Friday, December 29, 2006

Extrapolation, Squared


I've always taken an interest in the creation and execution of visual effects. It pretty much started the day I came back from seeing Star Wars, and never stopped. Additionally I've found myself in "the industry" so along with genuine curiosity comes a professional neccessity to keep on top of things. Talking about the future of virtual actors below I was caught up with thoughts of where cinema has taken things. Be it the digital double usage that started in Jurassic Park to the crazy-azz digital character insertion in the Star Wars Prequels. Each somewhat culminating with the most emotive of its ilk with Gollum in LOTR, and his digital successor King Kong. This is some amazing stuff.

So while I keep my nose to the silicon grindstone, nothing really prepared me for the level of work that was done on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. You'll recall I really liked it. I knew there was a lot of digital work going on, but it's the extent of which that really floors me. No prosthetic make up for Bill Nighy as Davey Jones, or his entire crew? That's all digital folks, and the methods employed are something I knew was possible, but the sheer scale of production just sets me aback. And then I smile, because I can only think of what's next.

Check out this site dedicated to the digital characters in Dead Man's Chest: "The Show," hosted by Industrial Light and Magic.
Also read this article at CG Talk, Shades of Davy Jones.

As with all technology, or any example of perceived power, the responsibility lies with its creators. It's not hard to think of the bad that may come from a rampant, unchecked, bubbling spigot of digital and virtual creations. But oh how nice it is to think of the good.

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