Monday, April 12th, 2010 | Posted by Matt McCorkell | 5 comments
Our inside look at xRez Studio and their use of vfx tech for practical applications.
We recently made a trip out to xRez Studio to learn more about the recent developments in visual effects tech and practical uses for that technology. Not all technology with a visual focus has to be used for Avatar-like blockbusters. A lot of the technology developed was being put to good use by experts in everything from Archeological research to park conservation. Though on a geeky personal note I was amazed to see the level of detail they captured from The Bradbury Building (one of the key filming locations in Blade Runner).
The new xRez site is incredibly deep (though you may need to install certain plugins to get the best viewing experience it is definitely worth it). At xRez you can follow up on multiple case studies or go through the huge library of gorgeous urban and natural high rez spherical and partial panoramas. The Gallery sections hold a collection of super deep images from the xRez photosynth site. While on Tech and Services section of the site, you can even adjust the lighting on some of the images in real time. The case studies section also features a lot of interactivity by enabling users to explore Yosemite or follow the virtual Wright Brothers historic first flight. xRez.com has enough exploring available to kill the productivity of anyone who has interest in photography, modeling or compositing.
Eric Hanson and Greg Downing’s training sets are perfect for those looking to beef up their knowledge of lighting/modeling for environments or learn more about hdri/photogrammetry and panoramic stitching. Seeing how almost every movie worth its weight in vfx uses extensive stitching and hdr photography it’s obvious that the skill sets addressed in their classes and dvds are essential for anyone interested in working in the film industry.
|Digital Sets 1: Design, Modeling and Camera||Digital Sets 2: Lighting and Texturing||Digital Sets 3: Rendering and Compositing
|Essential Image Based Modeling: 3D Modeling from Photographs
||Advanced Imaged Based Modeling: 3d Modeling from Panoramas
||Spherical Panoramic Photography: Creating Compelling Environments
The following video is a collection of time-lapsed studies where sequences are camera mapped to digital terrain models in Maya animation software to enable novel, impossible camera moves.
Eric Hanson is a visual effects designer specializing in the creation of digital environments. Having worked with leading visual effects houses such as Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, Dream Quest Images, and Walt Disney Feature Animation, his work can be seen in “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Cast Away”, “Mission to Mars”, “Fantasia 2000”, and “The Fifth Element”, among others. He has authored four educational DVDs on digital environments for The Gnomon Workshop, as well as having published two books on Maya technique for Peachpit Press. He is also an Associate Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, leading their curriculum in visual effects. Eric is a member of the VES, IVRPA, PMA, ACM/Siggraph and attended the Univerity of Texas at Austin. He wishes he could sleep more.
Greg Downing specializes in image-based 3D technologies and computational photography techniques. His photographic work has been displayed in some of the nations most prestigious museums including the American Museum of Natural History, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He has worked on the development of photogrammetry and stitching software at Realviz and in film production as a technical director at Rhythm & Hues and Sony Pictures Imageworks on “Narnia”, “Spiderman 3? and “I am Legend”. He teaches at Gnomon School for Visual Effects and has published professional training DVDs on photogrammetry and panoramic stitching. He has presented at professional conferences for both photographers and visual effects artists.