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3D Printing for Special Effects

Great insight into how 3D printing is used at Legacy Effects. You should also watch the videos about their Comic Con robot project.

(via pixelsham)



Remember when I posted photos of the Shanghai Financial Center? That iconic skyscraper that looks like a bottle opener:


Well, they are building an even bigger skyscraper next to it. When I was in Shanghai it was just an empty construction site. Now it’s almost finished.

And here’s some Russian guys climbing it:


Cerro Torre

A trailer for an upcoming documentary about a young Austrian who free-climbed a mountain that even for alpinists is one of the most challenging ones.

I was involved in creating some computer animations (none of which can be seen in the trailer though). But it’s a great movie and a great story.

Edit Button

I think this is how directors and producers think postproduction works 🙂

(found via

There’s also version 1.0

Monster of Nix

I had heard about the short film “Monster of Nix” by Dutch film-maker Rosto before but I haven’t seen it yet. Now I’ve stumbled upon some breakdowns of the VFX by Daan Spruit. It’s a really great demonstration of the kind of thoughts that already went into shooting the live action elements.

The other 5 clips (overview on vimeo) are great as well. They demonstrate the use of Fusion’s shaders and 3D system to – I’m assuming – cut down on render time for reflections and backgrounds.

Syntheyes Planar Tracking

These videos showing the new 3D planar tracking capabilities of Syntheyes have convinced me to invest in an upgrade:

Speaking of which… I have recently uploaded an updated Fusion export script for Syntheyes to vfxpedia. I wrote it a year ago and submitted it for inclusion but so far, Syntheyes is still shipping with that really old Fusion 5 exporter (which works but is lacking a few features). Here’s what I’ve changed:

  • Support for stereo camera pairs
  • Create locked cameras to prevent their accidental modifications
  • Added project info to comp’s comments tab and footage name to camera’s comments
  • Fixed cross-platform problems for object paths in FBXMesh
  • Generate meshes that are positioned correctly when imported into Fusion.
  • Nodes aligned to grid and spaced for tile pictures
  • Disabled clip lists in Loader, fixed length calculation and supported QuickTime
  • Updated input names of 3D tools (SceneInput and Output instead of “Data3D”)
  • Characters other than alphanumeric letters are invalid in node names and will be replaced by “_”

All of it is based on the Fusion 5 script (C) Russ Andersson and is provided AS IS without any warranty.

Download fusion6.szl here and put it into Syntheyes’ user scripts folder.

Looking at the latest exporters for AfterEffects, I can see that this script might still not be up to par so I’m currently revamping the script to fix some bugs and add support for planar trackers.

Still, the connection between Fusion and Syntheyes ought to be much closer as both support Python scripting now! My plan is to write some scripts for both applications so they can share cameras and point clouds much more seamlessly. Let me know if you have ideas on how to approach such a workflow! For starters, I was thinking of a “Track This” tool script for Fusion that sets up a scene in Syntheyes.

update 03/2014: I’ve released such a script.

In-Camera FX

Here’s a look behind the scenes of an Old Spice commercial that is mostly done in-camera. Nice!

The lack of a green or blue screen makes me think that most of the postproduction was roto. And – if you look closely – fish.