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The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark, aired on PBS in 1981.

Real-life Portal adventure

Jason Craft is very good at special effects. As proof, I offer this homebrew Portal video, in which Craft and friends animate an excellent (and rather comical) Portal adventure. I was amazed to discover that the gun itself is also animated.

My interpretation of what a real POrtal gun would be like if one existed. Based on the video game, POrtal. I tried to match the game as close as possible. This was the most challenging project I have ever undertaken, consisting of 3D tracking, seamless camera cuts and 3D camera projection. This started out as an experiment since I didn't think I could even pull it off, if I knew it would've turned out as good as it did I would've put more of a story behind it. O well, it makes up for in Visual Effects, ENJOY!

Breakdowns are coming.

For those of you that think the gun is a physical prop you can buy, well.....sorry to break the news to you, but it's entirely CG. The 3D Portal gun was replacing/covering up a painted up coffee can with tracking markers.

POrtal: Terminal Velocity (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Animatronic wonders of John Nolan

John Nolan is a special effects roboticist who creates stunning animatronic effects for film and elsewhere. His showreel, above, is a mesmerizing tour of the uncanny valley where he dwells.

Amazing Animatronics by John Nolan (Thanks, Quinn!)

Playing God with a high-speed/high-def video camera

Tom Guilmette spent a productive evening locked in a Las Vegas hotel room with a Phantom Flex high-speed/high-def video camera, taking high-speed footage of water, breaking glasses, himself jumping on the bed, and other everyday phenomena that become amazing and dramatic when slowed down to wachowskiian speeds and cleverly edited.

Violating the laws of nature. Playing God. Capturing stuff we are not supposed to see. Potentially opening up a wormhole in the fabric of time.

These are a few of the things I think about while shooting with a Phantom High Speed Digital Cinema camera. The above video is a bunch of test footage I shot to get familiar with the new "Flex" version. I shot inside my Las Vegas Palms Casino hotel room between the hours of 2am and 6am. If you had a Phantom in your bedroom, you would stay up too!

LOCKED IN A VEGAS HOTEL ROOM WITH A PHANTOM FLEX (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Nice survey of great title design

A Brief History of Title Design from Ian Albinson on Vimeo.

Last year, Pesco mentioned the new SXSW Title Design Competition. Ian Albinson's presentation video for this year's SXSW "Excellence in Title Design" competition screening summarizes a lot of the really good work in film (and some recent television), from Intolerance, to Enter the Void. Some good films to add to your watch list, too. Link has full list of titles. Video link.

Cracking ice-sheets sound like Star Wars blasters

This remarkable recording of ice-sheets cracking on a frozen lake sounds just like a Star Wars blaster fight. Andreas Bick, a Berlin sound designer/composer, made the recording and explains, on his Silent Listening blog: "In my experience, thin ice is especially interesting for acoustic phenomena; it is more elastic and sounds are propagated better across the surface. Snowfall, on the other hand, has a muffling effect and the sound can only travel to a limited extent. The ice sheet acts as a huge membrane across which the cracking and popping sounds spread. Underwater microphones proved especially well-suited for these recordings: in a small hole drilled close beneath the surface of the water, the sounds emitted by the body of ice carry particularly well."


Dispersion of Sound Waves in Ice Sheets (via Kottke)

(Image: Frozen Lake, a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike image from m.prinke's photostream)