DreamWorks Animation announced this week that their proprietary MoonRay renderer will be released as open source software later this year. This production renderer has been used on feature films like How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Croods: A New Age, The Bad Guys, as well as the highly anticipated Puss In Boots: The Last Wish hitting theaters on December 21, 2022.
Photo credit: Hidreley Diao via Petapixel
Brazilian Hidrely Diao has always been fascinated with artificial intelligence and just what it can do with deepfakes. What better way to make use of it than on cartoon characters to see just how they would actually look like as humans. Some of these characters would not look out of place in live-action remakes of famous animated features or cartoon series. First up, we have Tinkerbell from Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid’s Prince Eric. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Visual effects designer Clinton Jones wanted to see just how talented some of the best 3D artists are. So, he decided to hold a Alternate Realities CG challenge where 2,400-entries were received. No textures were provided, just a simple animated scene of what appears to be someone lugging a heavy object. The results ranged from science fiction-inspired scenes to a bar of soap walking across a bathroom. Read more for videos of the top 100 as well as all 2400 entries.
In Ragnrok, Thor returns to Asgard to find Heimdall gone and his estranged brother Loki posing as Odin, who is then forced to help him find their father, and with directions from Stephen Strange at the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, they locate Odin in Norway. What could the movie have been like if the main characters used lightsabers instead of a hammer and other weapons? Read more to see exactly this, thanks to ImmersionVFX.
Pixar movies typically begin with a Pixar short film, like Bao with Incredibles 2, Lou with Cars 3, Piper with Finding Dory, and so forth, but for Onward, we’re getting one from The Simpsons universe. That’s right, since the The Walt Disney Company acquired Fox properties, they’re going to screen “Playdate with Destiny” before Onward, starring Maggie Simpson. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Google celebrated Mother’s Day with a three-part, interactive Doodle featuring a duck and her ducklings. After clicking play, three buttons enable search engine visitors to watch a mama duck teaching life lessons to her young offspring, including the way proper way to waddle. “Initially, when the Doodles were on the home page, they were just a static image. And that’s all the bandwidth that people could afford,” says Jessica Yu, the Doodle team lead. Read more for a behind-the-scenes video about this Doodle and additional information.
HBO’s Game of Thrones will return for its final season on Sunday, April 14th (tonight) in the US, and what better way to get hyped than with a visual effects breakdown video from an expert at Pixomondo. Yes, Dany and Tyrion’s boat, which is surrounded by ships, waves, and dragons in one episode, was all shot in front of a green-screen. You can’t that Kit Harington was actually petting a blue rock rather than an actual breathing dragon. Read more for the video and a few bonuses.
Epic Games has just released Unreal Engine 4.22, and it boasts a total of 174 improvements, mainly focusing on “pushing the boundaries of photorealism in real-time environments”. You’ll also find improved build times (up to 3x faster) and new features such as real-time ray tracing. The Ray Tracing feature consists of a series of ray tracing shaders and ray tracing effects to help in achieve natural-looking lighting effects in real-time. The Path Tracer features a full global illumination path for indirect lighting that creates ground truth reference renders right inside of the engine. Read more for two more tech demo videos and additional information.
This is not a live-action movie, just “Rebirth,” which is Quixel’s stunning cinematic short made in Unreal Engine 4.21. It was created by three artists at the company known for its photogrammetry expertise using its Megascans 2D and 3D physically-based asset library. The team spent onbe month in icy rain and thunderstorms scanning locales in Iceland, returning with over 1,000 scans, capturing a wide range of eco-regions and natural environments to feature in the short. Read more to watch and for additional information.
Photo credit: Kisaragi Hutae
Artist Kisaragi Hutae wanted to pay tribute to Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros., so he decided to recreate the iconic World 1-1 level using stop-motion animation. Yes, everything is hand-drawn, including the Question Mark Blocks, Up Mushrooms, to the Goomba stop animation. Sure, there are some imperfections, such as the background flickering slightly between frames, and a blank between each page of the notebook, but that’s what makes it even more incredible. Read more to watch.