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Visual Effects: A global perspective

Published on : March 17, 2010
Visual Effects: A global perspective

Visual effects have become a major part of the entertainment sector across various sectors such as films, broadcast and games over the years. Giving a global perspective of visual effects at FICCI Frames 2010 was the session moderated by Charles Darby, Creative Director & CEO, EyeQube which had Tim McGovern, Co-chair, Visual Effects Society giving the keynote. The panel giving their perspective with their experience comprised of Eric Edmeades, CEO, Kerner and Bruno Sargeant, Film & Television Industry Manager, Media & Entertainment, Autodesk Inc.

The speakers spoke about the changes in the industry & the role of technology in bringing about the changes, making a few fanciful predictions extrapolated from current trends. The most important factor that each of the speakers in the session emphasized on was the story of the film that has to be strong with VFX adding the right punch to it and not expecting a VFX filled movie to be successful even with a bad story.

While Tim McGovern, Co-chair, Visual Effects Society gave an insight into the movies made in Hollywood and what makes them successful Autodesk Inc Film & Television Industry Manager Bruno Sargeant stressed upon the use of upcoming technologies in making movies and how useful they are to the film makers with Eric Edmeades, CEO, Kerner enlightening the audience on how successful 3D stereoscopy is going to be in the coming years.

Tim McGovern said "Movies in the recent years have been involving VFX has gone through a lot of work. It was 2d before and we had to shoot all the necessary elements of a scene. But with 3D it is lot easier to simulate these and it also looks good. There has been a good convergence of technology that can do these visual effects and Hollywood writers can write stories accordingly."

He mentioned that the average number of VFX shots in the recent movies made are about 1500 VFX shots such as Avatar, 2012, Transformers, G-force, Watchmen, Harry potter 6, Star trek, District 9, Sherlock Holmes and Terminator Salvation. With so much of work involved there is a lot management involved between the artists in order to make each shot right. Each of the people involved also needs to be managed and this is one thing that is not unnoticed. The top 40 grossing films of all time are visual effects driven of CG animated among the movies that have come from the US. Since they have been successful they are going to keep making them.

"There is a lot of learning and growths to move from start to Weta for India and also should gain a lot of experience. The other thing that evolved with the growth of VFX, machines and softwares was the making a fully animated feature film. In 1995, Toy Story was made and from then it has been range of animated films that have been successful from Pixar and Dreamworks" added Tim.

Bruno Sargeant gave an insight on how VFX is a global market and how virtual movie making technique coupled with collaborative creation is and can be successful. The virtual movie has worked in a big way with the movie ‘Avatar‘ as the equipment facilitates the director to work with the CG environment in real time. Other movies that use this technology are ‘The Polar Express‘, ‘Tintin‘ and ‘A Christmas Carol‘. He stressed upon the real time environment working out well which would also allow creative collaboration with artists from around the world with the equipment setup.


Eric Edmeades brought out how interesting and entertaining 3D stereoscopy films are and would be for the audience. He went back in his time machine to tell how he and his dad created 3D images with photos of a single subject matter taken from 3 different angles and how long it took for them to develop those and finally create some 3D images. With the advent of technology and its advancement creating 3D has become more easy and quicker.

"There has been a great economic slowdown over the last two years but still that hasn‘t had much impact on the box office in most of the countries. This shows that people still want to entertain themselves and 3D stereoscopy should be the next big thing to hit them. Like how normal colored movies replaced the black and white movie, it is time for 3D stereoscopy to take its turn" said Eric.


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