Thursday, May 14, 2009

Post Magazine: "Star Trek" Returns

Post Magazine's cover story is all about ILM's visual effects for J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek." The article, written by Ken McGorry, touches on some of the major challenges behind our visual effects.

The article includes mentions and quotes from visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett, co-supervisor Russell Earl, animation supervisor Paul Kavanagh, digital production supervisor Michael DiComo, CG supervisor Tom Fejes, compositing supervisor Eddie Pasquarello, paint supervisor Beth D'Amato, and sequence supervisors Greg Salter, Mark Nettleton, David Weitzberg, Raul Essig, Conny Fauser, Jay Cooper, Francois Lambert, and Todd Vaziri.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

J.J. Abrams and DP Daniel Mindel shot Star Trek with an anamorphic lens... and if there's the sun or a star in the corner of a synthetic ILM shot — or when the Enterprise passes in a beauty shot and its lights strike the virtual lens — the compositors have to replicate all the complexities of light dancing across such a lens. "There are all these different layers to the lens flare that we have to replicate digitally," DiComo says.

ILM's Todd Vaziri analyzed what anamorphic lenses do and all their different properties so they could be used in simulated shots and they call the resulting program "Sunspot." Vaziri was a sequence supervisor whose job was to overlook all the sequences and make sure that ILM's shots were "correct to the film" — that they matched. "He takes great, great pains and it shows," says [compositing supervisor Eddie] Pasquarello. "That was one of our compositing coups that I feel made a difference here — finishing touches that help our shots blend with the live action that J.J. gave us."

Click here to see the full credits for J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek."


Daniel Broadway said...

The visual effects in this film were fantastic.

Another thing I noticed about the flares, such as in the picture above, is little out of focus "spots" on the lens. This happened several times in the film, especially when ultra bright light from a warp engine was visible.

Was this meant to imply a dirty lens, or imperfections in the glass itself?

majikvfx said...

All this furor over the lens flares is quite humourous.

This kind of stuff has been done umpteen times in the commercial world, it's old hat by now. I've been doing this kind of stuff in flame for years.

Abrams is just bringing it into the features world thats all, no big deal really. I'm looking forward to seeing it though.

swtcurran said...

congrats todd. you did a bang up job!