One half of the face above is a photograph, and the other half is a highly detailed computer generated rendering created using a program called KeyShot by Luxion. Can you tell which is which? If you can’t tell, why should we? (Okay, to be honest, we’re not sure either).
Joseph Flaherty over at Wired writes that KeyShot and other programs that can generate photorealistic renders are being widely used for product photos these days, and are quickly killing off jobs that were once held by photographers. Read more…
Here’s a short but fascinating glimpse into the world of CGI, and how photography was used to help digitally build New York from the ground up for The Avengers movie. As it turns out, creating a digital world into which you can insert these actors takes, not only an insane amount of CGI and attention to detail, but a whole lot of photos to lay the groundwork. Read more…
It’s mind-blowing what can be created these days using ordinary DSLRs, a small team of people, and a whole lotta skill with visual effects. The short film above, titled “Grounded“, was emailed in to us by its creator Kevin Margo, who works as the visual effects supervisor at Blur Studios. He says that it was inspired by his father, who passed away from cancer. Here’s the synopsis:
One astronaut’s journey through space and life ends on a hostile exosolar planet. Grounded is a metaphorical account of the experience, inviting unique interpretation and reflection by the viewer. Themes of aging, inheritance, paternal approval, cyclic trajectories, and behaviors passed on through generations are explored against an ethereal backdrop.
It was shot using a Canon 5D Mark II for 24fps footage, a Canon 7D for 60fps footage, and the Canon 24mm, 50mm, and 135mm prime lenses. The software used in post include Vegas, PFtrack, Zbrush/Vray/Max, Fusion, and AE/MagicBullet. Read more…
The image above is one-hundred percent fake. It has no connection whatsoever to the world of things. I created the bolts, lights, textures, and everything else in a free, open-source, relatively easy-to-use software package called Blender. It’s easy enough that even a novice user like me is able to make a pretty convincing image. If you are a photographer that makes a living shooting still-life photos, this should scare you. Read more…
Clothing retailer H&M has sparked quite a bit of controversy after admitting that most of the models featured on its website are computer generated. The company says that pasting real model heads onto CGI bodies provides a better way of displaying clothes made for humans than using real humans to model them. Spokeswoman Nicole Christine tells ABC News:
This technique can be found in use throughout the industry. This is not to be seen as conveying a specific ideal or body type, but merely a technique to show our garments.
It is regrettable if we have led anyone to believe that the virtual mannequins should be real bodies. This is incorrect and has never been our intention. We will continue to discuss internally how we can be clearer about this in the information towards our customers.
Although the identical poses and proportions are hard to overlook, the company does match the skin tones of the bodies to the faces quite well, making the ‘shopped nature of individual photos difficult to detect.
Here’s yet another example of the crazy visual effects found on today’s TV shows — this time it’s from HBO’s series “Game of Thrones“. Just making composites this realistic using still images would be difficult enough, but for video? Wow.
Artificial lens flare is an important part of making certain computer generated scenes look realistic, but up to this point creating realistic lens flare has been a task that requires a good deal of processing power. Now, researchers have come up with a way to simulating lens flare quickly and accurately, taking into account a large number of physical factors that cause the phenomenon:
The underlying model covers many components that are important for realism, such as imperfections, chromatic and geometric lens aberrations, and antireflective lens coatings.
The video above discusses how the technology works, and also touches on the science behind lens flares. The method is patent-pending, and will be presented later this year at SIGGRAPH 2011.