True stop motion filming has been seen less and less in today’s feature films. Typically, 3D animation has moved in to replace this dwindling market. Still, there are some studios who keep the tradition going and have reinvented themselves to make use of emerging modern technologies. Laika, a stop motion studio based out of Portland, Oregon and responsible for films such as “Coraline” and the upcoming “ParaNorman”, has found an exceptional use for 3D printers in their film production.
They have tasked these printers to produce “replacement faces” that can be switched on their character models to show different expressions. A brilliant idea, as the faces can be designed through software tools and then printed ready to go with just a few minor touch-ups. This efficiency boost has allowed them to create over 1.5 million individual expression possibilities for just their main protagonist. Seem like a large number? It sure is. Jack Skellington in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” had barely over 800 expressions. “Coraline,” which was released in 2009, made some use of 3D printing and managed an inventory of 200,000 faces for its main character. Seeing the application of such a modern, fascinating technology used to bolster this type of filmmaking is remarkable. You’re going to want to Read More.
WTFFriday, By Jesus Diaz
George Lucas Now Says That Han NEVER Shot First As He Shoves Star Wars 3D Down Your Throat
I hate history revisionists, but not as much as I hate George Lucas for making Han shoot last. Now, with Star Wars 3D coming, he’s now saying that the scene modification wasn’t a change. He claims that Han NEVER shot first:
The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.
George, how do you have the thermal detonators to try to rewrite history in this way? Do you think we are stupid? Wasn’t it enough to paint that stupid laser blast coming at a stupid angle from Greedo? Do you really think that, if Greedo shot first, he would have missed Han at point blank?
No, George, you can draw all the lasers you want and add all the wider shots you want, but you can’t rewrite history. If Greedo had shot first in that scene setting you directed, Han would be dead, period. Nobody can miss at that distance. Not even a stormtrooper.
George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic is supervising the 3D conversion.
Lucasfilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox will release the 3D version of Star Wars: Episode I:The Phantom Menace on Feb. 10, 2012.
George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic is supervising the 3D conversion, with an eye for both technological considerations and artistic intentions.
Lucasfilm believes Star Wars is perfectly suited to be seen in 3D.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported that Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace would be converted to 3D.
Lucas hopes that releasing the film early in the year, outside of summer blockbuster season, will give it an open run at the box office and also set up the opportunity to sell merchandise through the balance of the year. The plan under discussion would make the release of the subsequent films in the series an annual event on the film calendar.
If the first in the series meets with success, the remaining five films would follow a year apart on comparable dates. However, depending on how the first release performs, the companies could also decide to open the subsequent entries in different spots on the calendar.
When the new special-edition version of the original three Star Wars movies were re-released in 1997, that cycle began with a re-release of Episode IV: A New Hope on Jan. 31, followed by Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back on Feb. 21 and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on March 14.
Launching the movies during the first quarter of the year would also give Lucas Licensing the opportunity to launch new licensing programs that could run throughout the course of the year.
Films will roll out in order, starting with ‘Phantom Menace’
|By Jay A. Fernandez and Kim Masters
The Hollywood Reporter (THR)
Sept 28, 2010, 08:49 PM ET
Updated: Sept 28, 2010, 11:18 PM ET
Sources indicate that George Lucas is set on rereleasing the “Star Wars” franchise in new 3D conversions beginning in 2012. Although 3D versions have been rumored for some time, Lucas purportedly was waiting until there were enough screens available to make the release a sizable event.
Fox, which released all six original “Star Wars” films, also would release the 3D versions.
Episode I, “The Phantom Menace,” would be first out of star-dock during early 2012. After that, each film would be released in order at the same time in consecutive years, depending on how well the first rerelease does.
Each conversion takes at least a year to complete, with Lucas overseeing the process to make sure each is as perfect as possible. He has said that the “Avatar” experience convinced him that “Star Wars” is ready for the state-of-the-art 3D treatment.
Starting with “Phantom Menace,” Lucasfilm would use several higher-end conversion houses to work on the project. By late winter or early spring in 2012, the exhibition industry should have all the 3D screens anyone could want for such a release.
At present, pics are limited to 2,000-2,500 3D locations owing to an insufficient installed base of projectors and screens. Movie theaters are adding 3D screens at a clip of 500 a month in the U.S. Foreign exhibitors also are pushing into 3D as quickly as possible now that financing for the installations is flowing.
Also pushing the timetable is a potential breakthrough in 3D TV technology. With Samsung penetrating the market with 50,000-plus 3D-equipped sets and Sony recently sending its version to market, the home-viewing experience could be primed for 3D DVD versions of the films by the time the new 3D theatrical releases have run their course.
Lucas purportedly is lining up the theatrical rereleases as a lead-in to the ultimate home-viewing experience. Beyond that, the property would launch to other 3D media.
In the meantime, Lucas plans a comprehensive Blu-ray Disc set of the six films next year, which would include upgraded picture and sound quality, new deleted scenes and special features.
Alex Ben Block, Carl DiOrio and Borys Kit contributed to this report.