An Inside Look at Industrial Light & Magic’s Incredible Visual Effects Work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens
FXGuide has created a 50-minute documentary that follows host John Montgomery as he heads to Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco and gives us an inside look at the incredible visual effects work that they put into Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Hear from ILM’s senior visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett, visual effects supervisor Patrick Tubach, animation supervisor Paul Kavanagh, environments supervisor Susumu Yukihiro, compositing supervisor Jay Cooper and asset build supervisor Dave Fogler as they run through key scenes from the film.
Achilles has shared an amazing visual effects breakdown of how Star Wars: The Force Awakens was brought to life for everyone to enjoy. The side-by-side breakdown shows just how much work J.J. Abramsand the Industrial Light & Magic VFX and animation studio put into merging the real and visual effects.
Talented Percussionists Make Beautiful Music Upon the Frozen Waters of Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia
In 2012, talented percussionists from the Irkutsk, Russia group Ethnobeat gathered together in -20 Celsius weather, 6 hours from their home, in order to make beautiful music upon the frozen waters of Lake Baikal. The Siberian lake is known as the oldest, deepest and clearest lake in the world, which made for a beautiful array of sound as the ice was drummed, cleared and smashed. The idea for the project came from a small accident, per the Siberian Times.
The wife of one of our drummers, Sergei Purtyan, slipped and fell down, and as she landed on the ice, she made a very musical ‘boooooom’ sound – so nice and deep that her husband, who has a very good ear, said ‘Hold on, what was it? How did you make that noise?’ She laughed but then got curious, too, and they started touching and drumming on the bits of ice, realising it was making a melody. He recorded it on the phone, got back to Irkutsk and let us listen, asking if we might want to go together to the same spot and try and record our ice drumming.
Lexus has created what it claims is the world’s most advanced hoverboard. Engineers at Japanese car company Lexus have been working with experts in super-conductive technology to create one of the most advanced hoverboards the world has ever seen. The website states that “the Lexus Hoverboard uses magnetic levitation to achieve amazing frictionless movement. Liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets combine to allow Lexus to create the impossible.” The prototype is being tested in Barcelona in the coming weeks. The sad news is, the Lexus Hoverboard is only a prototype, so will not be for sale. “It’s the perfect example of the amazing things that can be achieved when you combine technology, design and imagination,”said Mark Templin, executive vice president of Lexus International.
Mysterious disembodied hands sprouted from walls and sidewalks in Barcelona in “Hands”, a 2012 street art project. The hands were posed in provocative gestures — begging for change, holding nooses, menacing passersby with mimed pistols — as a commentary on the upheaval caused by the Eurozone economic crisis. The project was created by four artists: Octavi Serra, Mateu Targa, Pau García, and Daniel Lugany.
This time-lapse video shows the painstaking process of digitally restoring and colorizing a badly deteriorated old photograph. The time-lapse is by TheHatersalad of THS Photo Restoration.
Five-time Emmy nominated VFX Supervisor Jeff Campbell and three-time Emmy nominated Supervising Producer, Luke Groves led Spin’s team to deliver over 200 shots for the season, including Mance Rayder’s Camp, the Direwolves compositing sequences in the Northern Forest, CG crows, the 3D Unsullied Army, the Twins matte painting and The Wall 3D environment.
An Italian man does yoga with his cute little Chihuahua dog perfectly mimic his every move. Cute!
How sans serif is your beard? Are your chin whiskers more of a Bodoni, a Times, or a Comic Sans? Exactly what typographical allegiances does your facial ‘fro owe? And what is your favorite font’s beard brother?
These are the questions asked by the Typography Beard Guide, a humorous chart by artist and beard wearer Christian Goldemann, in which 25 popular facial hair styles are assigned a font based upon their layout and characteristics of its follicles.
Asked by Co.Design about what makes a good font brother for a beard, the Stuttgart graphic designer is the first to admit he can’t really explain it in words. “For most of the facial hair styles, I picked fonts based upon the shape of the beard or whether a particular person who wore that kind of beard would have favored a particular font,” Goldemann tells me. “But it’s more than just linking a certain beard to a font that was contemporary at a time, or to a person. There’s no set formula.”
Nonetheless, you can pretty easily intuit the method behind the madness of the Typography Beard Guide. A plain moustache like the one John Watson liked to wear gets paired with the Baskerville font because of the Sherlock Holmes connection. A Darwin style beard is font brother to the sensible and eminent Hoefler Text, which seems like a font Darwin would have liked. The Old Dutch becomes the moustache-less beard of righteous, no-nonsense Garamond, while wearing No Beard at all makes your face as bald, boring, and openly readable as Verdana.
Other pairings aren’t necessarily as obvious. For example, an Egyptian Goatee is paired with Clarendon, a font-beard combination that makes sense only if you know that Clarendon is a slab serif, or Egyptian, style font. Balbo and Bembo seem mostly paired for the pleasing typographic similarities of their names. And some combinations are hard to figure out at all: Pairing Futura with Z.Z. Top is befuddling at best.
For the most part, though, the Typography Beard Guide does somehow grok with our own internal expectations of the types of facial hair the fonts living inside our computers would actually wear. Of course Franklin Gothic wears a prim, fastidious Hungarian moustache. Flamboyant, flashy Zapfino would obviously wax up its Dali before making an appearance anywhere. Helvetica Neue is the typographic avatar of Frank Zappa, and as for Akzidenz Grotesk, what better beard for that font than Rasputin’s beard of choice, the Garibaldi? Rasputin, after all, was stabbed, shot, poisoned, strangled, beaten, and drowned. Talk about grotesque accidents.
As for the legendary pornstache? What other font accurately conveys its oiliness, its misplaced confidence, its sleazy sensuality better than Fago? You could tattoo the word “moustache” across your upper lip in the font for the exact same effect.
Her dad reports:
To answer the big question, Yes Ella does like to sing other songs. Some of her favorites include, of course more Elvis – Suspicious Minds & Lawdy Miss Clawdy; The Beatles – Twist & Shout; Stray Cats – Stray Cat Strut; JD McPherson – Fire Bug; The Beach Boys – Barbra Ann; Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song; Bobby Day – Rockin’ Robin and Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting For You (duet with Mom!!!). However she is only 21 months old and easily distracted so it can be quite challenging to get another video like this one…
video by HoundDogBilly
Canned Dragon Meat is a can of delicious, pre-cooked dragon meat containing a stuffed severed dragon’s head. Dragon Meat is currently available to purchase at ThinkGeek (who also sells Canned Unicorn Meat).
Fans of Radiant Farms’ Unicorn Meat are probably looking at this product and thinking, “Wait a minute, ThinkGeek! Isn’t Radiant Farms in Ireland and don’t the nuns believe in nonviolence and wait until the unicorns die of natural causes before processing them?” To that, we say two things: 1) You are a little obsessed with us. and 2) You are right..
But you’re also wrong. You see, Unicorns and Dragons require vastly different resources for their care. Also, if they lived next to each other, the Dragons would just eat the unicorns anyways, and there’d be none left for people to eat. FURTHERMORE, the nuns at Radiant Farms lead a tortured life. Think about it: they start out all-loving and kind and raising Unicorns and letting them die of old age. But year after year of watching such beauty die weighs on their souls. They become evil and cruel and despondent and angry and bitter. It’s then that they’re relocated to the Dragon Rendering plants of Scotland and . . . well, you know the rest.
Elon Musk announced the Hyperloop system concept, a new method that would transport people from one side of the US to the other in just 45 minutes, a trip that normally takes almost six hours by plane. Musk describes the Hyperloop system as “a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table.” Hyperloop would a system of cross-country tubes that would consists of capsules capable of carrying six people and their luggage. Six-person capsules travel in the tubes and can reach a maximum speed of 6,500 km/h, and provide 50 times more transportation per kwh. A tube can travel from New York to Beijing in two hours, and make a round-the-world trip in just six hours.
At the Coalition Drum Shop in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Mary (aka the “Grandma Drummer”) sat down to rock out (like the pro she is) on a drum set in the store. They report that “she’s playing a Gretsch Catalina Birch kit with a 5.5×14 Gretsch Brooklyn Snare and Zildjian cymbals.”
video by Dustin Hackworth of Coalition Drum Shop
The American Helicopter Society has officially declared AeroVelo winner of the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition. The AHS Sikorsky competition began in 1980, and the prize was destined for anyone able to stay at least 10 feet in the air for at least 60 seconds within a 30′ x 30′ space using a flying machine powered solely by a single human. No team has ever managed to meet all of the requirements — until now. AeroVelo Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter captured the long standing AHS Sikorsky Prize with a flight lasting 64.1 seconds and reaching an altitude of 3.3 metres.
Canadian Todd Reichert and his team have just been awarded $250,000 and the honor of building something that really worked. Reichert said:
“This isn’t something that you’re going to commute to work in any time soon, but it’s an exercise in really pushing the limits on what’s physically possible, and what you can do with lightweight materials and really creative design. Winning this competition really is a catalyst to keep doing the things we love. Our goal is to take on projects that really inspire people to follow big dreams.”
In a recent blog post, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin describes what the “real” Iron Throne — the one he imagines when he’s writing the books, not the one from HBO’s Game of Thrones — looks like. He points readers to this illustration by Marc Simonetti, which depicts the Iron Throne more as the author intended.
This Iron Throne is massive. Ugly. Assymetric. It’s a throne made by blacksmiths hammering together half-melted, broken, twisted swords, wrenched from the hands of dead men or yielded up by defeated foes… a symbol of conquest… it has the steps I describe, and the height. From on top, the king dominates the throne room. And there are thousands of swords in it, not just a few.
This Iron Throne is scary. And not at all a comfortable seat, just as Aegon intended.
In the blog post, Martin goes on to highlight the differences between the show’s Iron Throne and the novel version of his own creation:
The HBO throne has become iconic. And well it might. It’s a terrific design, and it has served the show very well. There are replicas and paperweights of it in three different sizes. Everyone knows it. I love it. I have all those replicas right here, sitting on my shelves.
And yet, and yet… it’s still not right. It’s not the Iron Throne I see when I’m working on THE WINDS OF WINTER. It’s not the Iron Throne I want my readers to see. The way the throne is described in the books… HUGE, hulking, black and twisted, with the steep iron stairs in front, the high seat from which the king looks DOWN on everyone in the court… my throne is a hunched beast looming over the throne room, ugly and assymetric…
The HBO throne is none of those things. It’s big, yes, but not nearly as big as the one described in the novels. And for good reason. We have a huge throne room set in Belfast, but not nearly huge enough to hold the Iron Throne as I painted it. For that we’d need something much bigger, more like the interior of St. Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey, and no set has that much room. The Book Version of the Iron Throne would not even fit through the doors of the Paint Hall.
In this bizarre video, a Japanese schoolgirl demonstrates an electromechanical exoskeleton as a hideously disfigured host, “Scarface Santaro,” explains the many features of device, the Powered Jacket MK3. According to the manufacturer Sagawa Electronics, the aluminum and carbon fiber exoskeleton is over 7 feet tall, weighs 55 pounds and will be produced in a limited run of five examples. The company has also released a manga series about the Powered Jacket. Given the satirical nature of the video, and the lack of information on the Powered Jacket MK3, it’s unclear if the product is actually destined for production. That being said, Sagawa Electronics claims the exoskeleton will be publicly demonstrated at Wonder Festival 2013 in Chiba City, Japan at the end of July.
The Newsstand is a new pop-up shop that is described as an “independent media take over of the Newsstand at the Metropolitan Avenue station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.” It “will feature independent magazines and zines from around the world, curated by Lele Saveri of the 8-Ball Zine Fair especially for ALLDAYEVERYDAY.”
The Newsstand has been covered in several places recently:
The Newsstand will open to the public on June 15th and will be open weekdays from 9am-8pm, weekends from 12pm-5pm and close on July 20th.
John Hess traces the evolution of the screen shape from the silent film days through the widescreen explosion of the 50s, to the aspect ratio of modern digital cameras.