Archive of the Digital Cinema Category

Siggraph 2008 CAF Award Winners

Well, I hate to say I told you so, but…a couple of days ago I wrote this entry, France dominates Computer Animation Festival, which is pretty self-explanatory. Now, I’m writing to tell you of the winners in the Siggraph 2008 Compuater Animateion Festival, and guess what?

France dominated.

Here’s the list, all deserving winners. Congratulations to all the nominees on a great exhibition!

Best of Show Winner
Gobelins l’école de l’image, France more

BlogLive @ Siggraph 2008 Podcast: John Knoll

Siggraph 2008 drew to a close with a bang Thursday night as ILM hosted a screening of its new Star Wars: Clone Wars animated feature at the Nokia Theater following the final run of the Electronic Theater. The screening featured an intro with the film’s director, Dave Filoni, being interviewed by ILM Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor (and co-inventor of Adobe Photoshop), John Knoll, about their Star Wars experiences. At the private ILM party before the screening, millimeter Senior Editor Michael Goldman had the chance to have a quick chat with Knoll about his impressions of Siggraph 2008 and what parts of the show interested him the most. Hear their conversation.

Festival Awards Ceremony Preview

ourw.JPGThe Nokia Theater hosts the Siggraph Computer Animation Festival’s awards ceremony today at 3:45, when the winners of the Audience Award, the Student Prize, the Jury Award, and the Best of Show award will be announced. I’ve covered many of the films up for these awards in previous blogs. See France dominates Computer Animation Festival and Commercials and Promo Spots are Shorts Too for details and links to some of the actual films themselves.

I’ll take this chance to spotlight some of the nominees I haven’t covered. Carbon Footprint is a time-lapse movie depicting 50 years in the life of a discarded aluminum can and is enough to make you vocal the next time you see some jackass throw something away on the street. It comes from the U.K.-based Jellyfish Pictures, and despite its very short running time, is a strong contender for Best of Show. more

The Virtual Cinematography of Speed Racer

Speed RacerA lot of focus this year at Siggraph has been on stereoscopic 3D and its emergence as a new language of filmmaking. If 3D is a new way of making movies, then the vast visual effects team that worked on Speed Racer discovered a reinvention of 2D filmmaking.

Visual Effects Supervisor John Gaeta calls the style pioneered on Speed Racer many things. Among them: “virtual cinematography,” “photo-anime,” and “2 1/2 D” layering. When he and Dan Glass first started working on the project, it was a liberating experience to force themselves to let go of the need for any kind of photorealistic element. This quality is something ingrained into any visual-effects artist worth his salt from the get go. Letting go of that instinct is like asking a cat to ignore a mouse. more

Commercials and Promo Spots are Shorts Too

startseite.gifThis year’s Siggraph Computer Animation Festival is an all-inclusive affair. Each standalone programmed screening runs approximately two hours and is made up of several short films and compliation works of varying degrees of length. Though they are the shortest of the short and often are promoting one thing or another, commercials and spots shouldn’t be overlooked as works of art worth celebrating, and the festival’s first program featured several worth mentioning. more

Live-Action 3D is the Future

Journey to the Center of the Earth at Siggraph 2008“Live-action 3D is the future/Teach it well and let it lead the way,” Whitney Houston once sang, I believe. Oops, wrong bad joke. The big joke among people who make 3D stereoscopic films is that it is way more work than making a regular 2D film because you have to make the same film twice.

This summer’s Journey to the Center of the Earth was shot in stereo with dual Sony HDC-950 HD cameras mounted on Pace Technologies‘ 3D HD rigs. The movie’s Visual-Effects Supervisor Christopher Townsend was on hand to explain that there is no cheating space when you’re filming live-action 3D. You can’t use any of the solutions normally associated with 2D movies, such as flat matte paintings for backgrounds, 2D compositing, or any 2D cueing traicks at all. Journey to the Center of the Earth is the directorial debut of longtime visual-effects supervisor Eric Brevig and the movie was the first ever full-length stereoscopic motion picture shot in HD to be released in digital 3D. more

France dominates Computer Animation Festival

Mauvais Role at Siggraph 2008France is making its presence known at the Siggraph Computer Animation Festival this year, with no fewer than 18 entries in competition for the Audience Prize, as well as seven entries up for the Student Prize, the Jury Award, and Best of Show. Supinfocom, a computer graphics university with campuses in Valenciennes and Arles, has some of the strongest entries, while others are from the The Gobelins School of Image in Paris. more

10 Years of BOXX

08boxx1.jpgFounded in Austin in 1998, BOXX Technologies is using this Siggraph to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a number of prize contests, giveaways, and special edition hot-rodded workstations, to name just some of the reasons why the booth seems to have a sense of excitement.

The company holds a special place in the hearts and minds of those creatives who spend their days in the trenches creating the effects seen in many top feature films and television commercials, says Francois Wolf, director of marketing at BOXX. “A lot of companies have fallen off the cliff,� says Wolf. “We haven’t, because we don’t try to offer everything, but choose to do a few things very well.� more

Autodesk’s Busy

08autodesk1.jpgOne of today’s more pleasant meetings was with Autodesk Media and Entertainment group manager Maurice Patel, and not only because of the chocolate, cookies, and comfy couches. For one thing, I got to see old colleagues Dan Ochiva and Steve Katz after far too long during the meeting, and they might be reporting on this blog site about the Autodesk meeting, as well. more

Break the Rules, But There Will Be No Pie-Throwing!

It’s the same general approach, only with very different visual presentations.

Robert Neuman, stereoscopic supervisor at Walt Disney Animation, showed a trailer for the upcoming computer-animated feature Bolt, which is from the talking-animal variety of kids-oriented films. In this movie, John Travolta voices a dog who thinks the popular TV show he stars in is real life. Neuman stressed the importance of using 3D as an aid to storytelling and not as purely a gimmick, something echoed by all the presenters so far today. Having objects flying nonstop at the screen seems to be a William Castle-like relic from the past. more


The editors of Digital Content Producer and millimeter post live from Siggraph as the news happens. Check back several times a day for the latest industry news, reports from press conferences, and product introductions.


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