Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Prometheus VFX Breakdown

(Direct link to video) Creating the environment for the science fiction movie Prometheus involved many layers of 3D digital data, some of which came from Google Earth. Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Stammers explains how he used digital scans of a desolate location called Wadi Rum in Jordan as a starting point for constructing the alien planet. "Google Earth became an important tool for any of our previs and shoot planning," he says. From CG Wires
This Saturday, I'll be speaking at MICA in Baltimore in connection with the annual meeting of ASAI, the American Society of Architectural Illustrators. Everyone is welcome, but there's an admission charge. If you'd like to look into attending, here's more info.  


Janet Oliver said...

Interesting. "Prometheus" is filled with references to the David Lean film "Lawrence of Arabia," and here is another. Wadi Rum was Auda abu Tayi's camp, and where he invited Lawrence to dine. Tayi was the leader of the Howeitat tribe, and during the dinner (as portrayed in the film) Lawrence persuaded him and his warriors to join in Lawrence's campaign to take Aqaba from the land. I need to watch the movie again (it would be my fifth viewing!) just to uncover more LOA references!

P.T. Waugh said...

Special effects: A+, Plot and Direction...

Martyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martyn said...

(2nd attempt)

MPC are my former employers I believe Prometheus is the best work they have ever produced.

Despite the changes and uncertainty in the VFX industry, MPC seem to go from strength to strength.

When I first wanted to get into the VFX, I wanted to work for the Jim Henson Creature Shop and Neal Scanlan (who is responsible for the physical creature effects in Prometheus and also produced animatronic Oompa Loompas for Charlie & The Chocolate Factory which MPC was also responsible for) was to be the chap interviewing me for a work placement.

That never materialised unfortunately, and it's sad that the London branch of the Jim Henson Creature Shop shut it's doors around 2003. Primarily a lot of film studios and filmmakers prefer CG to animatronics and we've replaced a lot of them (one example is Heston the Snake in Ella Enchanted - he was originally going to be animatronic but it was decided that he was going to entirely CG).

It's good that Prometheus is able to mix both disciplines - there's room for both even today and I do like a good animatronic character as well as CG creature work.

Aaron said...

Martyn, I enjoyed reading your post. I am an avid movie fan and have become increasingly annoyed by the sheer stupidity of some studios, and their near fanatical obsession with CGI everything. From what I have researched it's often quite a bit cheaper to use physical models, sets and animatronics, verse just CGIng the crap out of it. I think I remember hearing that John Carter had more digital characters than Finding Nemo, A completely computer animated movie? and don't get me started on the state of movie posters (when was the last major film to have a painted/drawn poster verse photomaniping). =D sorry I'l have a more possitive post next time.