21 December 2009

I’ve just seen Avatar movie, and the next day I started searching making-of movies on the Internet. It’s still early, but I found some screens. It was an awesome movie, and the cinema experience contributed a lot to it.

In 2000, Sony agrees to help Cameron build his “holy grail” camera system. Over the next few years, he develops a lightweight, dual-lens, hi-def digital camera capable of shooting precisely calibrated 3-D images that won’t give viewers a headache. The new equipment is used to film Avatar’s live-action sequences.

To create a precise template for the CG sequences, actors first perform scenes in a barren warehouse. Cameron views the action through a virtual camera — an LCD that shows the actors as 10-foot-tall aliens inhabiting Pandora’s lush environment. This system allows Cameron to position performers and direct action while seeing a real-time simulation of the finished product.

The actors wear bodysuits dotted with small reflectors. LEDs shoot near-infrared light into the room while up to 140 digital cameras track the reflections. The data is fed into a system that correlates the reflections with the actors’ movements. As the actors move around the sound stage, the system creates a 3-D record of the entire scene. Later, it’s mapped onto the digital rendering, making the CG sequences appear realistic.

Each actor wears a head rig that holds a tiny HD video cam a few inches away from their face. The camera’s wide-angle lens records every subtle facial twitch, blink, and lip curl. The data is then mapped onto the CG face.

After the performances are captured, Cameron returns to the warehouse, now empty of actors. Techs cue up the performances one by one as Cameron uses his virtual camera to choreograph the camera moves — tracking shots, dolly shots, crane shots, pans. The movements are tracked by the same system that records the actors. Cameron’s work is then incorporated into the rendering system so his every directing decision is reflected in the finished product.

Source: Wired Magazine

Week Highlights: 9, 2012

30 November 2009


I’ve been pretty busy this weekend with wrapping up several web projects, messing with WordPress database and trying to fit in a SimplePress forum plugin. The latter was the hardest and I ended up using a default skin provided by the author. It matches my theme and I’m happy with it. SimplePress REALLY needs a UI overhaul.

I needed some time off so I went to the cinema and saw 2012. Pretty interesting. Cheesy American stuff some critics may say, but I’m impressed by visual effects and cinematography techniques. I also saw 9, a 3D animation movie. Really great, the atmosphere, the characters, the camera movement, everything was absolutely perfect. Steam-punk genre.

movie-9 2012

Sunday was a movie day also, this time at home, in bed, in front of the computer. Several nice flicks I’d say, but not worth mentioning here.

Oh, and, by the way, watch this.

Latest Video Work

27 May 2009

This is some of my video work in the past months. I’ve been playing with 3D scenes and renders, trying to build a nice demo reel. Stay tuned for the demo reel as it is still under development.

This is the intro of the demo reel. I got some inspiration from the Crysis intro and I tried to replicate the metal circle.

Remember not to use space scenes in your demo reels. They are ugly and everyone can do it.

This is a small fragment from the demo reel intro where I’ve used some excessive motion blur for the explosion. Looks nice, though.

This is a transfocalization/traveling test in 3DS Max and it looks damn good. I used keys for camera’s field of view.

This is the intro movie of my Romanian link directory, AfaceriOnline.net. It was used to promote the site in its early stages.

History Of the Internet

11 March 2009

An animated documentary explaining inventions ranging from time sharing to file sharing, from ARPANET to Internet.

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.

Max Payne

15 December 2008

I’ve been a great fan of the Max Payne game series, and I was looking forward to see the movie ever since I heard about it. I’ve seen the movie last night and it was great. I wondered what the hell were those Valkyries, and what were they doing in the movie, and then I realized they needed a twist to make this flick a challenge. Otherwise, who would’ve watched it if they knew what was going to happen just next?

I also found some  photos and I post them here.

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