Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blue Sky Studios PEANUTS by Schulz Trailer #2 Impresses


Tim here, and I have to say that this second trailer for Peanuts coming out in 3D next November is looking better and better with each new trailer. I'll be honest and state that I've been a tad skeptical that these characters, who were drawn in a two-dimensional comic strip, didn't seem like they could translate well to the 3D world. This trailer shows that skeptics are wrong. The animators did a great job with subtle 3D, and what could translate into very pleasing stereoscopic 3D images, and maintaining the classic style and framing of the Peanuts comic strip. The texturing and other modern 3D computer animation techniques are subtle to the eye and invoke the nolstagia we hope to get from this movie. Yet, the trailer hasn't revealed anything about the story yet!

IMDB has this written for the storyline: For the first time ever, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the gang we know and love from Charles Schulz's timeless "Peanuts" comic strip will be making their big-screen debut like they've never been seen before in a CGI-animated feature film in 3D. And if you're yearning for a bit of trivia: This is the first theatrical Peanuts movie in 35 years!


There's also a few still frames below that come with this for you to take a closer look at. It's incredibly impressive what the animators have accomplished. It feels like Charles Schulz drew these.


Peanuts comes to theaters in RealD and Digital 3D November 6, 2015 from Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox.

Check The Full Gag Reel For GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY!


For all of you GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY fans out there (including me), I've been waiting for this! The full blooper reel from the movie in anticipation of the Blu-ray release that's coming on December 9, just in time for the holidays.

Some really funny outtakes and of course Groot and Rocket make appearances as well - so have a look...



Source: Tumblr via CBM

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New BTS Video And The New Extended Trailer For AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON


Take a look at the new extended trailer for Joss Whedon's AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON which features some new shots AND a cool 2 minute Behind The Scenes (BTS) video of the massive production.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the production value in this thing. There's nothing like a huge budget movie delivering the goods on the screen and with the confidence that Marvel has with it's franchise pedigrees I can see ULTRON topping the original both critically and financially.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
Marvel Studios presents AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Patricia Whitcher, Stan Lee and Jon Favreau serve as executive producers.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is due to hit theaters on May 1, 2015.




Via /Film

Monday, November 10, 2014

Blackmagic Design Releases 3D VFX Software Fusion 7


Tim here, and today Blackmagic Design announced that they are releasing the popular visual effects and motion graphics software Fusion 7 for free, with a Studio version for as low as $995. Wow! Like Blackmagic did with DaVinci Resolve and color grading they have now done with Eyeon's Fusion. Back in September Blackmagic announced that it had bought Eyeon in order to acquire this software. Read the full press release below:

Blackmagic Design Revolutionizes the Visual Effects Industry with Fusion 7

Fremont, CA - November 10, 2014 - Blackmagic Design today announced that Fusion 7, the world's most advanced visual effects and motion graphics software, is now available completely free of charge.
Fusion 7 for Windows can be downloaded from the Blackmagic Design website now.
Previously getting access to high end visual effects tools such as Fusion cost thousands of dollars, so it was more restricted to elite Hollywood visual effects artists. Now with Fusion 7 being available free of charge there is no limit to block anyone from creating world leading visual effects. Blackmagic Design believes this will revolutionize the industry and consumers will be able to watch dramatically better feature films and television shows in the future.
Also announced was Fusion 7 Studio, a complete bundle of VFX and motion graphics solutions with collaborative tools and unlimited network rendering for creative teams and larger facilities. Fusion 7 Studio drastically reduces the cost of setting up multi user studios. Fusion 7 Studio will be available for $995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.
Fusion has been one of Hollywood's leading visual effects and motion graphic tools for over 25 years and has been used on thousands of feature film and television projects, including blockbusters like Maleficent, Edge of Tomorrow, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Amazing Spider-man 2 and The Hunger Games, as well as hit television shows like Battlestar Galactica, Orphan Black and many more.
The free of charge Fusion 7 is a fully featured solution and is not limited in it's features. It has a massive visual effects and motion graphics toolset that can be used for both personal and commercial work. Fusion 7 features an infinite 3D workspace and an easy to use node based workflow for quickly building unlimited effects. Customers get advanced 3D compositing, paint, rotoscope, retiming, stabilization, titling, an amazing 3D particle generator and multiple keyers, including Primatte. Fusion 7 also lets customers import and render 3D geometry and scenes from other applications as well as create their own elements from scratch.
The $995 Fusion 7 Studio includes everything found in the free Fusion 7 software, plus adds extra high end features such as optical flow tools for advanced retiming, stabilization and stereoscopic 3D production, support for third party OpenFX plug ins, and distributed network rendering so customers can render jobs on an unlimited number of computers at no additional cost! Fusion 7 Studio also includes Generation, a studio wide multi user workflow and collaboration tool that helps creative teams manage, track and review versions of every shot in a production. Customers can also move projects from the free Fusion 7 software to a workstation running Fusion 7 Studio and take advantage of workflow collaboration and unlimited distributed network rendering.
Unlike other software, Fusion 7 Studio doesn't require annual maintenance fees, subscriptions, a connection to the cloud, or per node render license costs. That means customers don't get tricked into hidden or on going costly payments for software they've already purchased.
"Visual effects software has been expensive for way too long and it's time that this changed. Consumers are screaming for more exciting movies and television programs and so we need to do everything we can to help our customers create stunning visual effects," said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. "Now, with the free version of Fusion, everyone from individual artists to the biggest studios can create Hollywood caliber visual effects and motion graphics! When combined with DaVinci Resolve Lite, customers can get the world's most advanced tools for editing, grading, 3D compositing, visual effects and motion graphics, all absolutely free!"

Availability and Price

Fusion 7 software for Windows is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design web site free of charge. Fusion 7 Studio will be available for $995 at all Blackmagic Design Resellers. Existing Fusion 7 customers and customers on a current Fusion support plan can upgrade to Fusion Studio at no additional charge by contacting Blackmagic Design.

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world's highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design's DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company's Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.
This is incredibly significant because what it means is that the software is available to a whole demographic of independent filmmakers who wouldn't have had access to it before. It also makes doing a stereoscopic 3D production more affordable to a certain extent. The full Studio version of the software comes with numerous stereoscopic 3D controls that aren't available in the free version. According to the official page's information: "Fusion Studio includes the world's most advanced camera matching, stereo alignment, convergence and spatialization tools for creating realistic, eye popping stereo 3D!"

Comprehensive Stereoscopic Tools

When you're shooting stereoscopic 3D it can be incredibly difficult to get perfectly aligned 3D images from the left and right eye cameras and lenses. Fusion uses an optical flow toolset that goes far beyond simple transforms and keystone adjustments to correct the intricate alignment and disparity issues that can occur during production. When creating stereoscopic composites, Fusion simplifies complicated stereoscopic workflows by using a single camera instead of complex stereo camera rigs. Fusion can even create 3D from 2D source material, and is used by more studios than any other solution to convert 2D movies into 3D!

STEREOSCOPIC WORKFLOW

Stereoscopic Production

Fusion Studio is a complete solution for stereo conversion! You can rotoscope different elements for displacement, add a 3D camera to your scene and then adjust for eye separation and convergence distance for amazing 2D to 3D conversions!

Stereo 3D Disparity tools

Fusion Studio includes specific tools to solve intricate issues that result from live action stereo production. Repair polarization, color, defocus and even timing differences between two cameras!

Optical Flow

Automatically repair problems with footage using advanced Optical Flow image analysis in Fusion Studio! Remove scratches and dust, smooth color variations and grain, even use optical flow to create super smooth retiming effects!
This is pretty sweet! And this software has been used on numerous Hollywood Blockbusters, including a few 3D flicks you might recognize. Fusion has been used for nearly 25 years to create the visual effects and motion graphics for some of Hollywood's biggest blockbuster films and television shows. This is the first time it is available so widely at two great prices: FREE & $1K.

Now it is only available for Windows Systems at this time. However, Grant Petty revealed on the Blackmagic Forums that they are working on a Mac OS version. Yet, at this time it is impossible for them to predict when that release will be. This is due to the infrastructure of the buttons having been built for Windows with the coding. They haven't left out the Mac users, and plan on opening it up to them as well as to allow all independent filmmakers the option to start experimenting with the free version and then move on to the full Studio version.

So there you have it. If you're running Windows you can head over to the Blackmagic Design Support Page and download it: here

Thursday, November 06, 2014

STAR WARS EPISODE VII Title Revealed!


Tim here, and in additional news for the day we finally have a title for  star wars episode vii: THE FORCE AWAKENS! Revealed in a tweet from Walt Disney Pictures announcing a wrap on Principle Photography. The reveal of the title brings with it many questions: What does it mean? Why does the Force need to be awakened? Is is JJ Abrams secretly Jar Jar Binks? Okay the last one is a goof, but still we're left with a lot of unknown information at this point about the plot of the movie. The title does little to reveal anything more.
star wars episode vii: the force awakens is set to hit theaters Dec. 18, 2015. JJ Abrams is directing, and it stars John Boyega, Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher also reprising their roles.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Theatrical Trailer is Here!


Tim here, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Theatrical Trailer is finally here! YAY! I've put it above so you can watch it front and center. It's so dark and so intense. This isn't the children's story the book was originally anymore. This film will definitely lead into The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The emotional stakes are high.

My first thoughts are: WOW! Peter Jackson will make his last journey into Middle-Earth an epic one. And it's going to look so good in Native Stereoscopic 3D and High Frame Rates shot on 3ality Technica rigs. About one month to go until this movie is unleashed upon the world, and the anticipation is so great. This trailer gives us only glimpses of what to expect. I plan on being thoroughly surprised by his vision.

The release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies arrives in theaters December 17th, 2014 in IMAX 3D, RealD 3D, HFR 3D.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Tomorrow the Final HOBBIT Trailer Arrives!




Tim here. As you can see from The Hobbit's Facebook post tomorrow the final dragon... I mean trailer... will descend upon Laketown... I mean us. Man, I really want to see this movie. Look out for our post tomorrow as soon as it arrives.

The release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies arrives in theaters December 17th, 2014 in IMAX 3D, RealD 3D, HFR 3D.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Fall Stereographer Interview Series - STALINGRAD's Céline Tricart

Our Fall Stereographer Series continues and has a great list of the world's best stereographers and technicians. Our goal is to enlighten you about the modern stereographer, his/her role in major tentpole productions, new technology and expert advice for the up and coming new generation of 3D creators. Be sure to check out all our interviews right here.

Next up is a fast-rising, behind the camera star in the 3D world, Céline Tricart. She's multi-talented as she is also a writer, director and producer - but I want to focus on her 3D passion. She is an independent filmmaker and was stereographer on Gordon Chan's THE FOUR 2 (2013), DERRIERE LES MURS (French supernatural thriller) and the short film OUTSIPLOU. Further testifying to her talents is the trust that large budget productions place on her as well - she was 3D Rig Technician for both Fedor Bondarchuk's STALINGRAD and Michael Bay's TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

She has already directed several shorts, three of which were shot in 3D, and received many awards around the world. Since 2008 when she graduated from the famous ENS Louis Lumiere film school in Paris, she was the stereographer of more than 20 live broadcast, commercials and documentaries, and of the first French 3D feature film BEHIND THE WALLS from directors J. Lacombe and P. Sid (Sombrero Productions- 2010). She has worked with the R and D department of the french company Binocle (3D rigs and softwares) during 4 years as lead stereographer. Further, Céline has published a book about 3D storytelling in early 2013 which is available worldwide. She works now closely with the award-winning company 3ALITY Technica on numerous projects.

Celine is now developing her first feature film with award winning producer, Roger Frappier (“Jesus of Montreal”, “The Decline of the American Empire”, “The Grand Seduction”) and his Canadian production company, MAX FILMS. This film will of course be shot in 3D! Celine is also looking into TV as a fascinating new medium to tell her compelling stories. Her new book “Directing 3D: Concepts and Techniques for Stereoscopic Filmmakers” will be published by Focal Press in 2015 worldwide.

I think Céline represents one of the best of the best for up and coming stereographers in the world. Let's get to know her opinion on the Stereographer Series questions!

Hi Céline, I really want to thank you for taking the time to chat with me today! Could you tell me what's your favorite 3D movie and why?
Céline Tricart: My pleasure Jim. Gravity of course! 3D is the perfect way to tell this particular story, the tension relies on distances, depths, space! It's also technically very well done but to me it's first and foremost a good story and a director who wanted to use stereoscopy to enhance his storytelling.

Explain your thoughts on the native 3D vs. 3D conversion debate as it stands with today's technology?
CT: The real debate is elsewhere. I don't care if it's native 3D or conversion, if the 3D is considered as a filmmaking tool and used properly in accordance to the story, then I'm in. I believe in the future of hybrid movies, part of it being shot natively, part of it converted depending on what's easier / has a better quality / is cheaper. I generally prefer native 3D because it means having 3D monitors on set and that gives the creative crew the opportunity to learn this new medium and use it in a better way.

Right. Real-time feedback to the creatives. What do you make of the negative comments that Seamus McGarvey has made regarding 3D?
CT: Clearly this interview is dated. He talks about lenses changes that takes 45min while today it's between 3 and 4 minutes with a good 3D rig and an efficient 3D crew. It's funny he doesn't even remember the exact name of the rig he used. I guess the DP who used the first HD cameras in the 90's probably had the same point of view... But it would have been unfair to use these reviews to judge the HD cameras of the years 2000. It's also funny he said they had a stereographer on set on Avengers who was a pain in the ass... Avengers is, still today, one of the best 3D-converted movies, to me it means it was definitely worth it! People don't like to change, that's why most DPs hate digital compared to film, and 3D compared to 2D. I don't mind! As far as I'm concerned, I'm always on the lookout for new ways of telling compelling stories. Intellectual curiosity and need for experimentation is the best human quality I think.

Speaking of change, how to you position China now on the world cinema stage now that they have ~20,000 3D screens in place and growing?
CT: Definitely the biggest player out there for 3D box office. Most of the tentpoles now integrate Chinese locations and famous local stars. And the Chinese audience loves 3D! They're not stupid though, and if the studios keep sending them bad 3D conversions we'll get bored and upset. I hope they won't kill the golden goose...

What brought you to 3D in the first place? (chance, study, interest, etc)
CT: Chance! I feel really lucky to know a bit about 3D and have this amazing additional tool as a director! It was 2006, I was in film school in Paris and the french 3D club organized a screening in our projection room. It was basically a bunch of retired guys, building 3D rigs in their garage but they said something that changed my life: they said 3D was ready technically (well, almost!) and now what was desperately needed was writers, directors, artists to transform it into an art form. It blew my mind! I decided to write my end-of study essay about 3D storytelling and I directed a 6-minutes short film in 3D. It was very empowering to feel like a pioneer, to reinvent all the filmmaking rules and create a new language for this technology.

What is your preferred set up on set? (camera, rig, lens, etc)
CT: Technology is changing very fast... If I had to shoot a feature tomorrow I would probably choose Red Epics with 15-40 Optimo and a TS5 3ality Technica rig. With this configuration I know I can shoot as fast as in 2D and do steadycam, handheld...

Are there any new stereoscopic technologies coming out in the field that has your interest?
CT: I'm really interested in VR and shooting a fiction in 360 degrees 3D ! I can almost hear people complaining about it: "What's the point of not having a point of view decided by the director? What if the audience is not looking at the main character? Film was so much better..." VR is a new challenge, we'll have to figure out what storytelling in VR means... I'm very excited about it !

When working with optics do you find there is disparity between how long it takes to make a 2D lens change verses a modern 3D set up?
CT: Of course, you have to change 2 lenses instead of one and to redo the 3D alignment... With a decent crew and a modern 3D rig it shouldn't take more than 3 or 4 minutes though.

If you have worked with 3D conversions as a stereographer adviser on set, how are the general interactions with the cinematographer and director as opposed to a native 3D production?
CT: I've worked as an on-set stereographer for a Chinese movie that was shot in 2D and later converted. I had a blast! The Chinese / Hong Kong crew has eager to learn and "think in 3D" despite the fact they were shooting with a 2D Arri alexa like they usually do. I trained the DP and director as much as I could, and stayed on set for two weeks. The first few days I had to intervene a lot, mostly about the framing (get rid of blurry foregrounds, over the shoulder etc.) and the depth of field. After a week I didn't have to say anything anymore. They got it right away, embraced it and had a lot of fun with it!

What would be your favorite shot for 3D and why?
CT: Long steadycam POV shot I guess... Works really well and 3D makes sense as we see in 3D in real life.

Obviously 3D has matured since the late 2000's both in technology and expertise. What credentials / experience would you mention that helps separate you from the field and brings you to the top of the industry?
CT: I don't think I'm at the top of the industry! I'm still learning, and enjoying it a lot! My ultimate goal is to direct a 3D feature film, hopefully soon... Then I'll be able to use this credential and pretend I'm at the top in the industry !

Many would agree with me that you should be mentioned in the best of the best. Speaking of learning, what education would you recommend to up and coming stereographers / cinematographers in today's world?
CT: I'm not very familiar with US film schools, but I think the best education is to watch as many 3D movies as possible, take notes of what you liked / disliked, and then watch the movie again without the 3D glasses so you can identify the type of 3D settings or shots that works best. And do some tests, experiments! It's very easy to build a cheap 3D camera or to buy some of the prosumer ones out there.

Do you have a post-production software preference for working with the stereo images to do any fine tuning you need to do?
CT: Not really, the software changes and gets better every year.

How important is resolution? Would more pixels be more important for stereo 3D? Higher dynamic range? HFR?
CT: None of these are "necessary" for 3D. It's a matter of storytelling, again. Is the story demanding a higher resolution? HFR? HDR? Maybe no, maybe yes! I like the HFR technology but to be honest I didn't really like it in "The Hobbit". It's a fantasy film, taking place in an imaginary and magic world, I don't think the realistic effect of the HFR is suitable for this type of story.

Are there any specialty filters that you find enhance the stereo images? How about specialty filters that you have found should never be used?
CT: Whatever filter the DP wants to use, we can make it work. Sometimes it's tricky because it means ordering a filter big enough to cover the entire mirror box of a 3D rig. Some specialty filters can create different effects on each lenses and therefore retinal rivalry. That's why I believe in hybrid filmmaking: Is a particular scene requires a specialty filter and the director doesn't want to add it in post, then why not shooting this scene in 2D and convert it in 3D in post ?

Split focus diopters are a popular tool in 2D. Do you think a director looking for an effect like that can get that in stereo 3D?
CT: I've never try to do it in native 3D but it's probably worth trying, especially because we love wide depth of field in 3D! If it's technically too challenging, then again this shot can be converted in post. Anything is possible!

Open mic: What is the biggest challenge that you'd like to openly discuss about today's 3D?
CT: Same thing as 2, 3, 4 years ago: We have to get rid of the ticket upcharge for 3D! Do we pay an upcharge to see a movie in cinemascope? In color? In surround sound? If seeing a movie in 3D cost as much as a 2D movie, it will encourage independent filmmakers and smaller budget to shoot in 3D because they'll know their audience will go and see it.

Open mic: What are you happiest about in the 3D field?
CT: The technology and 3D rigs have never been better, and the best 3D movies I've ever seen has been released in the last 3 years. It's very encouraging to see talented directors getting interested in this new language! Hopefully the new generation will have the same open mind.

If there was one thing you could change about the industry what would it be?
CT: No upcharge for 3D movies!

Thanks so much for your time on this Céline! Congratulations on TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION being the number one box office movie around the world thus far for 2014! Almost $1.1 billion. And... I loved the 3D. Looking forward to seeing more of your stereo work soon Céline!

Stay tuned for our next interview in the Fall Stereographer Series coming soon!




Friday, October 31, 2014

UPDATE: Theatrical Trailer for THE HOBBIT 3 Coming Nov. 6?

Tim here, and Happy Halloween everyone. It's the last day of October and we still haven't gotten a theatrical trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies like we thought. TORN is reporting that November 6th may be the date. Warner Bros. will likely pair it with another big movie of theirs: Interstellar. This is a slight margin of error for PJ's earlier comments this year. We can't hold it against him as we all know delays are bound to happen. Plus today is a special day for him.

We'll keep an eye out and share it with you as soon as it hits. For the meantime enjoy dressing up as your favorite characters from your favorite 3D movies this year... Happy Halloween. And... Happy Birthday Peter Jackson!

The release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies arrives in theaters December 17th, 2014 in IMAX 3D, RealD 3D, HFR 3D.

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