News / Science & Technology

Visual Effects Could Change How Movies are Made

Visual Effects Could Change How Movies Are Made in The Futurei
X
April 09, 2014 2:22 AM
When you watch a movie these days, it’s difficult to tell what’s real and what’s created in a computer. In the future, visual effects could even alter how movies are made. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles on how far this area of movie making has come and the next frontier in creating movie magic.

Visual Effects Could Change How Movies Are Made in The Future

Elizabeth Lee
— When you watch a movie these days, it’s difficult to tell what’s real and what’s created in a computer. In the future, visual effects could even alter how movies are made.
 
Almost anything that can be imagined by a director can now become reality in the world of movies.
 
“We’re really not limited by the technology to build pretty much anything we want,” said David Smith, of Sony Pictures Imageworks. Smith said that with today's computer processing power and speed, the digital world is more realistic than ever before.
 
For The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Smith's team created a Times Square that was indistinguishable from the real one in New York.
 
“If there’s lights inside the stores that are lighting areas inside the store, we put those lights in there. All the street lights on the street we put versions of that into the computer world so that it mimics the real world exactly,” said Smith.
 
But there is still one challenge for visual effects artists, said Paul Debevec of the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies.
 
“We’re still trying to figure out how to perfect the human face in movies,” said Debevec.
 
Debevec said the 2008 movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is still the best example of a computer-generated face, as actor Brad Pitt aged - backwards - from a wrinkled old man to a baby. 
 
Debevec added that in addition to changing the look of an actor's face, there could be another use for digital faces in the world of entertainment.
 
“There’s also a big interest in trying to bring back actors who are no longer with us and that’s a big deal right now,” said Debevec.
 
Last year, effects artists created a digital double of deceased Asian pop singer Teresa Teng in concert with Chinese pop star Jay Chou. Fans can still see and hear the concert on YouTube.
 
“With a ton of data from us and a ton of artistic effort and technical know-how from Digital Domain, they were able to create a singing face of Teresa Teng where she performed not only one of her original songs but two songs that weren’t even written at the time she was alive with Jay Chou,” said Debevec.


Debevec expects directors will start to use more virtual production techniques, like those seen in the movie Avatar.
 
“Even though it looks like that’s a bunch of expensive technology, ultimately it’s going to be much easier to make movies that way,” he said.


Debevec said that with virtual production, there won’t be a need for as many people behind the scenes. 
 
Sony Pictures Imageworks' David Smith pointed out that computer generated locations can also be more realistic to actors.
 
“That’s where potentially in the future, if we can help create the world in the computer and bring it to the set so they’re not acting in front of a green screen but they’re acting in front of a set that we’ve sort of mocked up in the computer that eventually will look more grandiose, they’ll have something to grasp there," said Smith.
 
But visual effects artists agree, even with improved technology and the potential to create anything in the virtual world, there is no replacement for a real actor interpreting a character in a movie.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: J.Michael Piper from: Los Angeles, Ca.
April 23, 2014 4:02 AM
Just great stuff! I could do with my works if I had the funding that your company spends on the programs you guys get to use! That programming must be awesome and a lot of fun to use! Keep it up! I still love watching it come to life even if I am only able to do what I do with what I have, happy to know there's guys out there with the programs to make a great film still, but look even more amazing than ever! Right on!

J.Michael Piper
Artist.Designer
http://www.animatemotions.com/

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid