Mocap is magic

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This 2:47 showreel from Method Studios was produced for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers Awards, as an exuberant celebration of the many possibilities of motion-capture: simply combine talented dancers, pingpong balls, and computer graphics artists, shake and strain, and voila, the impossible is real. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Deep learning AI "autoencodes" Blade Runner, recreates it so faithfully it gets a takedown notice

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Artist and researcher Terence Broad is working on his master's at Goldsmith's computing department; his dissertation involved training neural networks to "autoencode" movies they've been fed. Read the rest

Generative, collaging architecture system designs impossible, Inception-like cities

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London's Daniel Brown created a generative design system that designs beautiful, brutalist cityscapes that are part Blade Runner Hong Kong, part Inception; he then manually sorts through the results, picks the best, and publishes them in a series called "Travelling by Numbers." Read the rest

Endangered species ads: animals being 3D printed

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A new ad campaign from the International Fund for Animal Welfare features rendered images of cross-sectioned endangered animals on the beds of 3D printers, being printed out, layer by layer. Read the rest

Surreal siege engines and a ruined mansion: new work from CGI artist Jim Kazanjian

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CGI artist Jim Kazanjian's work is both surreal and hyper-real, looking for all the world like photos of true, improbable things. Read the rest

Movie scenes before CGI effects often look very odd and ridiculous

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Above, "Game of Thrones" before the computer graphics.

Guardians of the Galaxy:

Pirates of the Caribbean:

Life of Pi:

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse:

See more at Design You Trust. (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Vintage demo reel from computer graphics firm behind the original Tron lightcycles

Marvel at this computer graphics demo reel created c.1980 by the company Mathematical Applications Group (MAGI). More specifically, you're seeing the work of the firm's MAGI/SynthaVision group, one of the main outfits that created the CGI for Tron, including the light cycles (clip below)! From Wikipedia:

In 1981, MAGI was hired by Disney to create half of the majority of the 20 minutes of CGI needed for the film Tron. Twenty minutes of CGI animation, in the early 1980s, was extremely gutsy, and so MAGI was a portion of the CGI animation, while other companies were hired to do the other animation shots. Since Synthavision was easy to animate and could create fluid motion and movement, MAGI was assigned with most of Tron's action sequences. These classic scenes include the light cycle sequence and Clu's tank and recognizer pursuit scene. Despite the high quality images that Synthavision was able to create, the CSG solids modeling could not create anything with complex shapes and multiple curves, so simpler objects like the light cycles and tanks were assigned to MAGI. MAGI was given $1.2 million to finance the animation needed for Tron. MAGI needed more R&D and many other engineers who were working in government contacts at MAGI were assigned back into MAGI's "Synthavision" division.

MAGI sped up the process of supplying its work to Disney Studios in Burbank by a transcontinental computer hook-up. Before each scene was finalized in MAGI's lab in Elmsford, New York, it was previewed on a computer monitor at Disney.

Read the rest

Digitally animated photos from last year's Burning Man

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Ari Fararooy writes, I digitally animated my photographs from the Burning Man festival to create a surreal illustration of my experiences. Read the rest

Boneless simulated human tumbling through endless giant LEDs

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Can't get enough of nude, 3D-modelled humans with the internal physics of bags of jelly interacting with physics simulations? We've got you covered with Albert Omoss's Plug Party 2K3. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Naked squishy people falling down

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Once you've got a human-shaped 3D model that you've imbued with a suitably squishy physics, what do you do? You could torture thousands of them in a virtual infernal device straight out of The Wasp Factory, but why bother when you can strip them naked and drop them in perfect columns? (via Kottke) Read the rest

HOWTO: terrifying Deep Dreaming costume

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Normally, choosing to dress up for Hallowe'en as a sassy pop-culture meme means you're not going as a terrifying monstrosity from our cultural nightmares -- but with the Deep Dreaming costume, you can be both, with dogs! Read the rest

WATCH: goopy simulated meltful armadillos

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A. Peer, M. Ihmsen, J. Cornelis and M. Teschner's SIGGRAPH paper "An Implicit Viscosity Formulation for SPH Fluids," explored techniques for simulating the physics of smoothed-particle hydrodynamics -- solids that melt and squoosh into liquids and slimes. As interesting as the paper is, the video is a showstopper -- never have simulated anthropomorphic armadillo action-figures been so meltfully delightful! Read the rest

Is bad CGI ruining movies? A nuanced critique

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It's an age-old complaint about video games and films: bad graphics make them suck. But plenty of classic entertainment holds up even if the effects don't. RocketJump Film School examines the issue in a brisk overview. Read the rest

Latent doglizards of cheeseglopping pizza-ads

Take one Google Inceptionism neural-net system, which, when fed its own output over and over, begins to hallucinate dogish-lizardoids in random noise; add one supercut of cheese-porn pizza ads; stir thoroughly and strain. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Go behind-the-scenes with 'Mad Max: Fury Road' raw stunt footage

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This raw footage provides an inside look at the making of Mad Max: Fury Road. Read the rest

Pixar's Renderman released for free

Pixar has released its Renderman imaging software to the public free to download. This version is identical to the software it uses on it's own films, which was invented in-house, and is used today by major film and video game studios for animation and visual effects. This free license is for non-commercial use only, which includes show reels and student films.

Free Non-Commercial RenderMan can be used for research, education, evaluation, plug-in development, and any personal projects that do not generate commercial profits. Free Non-Commercial RenderMan is also fully featured, without watermark, time limits, or other user limitations.

Pixar is also launching a Renderman Community Site to share knowledge and assets, showcase work, and support all the new users bound to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

(via) Read the rest

WATCH: HOWTO create this mind-bending worldscape

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Lightfarm Studios documented the making of "The Verge," this stunning worldscape based on work by Raqsonu Duhu. Lightfarm Brasil has the scoop: Read the rest

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