This year's Ghost In The Shell adaptation was a visually stunning movie — helped in no small part by the gorgeous practical effects, props and costumes built by New Zealand's Weta Workshop. In fact, far more of the film's beautiful visuals were built physically than most people would expect. We went to Weta to find out what went into building the world of Ghost In The Shell— and what it's like when your painstakingly crafted work is hidden behind layers of digital effects.
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War for the Planet of the Apes tells its story very well, but all of that might be for nothing if the effects that created the apes weren't perfect. But it's not just the ape fur and faces that are missing from reality. Most of the locations don't really exist. At least, not in the way they look on screen.
No one at Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop does anything in halves. Ever. Even former Mythbuster Adam Savage was near-speechless after a recent visit to the studio to meet sculptor Johnny Fraser-Allen and the enormous project he's undertaken: building a room-sized, fully sculpted replica of the Labyrinth board game we saw last year.
We've come a long way since the days of Cool World and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I mean, just look at last December's blockbuster, The Hobbit. Peter Jackson's Weta Studios (the same group that created Looper's skylines and District 9's extra terrestrial tech) leverages cutting-edge CGI techniques to meld live action and digital animation so seamlessly you'd swear those giant eagles were real.
It's no secret that Peter Jackson, WETA and New Line Cinema are all trying to justify the special effects and frame rate of The Hobbit before its release in a few weeks. It's now emerging that Sir Ian McKellen, the seemingly-unflappable Gandalf The Grey, was reduced to tears by the effects on the shoot of the film.
New Zealand, you're getting cooler by the day! Just look at this wonderful, massive Gollum sculpture, which now hovers playfully over the food court at Wellington Airport. Built by the folks at the Weta Workshop and installed in a brutal, three-day hoisting marathon, the installation is part cultural enrichment and part (you guessed it) promotion for Peter Jackson's upcoming flick The Hobbit.
How many times have you read on a game box or skimmed an interview and saw these words come out of a game studio's mouth: "we're going for absolute realism in our game"? You might wander into a store and pick up a copy, only to pop it into your console or PC and be utterly disappointed by another unrealistic FPS or RPG that completely misses the mark. Should we just abandon all hope that video games will ever look as good as the movies do? Not necessarily. Meet Guy Williams. You may remember him as the visual effects supervisor (read: FX boss) on a little project called The Avengers.
Maybe it's just because I've seen every photo and film released regarding Avatar to date, but those blue aliens, the Na'vi, the ones that looked so strange and hyperreal the first time I saw them? Totally normal now.
Remember those incredible live-action Halo shorts? Well, that director has his first full-length movie coming out, and it looks downright badass.
We've seen a Disney artist draw some technically proficient images on the iPhone, but for some reason—maybe it's the hardware, maybe it's the content—we just weren't as captivated.