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‘Thor: Ragnarok’s’ Sakaar Chase Scene was also a Courtship Dance

2017-11-15 20:24:51 ccwire-staff

Stuck on Sakaar but looking to get back to Asgard, Thor, Valkeryie and Banner steal one of the Grandmaster’s ships, the Commodore. In a high octane chase scene through the city, they escape Sakaar fighters and exit through a wormhole.

Digital Domain crafted visual effects for the Thor: Ragnarok sequence, overseen by overall visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison. Morrison and DD’s VFX supervisor Dave Hodgins explain how the exciting chase was pulled off.

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Morrison: Taika really wanted to get across the feeling of a really intense manual transmission stick-shift car chase. He really wanted to do like the early George Miller stuff, and the late George Miller stuff too, but particularly we kept going back to the cameras mounted on the dash on the Interceptor like on the original Mad Max film. As if you’re actually feel the transmission being shifted all the time.

There’s also a subtext where it’s actually kind of a courtship dance, which I think is a kind of hysterical sub-note, which is when Thor sees Val and she slaps into the windscreen and then you get the, ‘Get inside!’, and she says, ‘In a minute!’ And then she runs off and does the supercool jump off the back of the ship and then lands on the other one, starts ripping the ship apart, then jumps onto the next one as it explodes and drops. Thor looks back and he’s definitely gone a big goo-goo eyed, and he’s like, ‘I probably should go back and help.’ It’s like courtship dance where they’re really just trying to impress each other a little bit, and it’s like two peacocks strutting their stuff, which I think is really quite sweet.

To film the scene, having an insane amount of wind was the only way we could do that. We still built all the spaceships, but they’re basically all just wooden stand-ins. We did it all in the car park actually out the back of the studio, and just really asked our special effects brothers and sisters to just bring all of the wind, please. The point was, if you’re in an open-top car and it’s going 30 miles an hour, you’ve got to shout. So if these people are actually standing on the top of a spaceship going at Mach 4, fine they’re Gods, but at least their hair’s got to be doing something, you know?

Hodgins: Some shots required 100% digi double and others were digi double hand-offs to the plate. In one shot, we went from Valkyrie digi-double to actor and back to digi double. In terms of animation, we ended up hand animating or roto-mating most shots. A couple of shots we used a Xsens MVN suit that let us capture a few reference moves without setting up a whole motion capture session.

The challenge for us was not about building a city per se, which we’ve done before, but building enough city to fly through at 500 mph. Our original city would only cover a couple hundred frames and we’d have to reset the camera. Asset-wise the city was a lot of work for lookdev and textures. The visual development for the city hadn’t been finalized when we started the sequence so we helped experiment with looks and color schemes for Sakaar. It was meant to be a very colorful city but we hadn’t defined if it was neon or pastel in its hues yet. On top of that, director Taika Waititi wanted the city to feel lived in but not industrial which steered our choice of windows, traffic and atmospherics.

The wastelands of Sakaar were much easier problem to solve. We populated these shots by procedural garbage scatter using a big library of debris and hero models. We created proxy mounds that would designate where these garbage piles would exist in our animation renders and these would be turned into fully detailed garbage stacks in Houdini. Then white water would be generated around the piles so they sat in the ocean surface nicely, with hero splash elements added when needed.

The destruction of ships and buildings were accomplished through our Houdini pipeline. Using gas sims for explosions and fluid sims for the splashes of ships crashing into water we straddled the line of realism and readability. With the ships flying at such high speeds some effects would become blurs and lose the detail that we wanted. Some smoke volumes needed to be bigger just to stay on screen long enough so there were various cheats taking place to carry out the story point in each shot.

Source: VFXBlog

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Pixomondo Trailblazes In Themed Entertainment VFX For National Geographic’s ” Ocean Odyssey”

2017-11-14 13:27:36 mgalas

International creative design and VFX company Pixomondo, known for its Emmy-award winning VFX work on “Game of Thrones” VES Award for “Hugo”, debuted an underground aquarium attraction, a first-of-its kind immersive entertainment experience, in Times Square.  The underwater attraction was created for National Geographic, and is called National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey.

The exhibit harnesses groundbreaking technology in new ways to transport guests on an incredible underwater journey from the South Pacific across the ocean to the west coast of North America.  To create the immersive experience of Ocean Odyssey, the Pixomondo team, in collaboration with designers and artists from around the globe, designed a 90-minute long encounter enabling visitors to get up close with dozens of species, including  20 foot long sharks, a 50-foot Humpback whale and playful sea lions. Photogrammetry was used to design a coral reef: over 1,300 photos were taken on location in the Solomon Islands.  These 2D photos were scanned and used to construct a 3d a photo-realistic model of the coral.  The 2D photos were then used to construct 3D models of coral.  During the grand finale, guests experience an appearance of 120,000 fish.

“We pushed the boundaries of typical attractions by combining National Geographic’s incredible storytelling with an innovative blend of immersive, cutting-edge visual effects and technology, resulting in a completely new kind of entertainment experience,” says Lisa Truitt, chief creative officer and a managing partner of SPE Partners, the developers, producers and managers of the project. Other collaborators in the massive project include themed entertainment design firm, Falcon’s Creative Group, as well as Mirada Studios and composer David Kahne.

“We developed a new way of combining immersive cinema with science and entertainment, using interactivity and photo-real animation,” says Truitt.

“How real?” asks David Garber, Pixomondo’s executive producer of themed entertainment. “So real that a guest was seen standing in front of our interactive sea lion, having an engaging, albeit one way conversation with it, and strangely enough, the sea lion opened its mouth and blew bubbles at her when she told him he was adorable.”

“Mr. Sea Lion and his friends were brought to life from the development of our proprietary ‘Fishware,’ and they stand as a testimony to the incredible talents of our artists who have created these revolutionary ocean worlds in executing National Geographic’s mission of delivering entertainment with a purpose,” says Thilo Kuther, CEO of Pixomondo.

The “entertainment with a purpose” ethos is also embedded in National Geographic Encounter’s choice of partners with sustainable practices, ranging from a furniture developer, Van de Sant, which creates product out of plastic waste recovered from marine environments, to caterers that source from local farms and use only sustainably harvested seafood, to retail products with eco-friendly packaging.

Beyond the successful opening of the Times Square installation, Pixomondo continues to move forward, pushing the envelope toward visitor-driven, immersive attractions in the Arab Emirates, Kuala Lumpur, Las Vegas, and Shanghai, with a revolutionary new experience planned for Los Angeles, says Kuther.

For more information on Ocean Odyssey, visit NatGeoEncounter.com

For more information on Pixomondo, visit pixomondo.com

Source: Variety411

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Rising Sun Pictures Hammers Out Visual Effects for Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok

2017-11-06 17:26:23 artisanspr

Adelaide, South Australia—Rising Sun Pictures (RSP), Australia’s premiere visual effects studio, produced more than 170 final visual effects shots for Thor: Ragnarok¸ the new film from Marvel Studios. Working under the supervision of Director Taika Waititi, production Visual Effects Supervisor Jake Morrison and production Visual Effects Producer Cyndi Ochs, RSP’s team spent more than 18 months helping to craft some of the film’s most memorable, creative and technically challenging scenes.

Highlights of RSP’s contributions include a sequence dubbed “Val’s Flashback” involving a furious battle between the film’s villain, Hela (Cate Blanchett), and an army of Valkyrie. The team also played a key role in “The Palace Battle”, an epic confrontation between Hela and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and in reimagining the Bifröst Bridge, a magical rainbow that links realms of the Norse cosmos. The project is especially noteworthy for the standout work of RSP’s expanded character animation department, who were tasked with creating photo-real horses, Valkyrie and skeleton soldiers, as well as other digital characters.

“We were honoured to be selected by Marvel Studios as a vendor on this film, and proud of the work that we delivered,” says Managing Director Tony Clark. “We have been systematically growing our human and technical resources, especially in character animation, to tackle complex, large-scale projects, while maintaining the artistry, craftsmanship and attention to detail that are hallmarks of RSP. The results are evident in Thor: Ragnarok.” Nearly 200 artists took part in the project for RSP.

Val’s Flashback, which plays out in artful slow motion under glittering light, describes a fatal encounter between Valkyrie warriors and Hela, the Asgardian Goddess of Death. The female warriors, riding winged steeds, emerge from portals in the sky only to be mercilessly struck down by Hela using her magical powers.

Led by Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Tom Wood, the RSP team began working on the scene in early 2016 during pre-production. Artists prepared 3D pre-visualisation encompassing every element of the sequence to serve as a guide for subsequent production and post.

Production was conducted on a soundstage in Queensland. Slow motion effects were achieved by capturing actor performances via a Phantom camera operating at 900 fps. The imagery was given a further surreal cast through the use of a rotating lighting system that bathed the scene in undulating patterns of light and shadow.

RSP On-Set Visual Effects, Concept and Pre-Vis Supervisor Adam Paschke headed an on-set team that gathered practical data and provided technical advice during the shoot. Production was followed by months of character animation, visual effects, 3D, matte painting and compositing at RSP’s Adelaide studio to produce the finished scenes.

RSP was a natural choice for the flashback scene due to its considerable expertise in slow motion visual effects. For the films X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse, the studio provided the visual effects magic for several scenes demonstrating the hyper-speed abilities of the mutant Quicksilver. Thor: Ragnarok, however, takes slow motion into a new, and technically challenging, direction. “Taika and Jake conceived a fantastic scene,” notes Wood. “We pre-visualised their concept, attended the shoot and, as soon as editing was complete, went straight into production. The pre-vis broke the sequence into multiple layers, each of which was shot separately, and reassembled bit by bit in post.”

“The flashback sequence involved high-level creature animation and digital characters, as well as very detailed compositing, due to the unusual lighting effects,” adds Visual Effects Executive Producer Gill Howe. “It was also a challenge because it was a standalone piece, and a significant scene in the movie. It had to be unique, different, and something that had never been done before.”

Considerable attention went into the creation of the Valkyrie and horses. Often revealed in close up, the animated characters had to be photo-real. “We spent a lot of time in look development, making sure that their fur and feathers were right, and that the muscle system moved like a real horse,” explains Head of Creatures Tim Mackintosh. “If they had been monsters, we would have had more leeway, because monsters aren’t real, but everyone is familiar with horses. Although these were mythical, winged horses, audience members will have an idea for how they should look and move.”

RSP also took great care in preparing Hela’s accoutrements, including her cape, the cowl she wears on her head, and her menacing antlers. Artists initially developed concepts for Hela’s costume for a trailer that screened at Comic Con in 2016 but continued to refine the look through later stages of production. “It was quite tricky,” recalls Head of Lighting/Look Development Shane Aherne. “We needed to remain consistent with the assets’ practical counterparts and with their representations in the original Marvel comics. But we also needed to accommodate Cate Blanchett’s performance and the action of the scene.”

RSP utilised digital characters to perform actions impossible for a human or to facilitate integration into the scene. This was especially important for characters that exhibited magical powers or super-human strength. In most instances, the character’s motion was derived from motion capture data from the actor. “Motion capture will get you 90 percent of the way there, but the rest has to be sculpted to the CG character,” notes Mackintosh. “It’s a labour-intensive process and one that requires artists with a lot of different skill sets.”

The Palace Fight depicts a confrontation between Hela and Thor that plays out over some 60 shots. Although live action elements were shot on a practical set, the production ultimately chose to have the entire background replaced with a 3D environment created by RSP. “We produced a palace that was much bigger and with a higher ceiling than was possible on any stage.” explains Wood. “It was more spread out and more opulent.”

In the finished scene, Thor is the only non-digital element. “Replacing the background in its entirety created its own challenges,” observes 2D Lead Jess Burnheim. “It meant that we had to extract Chris Hemsworth from the plate with no blue screen. We literally rotoscoped everything, including his hair. It was painstaking work.”

The Bifröst Bridge appears in another scene involving a pitched battle, this one pitting Hela against Thor and Loki. “The Bifröst has been seen in previous Marvel productions, but in Thor: Ragnarok it has a unique look because we’re inside it,” Burnheim explains. “We had old reference to work from, but we had to develop the effect further and create something that would work with the plate photography.”

“One thing that happens in the scene is that Thor is pushed into the side of the bridge and it shatters,” he adds. “That raised the question, what is it made of?  Is it light? Is it physical? It took many iterations to get it to feel right.”

RSP also contributed to a scene featuring Hela’s troop of skeleton soldiers, which again involved the use of digital characters. Additionally, artists created a 3D version of Thor’s famous hammer for a scene where it is crushed by Hela.

Despite the project’s complexity, lengthy schedule, and growing shot list, the work proceeded smoothly. Mackintosh attributes that to the unique structure of RSP’s production pipeline. Its integration of animation, character development and compositing facilitates collaboration between departments and allows the studio to turn out iterations and finished work fast.

“Animation and creatures are separate entities at many studios, but we’ve unified the departments in a single smooth pipeline,” Mackintosh says. “When working to deliver shots, there is always a lot of back and forth between the teams, and we feel it’s vital to keep them working together.”

Howe notes that the cohesiveness of the RSP team (most senior artists have been with the studio for years) also promotes efficiency and delivers cost savings.

“As this was our first Marvel Studios show, we wanted to give it our best effort and ensure that everything we delivered was spectacular and exceeded expectations,” says Howe. “The results are a testament to the dedication and creativity of our artists, and the strength of our pipeline in managing photoreal creature animation; complex, interactive lighting and look development. It’s a big step forward for RSP.”

Rising Sun Pictures department heads included Senior VFX Supervisor Tom Wood, Executive Producer Gill Howe, DFX Supervisor Noah Vice, 2D Lead Noah Burnheim, VFX Supervisor Dennis Jones, Head of Creatures Tim Mackintosh, Head of Layout Damian Doenning, On-Set VFX/Concept/Pre-vis Adam Paschke and Head of Lighting/Look Development Shane Aherne.

About Rising Sun Pictures:

At Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) we create inspirational visual effects for major studios worldwide. Creating outstanding images is at the core of our existence. At the heart of our talented team, there is a diverse knowledge and skill-set, enabling a collaborative core where we can work together to solve problems and deliver great visuals to our clients. We have achieved some truly amazing visual effects work by providing innovative solutions to technically challenging work. We have the capacity and talent pool to scale to suit the needs of our clients. RSP has worked on over 100 films including Thor: Ragnarok, X-Men Harry Potter and Hunger Games franchises, Game of Thrones.

rsp.com.au

All Images © 2017 Marvel

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Framestore Puts Hulk Into Action

2017-08-24 23:19:08 ccwire-staff

Los Angeles, CA – International Oscar-winning creative studio Framestore is showing its cross-platform capabilities yet again by bringing the powerful Marvel character Hulk to life on both film and commercial platforms. The Film team in London and Integrated Advertising team in Los Angeles collaborated on the latest CG characterization of Hulk for upcoming Marvel Studios releases and Renault’s commercial ‘Renault Kwid.’

“We’ve honed a very tight transition pipeline for film characters into other platforms,’ says Creative Director Ben West. ‘The ability to utilize detailed assets with complex rigs ensures we’re meeting the cinematic standard demanded for Marvel projects.”

Shot in São Paulo by Smuggler Director Jonathan Gurvit, the ‘Renault Kwid’ adventure begins as a man imagines what the Hulk would do as news breaks that a satellite is falling towards Earth. Framestore artists brought Hulk to life with his signature leaps and bounds taking him to the top of the Banco Banespa building before smashing the explosive satellite mid-sky.

Famous for his incredible level of superhuman physical ability, Framestore worked to exaggerate Hulk’s strenuous muscle and facial detail. The teams worked closely together to enhance the amount of detail needed in his muscles, including in the rig, muscular weight in animation, textural displacements of veins, lighting art direction to enhance angles, and shot-specific muscle sculpting to refine even further. Other subtle yet essential details of Hulk include peach fuzz on the body, facial stubble and sweat stems.

“Animating characters requires an intimate level of experience and understanding of performance,’ continues West. ‘Each character has signature qualities but it’s the detail and nuance that brings them to life. Having worked with characters like Hulk over an extended period for film projects, we had a strong foundation to build upon in this regard.”

The details of city destruction further accentuate the Hulk’s weight. Framestore enhanced the cityscape of São Paolo to make sure the central Banespa building was in frame as a constant reminder of the imminent fiery satellite. “These are the projects our artists live and breathe for. We understand the genre and play to its strengths by bringing characters to the screen in a very visceral way,” states West.

The commercial is airing domestically in Brazil across TV and cinema. Framestore collaborated directly with Marvel and their Disney partners in Brazil to create the commercial. Ad agency Neogama concepted the commercial. Other recent Film and Integrated Advertising collaborations by Framestore include ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ film and virtual reality experience, as well as Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 film, commercial campaign and amusement park ride.

Credits
Director, Partnerships – Marvel Partnerships Chris Lisciandro
Promotions Project Manager – Marvel Partnerships Greg Gustin
Franchise Promotional Partnerships – Marvel Studios Adam Davis

Agency Neogama
Production Company Smuggler
Director Jonathan Gurvit

Visual Effects Framestore
Creative Director Ben West
VFX Producer Morgan MacCuish
CG Supervisor Kevin Baker
Shoot Supervisor David Hulin
VFX Supervisor James Healy
Animation Lead Shayne Ryan
Animator Kevin Rooney, Jessie Wang, Xavier Coton, Stew Burris, Evan Harbuck
FX Lead Nate Usiak
FX Michelle Lee, Arrev Chantikian, Viviana Mora
Lighting Lead Yuo Tengara
Lighter Jon Tojek, Isaiah Palmer, Dustin Colson, John Cook
Compositing Lead JD Yepes
Compositor Tim Gutierrez, Josh Guillaume, Alex Unruh, Alejandro Villabon, Kingsley Rothwell
Generalist Soren Barton, Yayu Chen, Mel Wong, Joel Durham, Rob Garcia
Look Dev & Groom Jessica Groom
Rigging Lead Wade Ryer
Cameras & Tracking Sean Dollins, Todd Herman
Concept Art Daniel Demirdjian
VFX Editor Humberto Reynaga
VFX Assistant Editor Jake Keller, Alexandra Wysota
VFX Coordinator Jose Alvarado
Colourist Beau Leon
Colour Assistant Jonah Braun, Weiyi Ang


About Framestore
Framestore is an Oscar-winning creative studio that uses innovative talent and technology to create hi-end images for every platform. Framestore partners with clients ranging from Hollywood studios through to advertisers, ad agencies, production companies and video game developers. In addition to being recognised for its globally celebrated visual effects, Framestore has more recently made its name as an innovator in the digital space by focusing on the immersive engagement potential of interactive visual effects.

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MAXON Receives Industry Accolades for Cinema 4D Release 19 at SIGGRAPH 2017

2017-08-23 14:02:56 ccwire-staff

Newbury Park, CA  – MAXON is pleased to announce Cinema 4D Release 19 (R19), the next generation of its acclaimed 3D animation, graphics, VFX, and visualization software, has been honored at SIGGRAPH 2017 – the leading annual conference and exhibition dedicated to computer graphics and interactive techniques – with two prestigious industry awards: the Computer Graphics World Magazine (CGW) Silver Edge Award is presented to companies with products or offerings that represent the best of show and have the potential to greatly impact the industry. This year marks the fifth time CGW has recognized MAXON with the award. MAXON is also a recipient of the postPerspective Impact Award honoring innovative products and technologies for the post production and production industries that will influence the way people work.

MAXON debuted Release 19 at SIGGRAPH 2017, designed to serve individual artists as well as large studio environments, with a fast, easy, stable and streamlined workflow to meet today’s challenges in the content creation markets: especially general design, motion graphics, VFX, VR/AR and all types of visualization. A number of re-engineered foundational technologies were also announced which the company will continue to develop and bring to maturity in future versions of Cinema 4D. A complete list of feature highlights in R19 is available here.

For over 40 years, CGW continues to provide exclusive in-depth editorial coverage of the cutting-edge technology used in the latest animation, VFX, 3D, game development, film, CAD and medical industries.

“MAXON’s Cinema 4D always has been an important tool for those working in professional digital content creation,” commented Karen Moltenbrey, CGW chief editor. “And during the past few years, the company has added robust features and tools that have made the software a mainstay across the industry, making the software indispensable across the DCC realm. With the most recent version, Release 19, MAXON continues to up its game with developments to the viewport, a new Sound Effector and more features for Voronoi Fracturing within the MoGraph toolset, a new Spherical Camera, and integration of AMD’s ProRender technology. In fact, at the recent SIGGRAPH conference, AMD highlighted its partnership with MAXON’s technology at the AMD Capsaicin event.”

Since its launch in 2013, postPerspective has emerged as the premier source of creative and technology intelligence for the post production and production industries.

“The postPerspective Impact Awards are special because they were voted on by people who will be potentially using these tools in their day-to-day workflows,” said Randi Altman, postPerspective’s founder and editor-in-chief. “Our anonymous judges are all respected industry professionals, as we feel awards for products targeting pros should be voted on by those who use these types of tools everyday. These awards celebrate those companies who have listened to users’ wants and needs and then produced tools designed to make their working lives easier and projects better. We are very proud to honor our winners from this year’s SIGGRAPH show.”

“The SIGGRAPH convention is an ideal setting to present future technologies in Cinema 4D,” says Paul Babb, president and CEO, MAXON US. “We are delighted CGW and postPerspective – two of the industry’s most respected news resources – have awarded our development efforts in Release 19.”

Cinema 4D R19 is scheduled for release September 2017. (Note: MAXON will debut R19 to European audiences at IBC 2017, September 14 -19, at the RAI Amsterdam, Hall 7, Booth K30.)

About MAXON

Headquartered in Friedrichsdorf, Germany, MAXON Computer is a developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions. Its award-winning Cinema 4D and BodyPaint 3D software products have been used extensively to help create everything from stunning visual effects in top feature films, TV shows and commercials, cutting-edge game cinematics for AAA games, as well for medical illustration, architectural and industrial design applications. MAXON has offices in Germany, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan and Singapore. MAXON products are available directly from the web site and its worldwide distribution channel. MAXON is part of the Nemetschek Group.

Additional information on MAXON can be obtained as follows:

Website: http://www.maxon.net/
Cineversity: http://www.cineversity.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maxon3d
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maxon3D
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MaxonC4D
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/791366
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+maxoncinema4d/posts

All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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New experimental VFX videos released by the R&D team at SBLabs

2017-07-20 21:02:40 ccwire-staff

Saddington Baynes are well-known for pushing the boundaries of technical innovation in the creative industry, establishing an R&D arm known as SBLabs to showcase this in-house ability. The purpose of SBLabs is to train artists and perfect technical discipline in preparation for commercial projects. The resulting videos range from celebrating London Pride with CG paint, to replicating Gangnam Style through motion capture:

Love is Love – Created using FLIP Fluid Solver, with viscosity and customised colour mixing. The centerpiece statue was simulated using 3D photo scans, before being rendered with Arnold.

VFX Dancers – Procedurally generated geometry, particle simulations and fur were created with shaders, driven by custom attributes, and then attached to motion capture. The results were rendered with Mantra.

Gangnam Style – A combination of motion capture and cloth simulation, using Flipbook (a player in Houdini that creates a sped up render).

‘InflataSean’ – A human replica generated by processing data from full-body scans. Simulations were then applied to produce an inflation effect. The results were rendered in Mantra/Arnold.

 

Each video allows the artists at SBLabs to indulge in a bit of hands on training, to develop their skills in a fun way. The projects are also about self-expression – a chance for artists to exercise creativity and imagination, such as teasing their colleague Sean by turning him into a blow up doll.

Although no ground-breaking technology was used, SBLabs gives artists a chance to experiment with existing tools in innovative ways. A full reel combing each experiment can be found here.


About Saddington Baynes

Saddington Baynes is a leading creative production agency that has produced premium imagery for advertising agencies and brand clients for 25 years, working on projects as diverse as automotive, FMCG and pharma.

Saddington Baynes’ mission is to create sensational imagery that moves people and inspires brand devotion, delivering memorable experiences through emotion and engagement. The original pioneers of digital retouching in 1991 – and one of the first post production studios to harness the potential of CGI in-house – Saddington Baynes today creates award-winning visual content for the advertising industry in the UK, USA and across Europe. Innovation is a key part of this, which is why Saddington developed its Engagement Insights® service – an entirely new way to measure the emotional impact of imagery.

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DC Comics’ Wonder Woman: VFX

2017-06-29 22:27:00 ccwire-staff

It took more than 70 years for DC Comics’ Wonder Woman to get her own live-action feature film, but director Patty Jenkins and Warner Bros. have finally brought the comic book hero to the big screen, just in time for summer!

Gal Gadot stars in the title role of Wonder Woman, a film that explores the superhero’s origins and follows the story of Diana, princess of the Amazons. When a pilot crashes on her home island of Themyscira and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight ‘a war to end all wars,’ discovering her full powers and true destiny in the process.

“The time is absolutely right to bring Wonder Woman to movie audiences,” says Jenkins. “Fans have been waiting a long time for this, but I believe people outside the fandom are ready for a Wonder Woman movie, too. Superheroes have played a role in many people’s lives; it’s that fantasy of ‘What would it be like if I was that powerful and that great, and I could go on that exciting journey and do heroic things?’”

Joining Jenkins behind the camera were director of photography Matthew Jensen (Chronicle, Fantastic Four, HBO’s Game of Thrones), Oscar-winning editor Martin Walsh (Chicago, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), composer Rupert Gregson-Williams (Hacksaw Ridge, The Legend of Tarzan), re-recording mixer Chris Burdon (see related article that follows) and two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer (Life of Pi, The Golden Compass).

Read the full story at Post Magazine.

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FuseFX Provides VFX for John Ridley’s “American Crime” and “Let It Fall”

2017-06-06 08:12:19 artisanspr

LOS ANGELES— The FuseFX Los Angeles crew recently provided visual effects services for two projects by Oscar-winning writer/producer/director John Ridley – the anthology series American Crime and the feature-length documentary Let It Fall, which aired April 28.

The studio served as the sole visual effects provider for the third season of American Crime, which included numerous 3D set extensions and digital matte paintings. “The series takes place entirely in North Carolina, but was shot in and around Los Angeles,” notes Jason Piccioni, VFX Supervisor on both Ridley projects. “The lion’s share of the VFX work involved enhancing, replacing, and/or building environments that more closely resembled the landscape, groves, fields, and small towns of our story location.”

Portions of the show were set in a camp housing migrant farm workers. “We built a maze of rundown trailers out at Disney Ranch in Los Angeles and then extended those camps with CG and matte paintings to increase the size of the trailer park and surround it with a landscape appropriate to North Carolina,” Piccioni elaborates.

FuseFX’s contributions to Let It Fall, an in-depth look at the culture of Los Angeles in the years leading up to the 1992 riots, were of a much different variety – one to add critical context rather than shape environments. FuseFX artists created hundreds of animated maps, handwritten notes and titles, and other graphics that are used throughout the film to provide critical information and enrich the narrative.

“By their nature, documentaries tend to include an incredible amount of exposition,” Piccioni explains.  “John Ridley was looking for a way to present information cinematically, so that viewers can absorb it without feeling like they’re reading a textbook.”

Piccioni’s team worked with Director Ridley, Editor Colin Rich (also from American Crime) and Art Director Manija Emran to design the graphics that matched the texture and language of the film.  “It was fun to do something a little different and still be so integral to the storytelling,” Piccioni says.

Piccioni shared that it was a privilege to work on projects that inspire viewers to relate to characters quite different from themselves. “John has a gift for presenting stories honestly and in a way that causes us to see and empathize with many sides of these situations,” he notes.  “The gray area and difficult decisions that permeate these people’s lives are, I think, themes that we can all connect with.”

“Both shows urge viewers to think more deeply about our society and take a closer look at these themes on a national scale,” Piccioni adds.  “It’s those challenges that make working with John so rewarding.”

 

About FuseFX

FuseFX is a full-service visual effects studio serving the television, feature film and advertising industries from facilities in Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver. Founded in 2006 by David Altenau, the company encompasses a crew of more than 300 highly talented and experienced artists, producers and support personnel. Using its refined, custom database and pipeline, the company can accommodate numerous, high shot-count productions while delivering high-quality, on-time results.

For more information, visit http://fusefx.com/

 

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Making of: Freezing a Muay Thai Battle in Time

2017-05-31 17:27:14 ccwire-staff

LONDON, UK – With the release of its Statue project, London-based creative studio Saddington Baynes has created a frozen moment of a Muay Thai battle, utilising full-body 3D photo scans created in partnership with body-scanning experts FBFX.

Saddington Baynes is well-known for pushing the boundaries of technical innovation in the creative industry, establishing its R&D arm SBLabs to showcase this in-house ability. For Statue, SBLabs used advanced procedural displacement techniques, complex shaders and dynamic particle simulations to deliver a fierce fighting showcase. The results are already sweeping up accolades across the creative community, including a Platinum in the Creativity International Media & Interactive Design Awards.

James Digby-Jones, Executive Creative Director at Saddington Baynes, comments: “We wanted to create a project to showcase our expertise working with complex simulations and highly detailed 3D talent, while also demonstrating our imaginative storycraft and VFX capabilities. The Statue project quickly picked up a Platinum award and we’ve entered it into others. It’s a great piece that shows off a variety of high level skills, applicable to multiple market sectors.”

Statue – Behind the Scenes from Saddington Baynes

Scanning and capture

To achieve unparalleled detail required meticulous planning. SBLabs blocked out early concepts in Cinema 4D to explore strong poses and the choreography and to direct the camera path.

SBLabs then approached SFX costume and 3D scanning specialists FBFX, who captured key moments of the Muay Thai battle in live action, as one at a time the combatants jumped and punched and kicked, all the while being captured as high resolution point clouds and image maps from multiple cameras. Besides being martial arts enthusiasts, both models were actually part of the Saddington Baynes team – a Production Assistant and a CG artist!

Andrew White, Creative Director at Saddington Baynes, comments: “FBFX helped us build separate scan captures in ZBrush with seamless results. They were a huge asset, delivering exactly what we needed in line with our vision”

Particle simulation

Alongside these scanned models, Statue also features complex Houdini simulations. The models land blows on each other, cracking open igneous husks to reveal the searing heat below. SBLabs ran a series of customised fragmentation and tessellation processes on the geometry with look development performed in Mantra.

Andrew White, Creative Director at Saddington Baynes, comments: “We found that by outputting some custom aov passes we could create a hot metal look inside Nuke. By using holdout mattes and base beauty elements, this gave us a great way to time and control the intensity of the heat effect.”

Based out of London, Saddington Baynes has a long history of technical innovation. Besides being the original pioneers of digital retouching in 1991, Saddington Baynes were also one of the first production studios to harness the potential of CGI in-house. More recently, the team developed an Engagement Insights® service – the world-first use of neuroscience techniques to measure emotional impact of imagery. Recent commissions include Honda’s pan-European ‘Real View Test Drive’ campaign.


About Saddington Baynes

Saddington Baynes is a leading creative production agency that has produced premium imagery for advertising agencies and brand clients for 25 years.

Saddington Baynes’ mission is to create sensational imagery that inspires brand devotion, with a focus on emotional reactions and engagement. To achieve this, Saddington Baynes developed its Engagement Insights® service – an entirely new way to measure the emotional impact of imagery, using neuroscience techniques.

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The Sword and the cineSync: VFX of King Arthur

2017-05-31 11:46:48 ccwire-staff

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword feels like the logical next step in Guy Ritchie’s career – after all, who better to direct a modern reimagining of King Arthur than British film royalty? Ritchie has spent years moulding rough and rugged England into whip-smart stories of sleazy charm, and Ancient Albion feels like home turf.

Ritchie has driven a bolt of trademark energy through King Arthur’s folklore, the murky grasslands and staunch stone castles fizzling with the director’s verve. This is mythological Britain filtered through modern-day cinematic technique – not to mention some truly exceptional VFX, delivered under the watchful eye of VFX Production Supervisor Gavin Round (sadly not of the round table).

Boasting a decade of experience in visual effects, Round has worked on numerous blockbusters, chalking up visual feasts such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Edge of Tomorrow. He teamed with Ritchie on King Arthur to breathe new life into the classic tale of swords, sovereigns and sorcery, corralling the project’s global VFX teams around a singular vision with support from cineSync.

“I came onto King Arthur in 2014, working with VFX Producer Alex Bicknell and VFX Supervisor Nick Davis, who I’d worked with on Edge of Tomorrow,” he explains. “Thanks to that experience, we had an established, effective workflow in place for meeting with vendors, viewing material, and of course, using cineSync. In other words, we could hit the ground running on King Arthur.”

Vendors of the round table

cineSync was key to making King Arthur’s VFX a reality, given the nine separate vendors involved in the process. Framestore stood as the lead vendor, operating out of both its London and Montreal studios. Contributions also came in from MPC’s Montreal team, Method Studios in LA and Vancouver, Scanline in Vancouver, and many more, totaling nine different studios.

Round was in the thick of the battle on King Arthur from pre to post, helping to establish Ritchie’s new kingdom of myth and magic across all studios involved.

“My duties involved managing vendors, making sure the shots came in on time and that the vendors had everything they need,” recalls Round. “cineSync enabled us to review the material constantly, so we were always aware of the status of any given shot. We could see it in real-time to discuss with the vendors.”

cineSync played a large role in creation of King Arthur’s many mythical creatures, such as a nine-foot CG villain, whose creation was split between VFX vendors Framestore and MPC.

“It was a delicate process, as we had to maintain continuity between the two vendors, who were essentially building different parts of the same being,” explains Round. “We needed to constantly review and check the material back-to-back to ensure everything transitioned correctly, no matter which vendor it came from. This is the exact kind of situation where cineSync is so useful – it saves a lot on travel!”

cineSync was used almost every day in post on King Arthur, particularly towards the end of the project. “We relied on cineSync heavily during the backend of the post schedule, at which point we were ramping up and getting most of our shots through,” says Round. “We used cineSync with all the vendors involved – we knew we could rely on it.”

The sword and the cineSync

cineSync proved to be a powerful tool throughout the filmmaking process – and one that, unlike Excalibur, anyone could wield: the entire King Arthur production team fell in love with the simplicity of cineSync – in particular, VFX Supervisor Nick Davis, who would make sure every VFX shot was reviewed, analyzed, and improved by all vendors.

“He likes to do cineSync sessions because he can pull up a shot, make marks on it, draw on it and tell the artists exactly where he wants a creature to walk,” says Round. “We did it for the big shots and small shots alike – whatever we were working on, cineSync ensured that the sequence ended up looking much better on screen.”

For Round, King Arthur revolved around the power of cineSync, ensuring that every shot was delivered to the ultimate satisfaction of all involved: “cineSync was completely intertwined in our day-to-day workflow. It was a brilliant overall tool and made my life much simpler.”

Or, as the British would put it: Bob’s your uncle!

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Fox buys Technoprops: Glenn Derry to head Fox Studios’ VFX

2017-04-27 17:01:00 ccwire-staff

Twentieth Century Fox Film announced the acquisition of Technoprops, as well as a multi-year agreement with the Company’s founder, Glenn Derry, who will serve as Vice President of Visual Effects and oversee virtual production efforts.  Derry, whose appointment is effective immediately, will be based in Los Angeles and report to John Kilkenny, TCFF’s President of Visual Effects.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Technoprops will now operate as The Fox VFX Lab and the division is currently planning to open a virtual production facility in downtown Los Angeles, at which Derry’s team will operate and be headquartered.

“Technoprops is quite simply the entertainment industry’s top shop in the world of virtual production tools and real-time visualization techniques,” said Mr. Kilkenny.  “We couldn’t be more excited to have him join Fox to run the newly-created Fox VFX Lab.”

Glenn Derry heads up Technoprops and this acquisition is far more significant than it might first appear. It signals Fox Studios major commitment to a new way of making films: full Virtual Production.

Technoprops is known as the ‘go to’ place for wearable head rigs, such as seen in last year’s SIGGRAPH Live winning EPIC Games / HellBlade demo. Fox’s move to buy the company and have its founder as VP of Visual Effects signals a commitment to virtual production at the major Hollywood studio.

Apart from controlling ‘Teddy’ in Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence , virtual production supervising Avatar, simulcam developing and supervising on Disney’s The Jungle Book, and facial capture supervising at ILM on films like Warcraft, – Glenn Derry is also rumoured to have once personally installed Tom Cruise’s advanced TV, and taught him how to use the remote!

The company is known for:

  • The highest quality and most comfortable body worn facial capture systems
  • Virtual production pipeline creation and on set supervision
  • Bespoke virtual camera hardware and software
  • Augmented reality cinematography systems and on set operation – aka SIMULCAM
  • DIT, video assist, and dailies pipelines
  • Motion base operation and CG Integration
  • Helping really creative teams use technology to make scripts a reality

Technoprops movie and games credits include, Avatar, Warcraft, Avengers – Age of Ultron, Disney’s The Jungle Book, and Halo 4.

 

Read the full story at FXGuide.

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FuseFX Launches Virtual Reality Spinoff

2017-04-18 08:09:43 artisanspr

LOS ANGELES— Award-winning visual effects house FuseFX, which produces visual effects for such shows as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., American Horror Story, Luke Cage and Criminal Minds, has launched a spinoff venture to tackle projects in the rapidly expanding field of virtual reality. FuseVR will create visual effects assets for virtual reality projects, including 3D sets, digital environments and CG characters. The effort will be led by Bud Myrick as VR Supervisor and John Heller as VR Creative Director.

FuseFX President David Altenau said that the studio has the tools, talent and expertise to enliven VR productions with Hollywood-caliber visuals. “We expect VR to become a major component of our media experience and we want to be a part of it,” Altenau observed. “Our workflow adapts readily to VR and we have a skilled team that is enthusiastic about taking on the challenge. There is a big need in VR production for digital assets and environments, and no one does that better than we do.”

Bud Myrick, John Heller

In its first outing, FuseVR provided visual effects services for Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways to Mars, a virtual reality production that recently debuted to wide acclaim at SXSW. The piece features the legendary astronaut of the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 missions presenting his vision for sending humans to the Red Planet. FuseVR artists created a number of digital sets and environments for the project including Aldrin’s proposed spacecraft, a moon base used for “vapor mining” and a 360° view of the Milky Way.

Myrick is a 25-year veteran of the visual effects industry whose VR experience includes Escape the Living Dead, notable for its groundbreaking use of moving VR cameras and feature-quality visual effects. His background also includes 15 years at Rhythm & Hues, where he contributed to visual effects for films such as Serenity, Men in Black II, X-Men 2 and Around the World in 80 Days.

Heller is also a veteran of Rhythm & Hues, where his credits as VFX Supervisor included Big Miracle, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and The Bourne Legacy. As an independent, he has worked on such films as A Walk in the Woods and Secret in Their Eyes.

 

Heller noted that FuseFX has been planning its entry into VR for more than a year. “We’ve been building relationships and examining opportunities in this new space,” he said. “Once we began to think seriously about it, it took on a life of its own and became part of our paradigm.”

FuseVR was contracted for the Buzz Aldrin project by VR production company 8i. The studio developed the lunar mining base from concepts suggested by Dr. Andrew Aldrin, Buzz Aldrin’s son.  The Martian surface was created from photogrammetry data captured in Morocco, where NASA conducts Martian surface simulations.The most challenging effect, appearing at the climax of the piece, places the viewer in the center of a rapidly expanding Milky Way galaxy.

“The visuals were designed with VR in mind,” explained Myrick. “They include environments that can only be adequately experienced in virtual reality. It’s a moment of wonder.”

“People are wowed by this piece,” Myrick added. “It’s an outstanding project, particularly for our first foray in VR.”

Altenau described the project as an ideal demonstration of what FuseVR brings to virtual reality production. “It went very smoothly and was a great experience for our team,” he said. “It laid the groundwork for future VR projects.”

About FuseFX

FuseFX is a full-service visual effects studio serving the television, feature film and advertising industries from facilities in Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver. Founded in 2006 by David Altenau, the company encompasses a crew of more than 300 highly talented and experienced artists, producers and support personnel. Using its refined, custom database and pipeline, the company can accommodate numerous, high shot-count productions while delivering high-quality, on-time results.

For more information, visit http://fusefx.com

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MPC Delivers Futuristic Spectacle for ‘Ghost in the Shell’

2017-04-13 11:49:23 ccwire-staff

Paramount Pictures’ remake of the 1989 Japanese Manga series Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic visual effects spectacle that tries to pay homage to the anime world in live action. Directed by Rupert Sanders, the film stars Scarlett Johansson as Major — a woman whose brain is implanted in a cyborg body after a terrible crash nearly takes her life. Her new cyborg abilities make her the perfect soldier, but she yearns to learn about her past.

Ghost in the Shell was filmed primarily at Wellington, New Zealand’s Stone Street Studios, with additional shooting in Hong King and Shanghai. WETA Workshop handled the on-set, practical effects, but to fully realize the futuristic world of Ghost in the Shell and some of its fantastic cyborg creatures, the filmmakers tapped international visual effects facility Moving Picture Company as the lead VFX vendor, giving them more than 1,000 shots. The complex work required a close collaboration between the director, production VFX supervisors John Dykstra and Guillaume Rocheron, and MPC’s teams in Montreal, London and Bangalore led by VFX supervisors Arundi Asregadoo and Axel Bonami.

Read the full story at AWN.

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Rising Sun Pictures Sinks Its Claws into “Logan”

2017-03-07 08:22:03 artisanspr

Adelaide, South Australia— Reprising its role on The Wolverine, Rising Sun Pictures joined Director James Mangold’s team for Logan, the third and final installment in 20th Century Fox/Marvel’s “Wolverine” saga. Working under Production VFX Supervisor Chas Jarrett and Co-Producer Kurt Williams, RSP contributed some 230 shots to the dark, visceral tale, with the work ranging from animating the title character’s trademark claws to producing finely-detailed matte paintings of locations in Mexico, Texas and elsewhere.

Logan is a departure from other X-Men movies in tone and style. Set in 2029, it reveals a declining population of X-Men and a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) with diminishing powers. His attempt to hide from the world, and shelter an aging Professor X, is foiled by the arrival of a young mutant.

 

RSP’s work included the movie’s opening scene near the U.S.-Mexico border. Working as a limo driver, Logan is confronted by a gang of thugs. Although his skills are rusty and his adamantium claws don’t work quite the way they should, he dispatches his assailants in a swift, violent flurry, stabbing one through the arm and skewering another straight through his head. Visual effects elements included not only the animated CG claws, but also blood, gore, wounds and body part replacements.

Although RSP had created a number of claw effects for The Wolverine, the speed and complexity of the fight proved challenging. “The story and performance beats were well articulated through bash comps from Chas and editorial mock-ups,” notes RSP VFX Supervisor Dennis Jones. “Still, there was a lot to work out about the mechanical functioning of the claws and how they related to the actors and individual body parts, and we were given considerable license to solve the action in creative ways.”

“It went beyond tight match-moving and claw integration. For some of the really specific penetration moments, we had to remove, stabilize and reposition Logan’s arms, fists and claws to suit the composition and timing of the shot.”

The action was considerably more graphic than in the past, in some instances, shockingly so. “On the earlier films, we worked within PG-13 guidelines, but Logan’s R-rating was confirmed from the start,” Jones explains. “That introduced another dynamic to play with. We could work with less restraint regarding things like blood and claw penetration.”

RSP’s most visually arresting sequence involved Professor X’s application of a “psionic blast,” a huge pulse of energy that affects the mind rather than the body. In the movie, it takes the form of a vortex of violent energy, through which Logan fights his way while fending off “cybernetic “ criminals known as “reavers.” “The blast was the most challenging effect creatively,” says Jones. “The sequence was shot natively with camera shake and so there were no clean takes.  Initially, we explored effects and treatments designed to add tunnel vision vignetting, as well as applying blur and over exposure, but weren’t satisfied with the results.”

Ultimately, the team chose to start over and stabilize the production footage. “We found that shots with high contrast content and aggressive high frequency shake produced ideal results without too much modification,” says co-VFX Supervisor Anthony Smith. “We developed techniques to augment the blur artifacts with custom-animated kernels applied through the FFT (fast Fourier Transform) method. That produced sharp and controllable results.”

The challenges posed by the digital matte paintings were more aesthetic than technical. RSP was charged with replicating several environments so that audiences would accept them as real. They included a border crossing between El Paso and Juarez that featured a bridge, traffic and guard structures integrated with footage shot on location in Juarez. “We were also asked to make a building operated by Transigen (a government program designed to turn mutants into killing machines) look more ominous and secure,” notes Jones. “We did that by dressing a live action plate with full CG props such as cameras, gatehouses and security fencing. Lighting and integration was key in these supporting effects shots.”

Jones says it was exciting for the RSP team to contribute to the conclusion of a story they helped begin. “We were really pleased to work on the limo fight as it sets the tone for the brutality of Logan,” he concludes. “We were also very happy with how well the psionic blast turned out and the reaction it is getting from audiences…the audio adds a lot to the tense, high pressure visuals. We really enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to the film and revisit the Logan character.”

About Rising Sun Pictures:

At Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) we create inspirational visual effects for major studios worldwide. Creating outstanding images is at the core of our existence. At the heart of our talented team, there is a diverse knowledge and skill-set, enabling a collaborative core where we can work together to solve problems and deliver great visuals to our clients. We have achieved some truly amazing visual effects work by providing innovative solutions to technically challenging work. We have the capacity and talent pool to scale to suit the needs of our clients.

Our extensive filmography includes over 100 projects, including Logan, X-Men: Apocalypse, Game of Thrones Season 6, The Legend of Tarzan, Gods of Egypt, Pan, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Hunger Games franchise, the Harry Potter franchise, Gravity, The Wolverine, Prometheus and The Great Gatsby.

rsp.com.au

#rspvfx

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Visual Effects Society Announces Nominees for 15th Annual VES Awards

2017-01-10 16:06:51 ccwire-staff

Los Angeles  – The Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry’s professional global honorary society, announced the nominees for the 15th Annual VES Awards, the prestigious yearly celebration that recognizes outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials and video games and the VFX supervisors, VFX producers and hands-on artists who bring this work to life.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story received the most feature film nominations with seven; Doctor Strange and The Jungle Book follow with six each. Kubo and the Two Strings is the top animated film contender with six nominations and Game of Thrones leads the broadcast field and scores the most nominations overall with 11.

The VES Awards will herald the organization’s milestone 20th anniversary. Nominees in 24 categories were selected by VES members via events hosted by its ten sections, including Australia, Bay Area, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Toronto and Vancouver. The VES Awards will be held on February 7th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  As previously announced, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to multiple Academy Award®-winning visual effects pioneer Ken Ralston.  The Visionary Award will be presented to acclaimed producer and Marvel Studios Executive Vice President of Physical Production Victoria Alonso.

“The artistry, ingenuity and passion of visual effects practitioners around the world have come together to create truly remarkable imagery in a variety of media,” said Mike Chambers, VES Chair.  “We are seeing best in field work that elevates the art of storytelling and engages the audience in new and innovative ways.  The VES Awards is the only venue that showcases and honors these outstanding artists across a wide range of disciplines, and we are extremely proud of all our nominees!”

“The VES Student Award presented by Autodesk spotlights the year’s most stellar work from budding VFX artists and innovators around the world, and we’re proud to be a sponsor of the award again this year. The nominees’ submissions are outstanding, and we look forward to collaborating with this fantastic organization to recognize and celebrate this next generation of filmmakers,” said Chris Bradshaw, Autodesk’s Senior Vice President, Media & Entertainment, Education Experiences, and Impact.

The nominees for the 15th Annual VES Awards in 24 categories are as follows:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Doctor Strange
Stephane Ceretti
Susan Pickett
Richard Bluff
Vincent Cirelli
Paul Corbould

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Christian Manz
Olly Young
Tim Burke
Pablo Grillo
David Watkins

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
Frazer Churchill
Hal Couzens
Andrew Lockley
Jelmer Boskma
Hayley Williams

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
John Knoll
Erin Dusseault
Hal Hickel
Nigel Sumner
Neil Corbould

The Jungle Book
Robert Legato
Joyce Cox
Andrew R. Jones
Adam Valdez
JD Schwalm

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Allied
Kevin Baillie
Sandra Scott
Brennan Doyle
Viktor Muller
Richard Van Den Bergh

Deepwater Horizon
Craig Hammack
Petra Holtorf-Stratton
Jason Snell
John Galloway
Burt Dalton

Jason Bourne
Charlie Noble
Dan Barrow
Julian Gnass
Huw Evans
Steve Warner

Silence
Pablo Helman
Brian Barlettani
Ivan Busquets
Juan Garcia
R. Bruce Steinheimer

Sully
Michael Owens
Tyler Kehl
Mark Curtis
Bryan Litson
Steven Riley

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory
Angus MacLane
Lindsey Collins- p.g.a.
John Halstead
Chris J. Chapman

Kubo and the Two Strings
Travis Knight
Arianne Sutner
Steve Emerson
Brad Schiff

Moana
Kyle Odermatt
Nicole P. Hearon
Hank Driskill
Ian Gooding

The Little Prince
Mark Osborne
Jinko Gotoh
Pascal Bertrand
Jamie Caliri

Zootopia
Scott Kersavage
Bradford S. Simonsen
David Goetz
Ernest J. Petti

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

Black Mirror; Playtest
Justin Hutchinson-Chatburn
Russell McLean
Grant Walker
Christopher Gray

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards
Joe Bauer
Steve Kullback
Glenn Melenhorst
Matthew Rouleau
Sam Conway

Stranger Things; Demogorgon
Marc Kolbe
Aaron Sims
Olcun Tan

The Expanse; Salvage
Robert Munroe
Clint Green
Kyle Menzies
Tom Turnbull

Westworld; The Bicameral Mind
Jay Worth
Elizabeth Castro
Bobo Skipper
Gustav  Ahrén 

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

Black Sails; XX
Erik Henry
Terron Pratt
Aladino Debert
Yafei Wu
Paul Stephenson

Penny Dreadful; The Day Tennyson Died
James Cooper
Bill Halliday
Sarah McMurdo
Mai-Ling Lee

Roots; Night One
Simon Hansen
Paul Kalil
Theo le Roux Preist
Wicus Labuschagne
Max Poolman

The Man in the High Castle; Volkshalle
Lawson Deming
Cory Jamieson
Casi Blume
Nick Chamberlain

Vikings; The Last Ship
Dominic Remane
Mike Borrett
Ovidiu Cinazan
Paul Wishart
Paul Byrne

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Brian Horton
Keith Pope
David Johnson
Tobias Stromvall

Dishonored 2; Crack in the Slab
Sebastien Mitton
Guillaume Curt
Damien Laurent
Jean-Luc Monnet

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Virtual Reality
Andy Rowans-Robinson
Karen Czukerberg
John Montefusco
Corrina Wilson
Resh Sidhu

Gears of War 4
Kirk Gibbons
Zoe Curnoe
Aryan Hanbeck
Colin Penty

Quantum Break
Janne Pulkkinen
Elmeri Raitanen
Matti Hamalainen
Ville Assinen

Uncharted 4
Bruce Straley
Eben Cook
Iki Ikram

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

Coke Mini; A Mini Marvel
Vincent Cirelli
Michael Perdew
Brendan Seals
Jared Simeth

For Honor
Maxime Luere
Leon Berelle
Dominique Boidin
Remi Kozyra

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer
Diarmid Harrison-Murray
Hannah Ruddleston
Fabian Frank
William Laban

Titanfall 2; Become One
Dan Akers
Tiffany Webber
Chris Bedrosian

Waitrose; Coming Home
Jonathan Westley -Wes-
Alex Fitzgerald
Jorge Montiel
Adam Droy

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

Dream of Anhui
Chris Morley
Lee Hahn
Alex Hessler
Kent Matheson

Pirates of the Caribbean; Battle for the Sunken Treasure
Bill George
Amy Jupiter
Hayden Landis
David Lester

Soarin’ Over the Horizon
Marianne McLean
Bill George
Hayden Landis
Dorne Huebler
Thomas Tait

Skull Island: Reign of Kong
John Gibson
Arish Fyzee
Sachin Shrestha
Anshul Mathuria

Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience
Dan Glass
Brett Harding
Tom Debenham
Brian Delmonico
Matt Pulliam

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Niffler
Laurent Laban
Gabriel Beauvais-Tremblay
Luc Girard
Romain Rico

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Grand Moff Tarkin
Sven Jensen
Jee Young Park
Steve Walton
Cyrus Jam

The Jungle Book; King Louie
Paul Story
Dennis Yoo
Jack Tema
Andrei Coval

The Jungle Book; Shere Khan
Benjamin Jones
Julio Del Rio Hernandez
Jake Harrell
James Hood

Warcraft; Durotan
Sunny Wei
Brian Cantwell
Brian Paik
Jee Young Park

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory; Hank
Jonathan Hoffman
Steven Clay Hunter
Mark Piretti
Audrey Wong

Kubo and the Two Strings; Kubo
Jeff Riley
Ian Whitlock
Adam Lawthers
Jeremy Spake

Kubo and the Two Strings; Monkey
Andy Bailey
Dobrin Yanev
Kim Slate
Jessica Lynn

Moana; The Mighty Maui
Mack Kablan
Nikki Mull
Matthew Schiller
Marc Thyng

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode or Real-Time Project

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare; Omar
Bernardo Antoniazzi
Aaron Beck
Jason Greenberg
Chris Barnes

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
John Montefusco
Michael Cable
Shayne Ryan
Andy Rowan-Robinson

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Drogon
James Kinnings
Michael Holzl
Matt Derksen
Joeseph Hoback

Game of Thrones; Home; Emaciated Dragon
Sebastian Lauer
Jonathan Symmonds
Thomas Kutschera
Anthony Sieben

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Commercial

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer
Tim van Hussen
David Bryan
Chloe Dawe
Maximillian Mallman

Opel Motorsport; Racing Faces; Lion
Jorge Montiel
Jacob Gonzales
Sauce Vilas
Alberto Lara

SSE; Neon House; Baby Pixel
Jorge Montiel
Daniel Kmet
Sauce Vilas
Peter Agg

Waitrose; Coming Home
Jorge Montiel
Nick Smalley
Andreas Graichen
Alberto Lara

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

Deadpool; Freeway Assault
Seth Hill
Jedediah Smith
Laurent Taillefer
Marc-Antoine Paquin

Doctor Strange; London
Brendan Seals
Raphael A. Pimentel
Andrew Zink
Gregory Ng

Doctor Strange; New York City
Adam Watkins
Martijn van Herk
Tim Belsher
Jon Mitchell

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Scarif Complex
Enrico Damm
Kevin George
Olivier Vernay-Kim
Yanick Dusseault

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory; Open Ocean Exhibit
Stephen Gustafson
Jack Hattori
Jesse Hollander
Michael Rutter

Kubo and the Two Strings; Hanzo’s Fortress
Phil Brotherton
Nick Mariana
Emily Greene
Joe Strasser

Kubo and the Two Strings; Waves
David Horsley
Eric Wachtman
Daniel Leatherdale
Takashi Kuboto

Moana; Motonui Island
Rob Dressel
Andy Harkness
Brien Hindman
Larry Wu

Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

Black Sails; XXVIII; Maroon Island
Thomas Montminy-Brodeur
Deak Ferrand
Pierre Rousseau
Mathieu Lapierre

Dishonored 2; Clockwork Mansion
Sebastien Mitton
Guillaume Curt
Damien Laurent
Jean-Luc Monnet

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Meereen City
Deak Ferrand
Dominic Daigle
François Croteau
Alexandru Banuta

Game of Thrones; The Winds of Winter; Citadel
Edmond Engelbrecht
Tomoka Matsumura
Edwin Holdsworth
Cheri Fojtik

The Man in the High Castle; Volkshalle
Casi Blume
David Andrade
Nick Chamberlain
Lawson Deming

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

Doctor Strange; New York Mirror Dimension
Landis Fields
Mathew Cowie
Frederic Medioni
Faraz Hameed

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards
Patrick Tiberius Gehlen
Michelle Blok
Christopher Baird
Drew Wood-Davies

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Space Battle
John Levin
Euisung Lee
Steve Ellis
Barry Howell

The Jungle Book
Bill Pope
Robert Legato
Gary Roberts
John Brennan

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

Deepwater Horizon; Deepwater Horizon Rig
Kelvin Lau
Jean Bolte
Kevin Sprout
Kim Vongbunyong

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Princess Leia
Paul Giacoppo
Gareth Jensen
Todd Vaziri
James Tooley

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Star Destroyer
Jay Machado
Marko Chulev
Akira Orikasa
Steven Knipping

Star Trek Beyond; Enterprise
Daniel Nicholson
Rhys Salcombe
Chris Elmer
Andreas Maaninka

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

Alice Through the Looking Glass; Rust
Klaus Seitschek
Joseph Pepper
Jacob Clark
Cosku Turhan

Doctor Strange; Hong Kong Reverse Destruction
Florian Witzel
Georges Nakhle
Azhul Mohamed
David Kirchner

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Jedha Destruction
Miguel Perez Senent
Matt Puchala
Ciaran Moloney
Luca Mignardi

The Jungle Book; Nature Effects
Oliver Winwood
Fabian Nowak
David Schneider
Ludovic Ramisandraina

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory
Stephen Gustafson
Allen Hemberger
Joshua Jenny
Matthew Kiyoshi Wong

Kubo and the Two Strings; Water
David Horsley
Peter Stuart
Timur Khodzhaev
Terrance Tornberg

Moana
Marc Henry Bryant
David Hutchins
John M. Kosnik
Dale Mayeda

Zootopia
Nicholas Burkard
Moe El-Ali
Claudia Chung Sanii
Thom Wickes

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards
Kevin Blom
Sasmit Ranadive
Wanghua Huang
Ben Andersen

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Meereen City
Thomas Hullin
Dominik Kirouac
James Dong
Xavier Fourmond

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer
Diarmid Harrison-Murray
Tushar Kewlani
Radu Ciubotariu
Ben Thomas

Sky; Q
Michael Hunault
Gareth Bell
Paul Donnellan
Joshua Curtis

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

Doctor Strange; New York City
Matthew Lane
Jose Fernandez
Ziad Shureih
Amy Shepard

Independence Day: Resurgence; Under The Mothership
Mathew Giampa
Adrian Sutherland
Daniel Lee
Ed Wilkie

The Jungle Book
Christoph Salzmann
Masaki Mitchell
Matthew Adams
Max Stummer

X-Men: Apocalypse; Quicksilver Rescue
Jess Burnheim
Alana Newell
Andy Peel
Matthew Shaw

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode

Black Sails; XX; Sailing Ships
Michael Melchiorre
Kevin Bouchez
Heather Hoyland
John Brennick

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Meereen City
Thomas Montminy-Brodeur
Patrick David
Michael Crane
Joe Salazar

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Retaking Winterfell
Dominic Hellier
Morgan Jones
Thijs Noij
Caleb Thompson

Game of Thrones; The Door; Land of Always Winter
Eduardo Díaz
Aníbal Del Busto
Angel Rico
Sonsoles López-Aranguren

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial

Canal; Kitchen
Dominique Boidin
Leon Berelle
Maxime Luere
Remi Kozyra

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer
Tom Harding
Alex Snookes
David Filipe
Andreas Feix

Kenzo; Kenzo World
Evan Langley
Benjamin Nowak
Rob Fitzsimmons
Phylicia Feldman

LG; World of Play
Jay Bandlish
Udesh Chetty
Carl Norton

Waitrose; Coming Home
Jonathan Westley -Wes-
Gary Driver
Milo Paterson
Nina Mosand

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

Breaking Point
Johannes Franz
Nicole Rothermel
Thomas Sali
Alexander Richter

Elemental
Adrian Meyer
Lena-Carolin Lohfink
Denis Krez
David Bellenbaum

Garden Party
Victor Caire
Gabriel Grapperon
Théophile Dufresne
Lucas Navarro

Shine
Mareike Keller
Dennis Mueller
Meike Mueller


For more information on the 15th Annual VES Awards CLICK HERE

To PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE CLICK HERE

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Rodeo FX Works its Magic for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

2016-12-22 13:01:03 ccwire-staff

Rodeo FX delivered 126 visual effects shots for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, including many featured creatures and their environments, the magical reconstruction of a destroyed room, and MACUSA – the elaborate headquarters of the wizarding world.

Helmed by David Yates, who directed four Harry Potter movies, Fantastic Beasts is a spinoff to the Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling. When a wizard, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), loses his magical suitcase full of enchanted creatures during a visit to New York, he and his new friends must chase them down and try to recapture them.

A “Niffler”

Assembling a Creature Pipeline
Newt and his friends are able to enter the world of the fantastic beasts through his enchanted suitcase. To build this magical environment, Rodeo FX brought to life a host of beasts, including a Murtlap, a Nundu, Doxies, Butterflies, Gloworms, Grindelows, a family of Diricawls, and adorable Mooncalves.

“Our first significant creature work was done on The Legend of Tarzan. The team did such a great job that Warner Bros. welcomed our bid for Fantastic Beasts” said Arnaud Brisebois, VFX supervisor at Rodeo FX. “The studio recognized our capabilities and trusted us to successfully deliver on this film.”

Brisebois knew that every creature had to be designed within their unique environment with realistic features that audiences would believe to be true. His team was faced with the challenge of mixing diverse anatomical features and traits to invent creature features never before seen on any real animal.

Reconstruction of Jacob’s apartment
After the beasts escape from Newt’s suitcase, they destroy Jacob’s (Dan Fogler) apartment. Newt rebuilds the room using magic, which challenged Rodeo FX to simulate the reconstruction with more digital wizardry of its own. Starting with an environment full of debris, dust, and flying rubble, the artists had to revert the action by pulling the pieces back together. Rather than simply reversing the simulated destruction, they recreated each broken asset individually, defining its trajectory and velocity as the room is reassembled so that it looks like magic at work.

“It was a pleasure to work with Arnaud and the talented team at Rodeo FX on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” said Christian Manz, production VFX supervisor. “Their contribution to the Newt’s Case sequence was truly beautiful and the extensions to MACUSA seamless. I look forward to working with everybody again. Well done!”

To see slide shots of before and after visit RodeoFX.

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A Peculiar Bee Movement

2016-11-25 13:43:55 ccwire-staff

Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,  stars Eva Green, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson, and is the story of Jake Portman, and his journey into a mystery that spans different worlds and times.  He finds Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, where mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.

hughOne of Us, led by supervisors Dominic Parker and Emmanuel Picherau, were tasked with the character of Hugh (Milo Parker). Hugh’s peculiarity is that he is inhabited by bees. In some sequences these bees are calm, tumbling out as he opens his mouth, a few simply circling him. In others, Hugh wears a beard of bees at a carnival side-show. When the children are under attack, he uses his bees as a weapon, sending out a swarm to attack his assailants.

The beard itself was made up of around a hundred bees, wriggling and crawling over each other, each a variation on OOU’s model of a Honey Bee. The team animated the bee swarms to exhibit benign behaviours, going about their everyday business, except when directed by Hugh to go on the offensive. How the bees behaved depended very much on the mood of the scene.

FXGuide interviews One of Us supervisor’s Dominic Parker and Emmanuel Picherau – read the full interview here.

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VFX Wizards Bring "Dr. Strange" Into the Real World

2016-11-16 13:46:55 ccwire-staff

As one of the most powerful sorcerers in the world, Marvel’s Doctor Strange and his cosmic, reality-bending abilities was one of the greatest challenges presented to production and post teams thus far in figuring out how to bring the character to the big screen for Marvel/Disney Studios. Behind director Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) was a talented team that included star Benedict Cumberbatch ( The Imitation Game, Star Trek Into Darkness), DP Ben Davis ( Guardians of the Galaxy), editors Wyatt Smith ( Thor: The Dark World) and Sabrina Plisco ( The Smurfs, TV’s Devious Maids) and Oscar-nominated VFX supervisor and Marvel alumnus Stephane Ceretti ( Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The First Avenger and X-Men: First Class).

As the story of the good doctor unfolds, audiences learn about the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange and how, after a tragic car accident destroys his hands, he must learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions while relying on his skills to juggle the real world and beyond. The film, which was shot in a number of locations, including New York; Kathmandu, Nepal; Hong Kong; and in Pinewood Studios and Longcross Studios in the UK, on Arri Alexa 65 cameras, was largely made possible through the combined mastery of such VFX wizards as ILM, Luma, Method and Framestore (along with Rise, Lola, Crafty Apes, 3D conversion by StereoD and previs from The Third Floor) all under the leadership of Ceretti.

Read the full story at POST.

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A Dozen Series Return for More VFX from FuseFX

2016-11-10 22:50:46 artisanspr

LOS ANGELES— FuseFX continues  to create visual effects for some of the most popular shows on television including 12 series returning to the company for the current season. They include American Horror Story, for which FuseFX won a 2015 Emmy Award. Work on the series is distributed among production facilities in Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver.

Series returning to FuseFX include:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the action series produced by Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Television for  ABC. VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles.

American Horror Story: Roanoke, the horror series produced by Ryan Murphy Productions for FX. VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles.

Empire, the drama produced by Lee Daniels Entertainment for Fox. VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles.

Criminal Minds, the crime drama produced by CBS Television Studios and the Mark Gordon Company for CBS. VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles.

Scorpion, the action series produced by CBS Television Studios for CBS . VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles.

Salem, the fantasy thriller produced by 20th Century Fox and Tribune Studios for WGN. VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Scream Queens, the horror comedy produced by Ryan Murphy Productions for Fox. VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles.

The Walking Dead, the horror series produced by AMC Studios for AMC. VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles.

Impastor, the comedy produced by TVLand Original Productions for TV Land.  VFX by FuseFX, Vancouver.

Dark Matter, the sci-fi drama produced by Blue Penguin for Syfy. VFX by FuseFX, Vancouver.

Mom, the comedy produced by Warner Bros. Television for CBS. VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles.

Rosewood, the crime drama produced Temple Hill Productions and Nickel Productions for Fox. VFX by FuseFX, Los Angeles.

About FuseFX

FuseFX is a full-service visual effects studio serving the television, feature film and advertising industries from facilities in Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver. Founded in 2006 by David Altenau, the company encompasses a crew of more than 300 highly talented and experienced artists, producers and support personnel. Using its refined, custom database and pipeline, the company can accommodate numerous, high shot-count productions while delivering high-quality, on-time results.

For more information, visit http://fusefx.com/

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Creating new worlds for Amazon’s "The Man in the High Castle"

2016-09-29 22:07:55 ccwire-staff

What if Germany and Japan had won World War II? What would the world look like? That is the premise of Philip K. Dick’s 1963 novel and Amazon’s series, The Man in the High Castle, which is currently gearing up for its second season premiere in December.

The Man in the High Castle features familiar landmarks with unfamiliar touches. For example, New York’s Time Square has its typical billboards, but sprinkled in are giant swastika banners, images of Hitler and a bizarro American flag, whose blue stripes have been replaced with yet another swastika. San Francisco, and the entire West Coast, is now under Japanese rule, complete with Japanese architecture and cultural influences. It’s actually quite chilling.

Helping to create these “new” worlds was Zoic Studios, whose team received one of the show’s four Emmy nods for its visual effects work. That team was led by visual effects supervisor Jeff Baksinski.

Zoic’s path to getting the VFX gig was a bit different than most. Instead of waiting to be called for a bid, they got aggressive… in the best possible way. “Both myself and another supervisor here, Todd Shifflett, had read Dick’s book, and we really wanted this project.”

Read the full story and interview by postPerspective’s Randi Altman here.

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