ANAHEIM, CA - Today, the exhibit floor opened. It was smaller than last year, but that didn't stop the excitement about VR/AR technology, a big focus of the convention this year. Attendees flocked to the exhibits, seeking out the latest and greatest.
After walking by the exhibits I went to two production sessions. I loved both the Marvel Captain America: Civil War session and The Jungle Book session.
The Captain America: Civil War session included (R-L) Victoria Alonso, Executive Vice President of Physical Production; Dan Deleon, Production Visual Effects Supervisor; Swen Gilberg, Associate Visual Effects Supervisor; Jean Lapointe, Compositing Supervisor at ILM; and Greg Steele, VFX Supervisor at Method Studios. The Panelist spoke about their work on Civil War. Dan Deleon spoke about the massive amount of work, including 2,782 final shots that were approximately 138 minutes of CG work.
Swen Gilberg said his unit was called the World Plate Unit as they would shoot or LIDAR backgrounds in Iceland (for Hydra shot), New York, Puerto Rico, Berlin, London, and Brazil while the actors shot in Atlanta. Jean LaPointe blew people away as he showed the layers of building the entire airport in CG, including each of the superheroes.
I never knew how much of this was CG. It was a lot of great work.
Greg Steele showed footage of their shots when Captain America, Bucky and Iron Man went to the Containment Silo. The integration of ILM's assets into their pipeline and how they adapted the assets for their shots while building the Containment Silo and matching everything to give the movie continuity - brilliant production session.
The Jungle Book session featured (R-L) Rob Legato, Production Visual Effects Supervisor; Adam Valdez, Visual Effects Supervisor at MPC, London; Andy Jones, Animation Supervisor; and Keith Miller, Visual Effects Supervisor at Weta. Approximately 240,000,000 render hours were on this film. Rob Legato talked about how he wanted to imitate the multi-plane idea that Disney developed years ago for Bambi and showed a great example of it, at the opening of the film.
Tons of reference was used to get the animation of the animals just right. He showed how he used higher count meshes to keep the details that helped the animals keep natural nuances.
Adam Valdez, showed how the CG elements of the background and characters were integrated with the live action, and the multiple techniques that were used to make this happen. Andy Jones explained how the animals were animated to feel more natural using several techniques, and how they studied natural behavior incorporating the talking with that behavior by copying distinct facial expressions from the animals and the actors involved.
Keith Miller showed the impressive work that Weta did with King Louie. The experience Weta has doing primates benefited the production. All of this was mind blowing. It made me wanna see the film again.
When I finished the production sessions I went back for a second spin of the show floor....which you can see in the photos. More to come soon!