance but tills lives.

Many of the films that are made these days defy the rules of physics in order to make the movie interesting. Some of the physics are apply, but some others are exaggerated just to make it more interesting. The audience on the other hand, enjoys watching movies like this because even though people cannot do that in real life. It is fun to see and it is entertaining to watch the exaggeration of physics. In the movies that I analyzed; Transformers 3 dark of the Moon, Van Helsing, and The Incredible Hulk are movies that are impressing to watch, and as CGI movies continue to take control in the film industry directors will continue to violate the laws of physics.