Friday, 29 January 2010

We're now on Twitter - @ImagineerSys

Follow ImagineerSys on Twitter

Although Imagineer Systems has been tweeting for a while, we now have an official twitter name to share news, offers, tutorials and stuff we generally find interesting!

Follow us at:

Thursday, 28 January 2010

CGSociety Production Focus :: INVICTUS

CGSociety coverage of CIS Vancouver and the making of "Invictus", the new film directed by Clint Eastwood.  Mocha was used extensively in the film for tracking in blood and other body damage.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Monday, 18 January 2010

CGSociety Challenge XXV - B-Movie

Imagineer Systems are tremendously happy to be sponsoring:

"A creative challenge to bring life back into or create a classic B-Movie -18 January 2010 - 19 April 2010.

Since the dawn of movies there was always a creepier, scarier, and unintentionally funnier cousin to the big budget blockbusters... the B-Grade Movie.
Cinema screens around the world flickered with startling images of wolfmen, zombies, nuclear-mutated monsters, and bug-eyed aliens with a penchant for probing. The 25th CGChallenge: "Attack of the 50ft CGChallenge" asks you, the artist, to bring these gems back to life, or create your own in their spirit, via a still image, video, or, for the first time, audio."

We will be contributing to the prizes with a range of Imagineer products.  These challenges are always huge, so get involved in the crazy creative abandon.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

VFX Overflow - Answers to visual questions

Julian Mann has started up VFX Overflow, a visual effects question and answer site based around the concept of the very popular stack overflow programming website.  Looks like it will be a great resource!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Case study: Rob Legato - Martin Scorsese's “Shutter Island”

 Rob Legato is perhaps one of the most well known and respected VFX artist in Hollywood today, with a resume that looks more like the previews of the Oscars than a CV. He’s the visual effects visionary behind some of the most talked about, award winning films in Hollywood, and in the past decade alone has left his mark on such blockbusters as Avatar, Standard Operating Procedure, The Nanny Diaries, The Good Shephard and Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning drama, The Departed, to name just a few.

Now, Rob has teamed up once again with Martin Scorsese on the soon-to-be released, Shutter Island. Leonardo DeCaprio, Ben Kingsley and Mark Rufalo star in Scorsese’s new psychotic mystery-thriller in which an artful blend of cinematography and visual effects not only create an edge-of-your-seat, skin crawling experience, but also a series of challenges for Rob.

“When you work this closely with Mr. Scorsese, everything you do has to be of ultimate quality for a film of this caliber,” Rob began.

When working with the iconic director Martin Scorsese, as the VFX supervisor, you’re challenged to match his vision with what actually can be done; and in most cases, you can’t be sure until you get to post. And in most cases, that’s often way too late. So Legato had an idea.

What if you could plan your shots based on what you already know is doable? “How much easier would it be if we could produce a shot and say ‘yes, we can do that’ while you’re in production? Well, I was recently introduced to a tool that could help me do just that. mocha from Imagineer Systems,” Rob continued.

In a series of scenes - many appearing in the movie trailer - Legato was challenged to determine if the desired illusions could be done in a believable way; would the viewers be immersed in the scene or would they be noticing the effects? And any VFX artists will tell you, the best visual effects are the ones you never even realize.

“To test these shots, to see if they could be created effectively, there was a huge amount of roto and tracking necessary. And everyone hates roto,” Rob continued. “Roto and point tracking are tedious, painstaking raw labor tasks and I’ve always felt bad for the people who I forced to do it for me!”

“However with mocha, suddenly I was able to complete shots that previously, I would be hiring someone to do for me! It was simple enough and quick enough for me to operate, and believe me, tracking is not my forte.”

Rob work very closely with Mr. Scorsese. And he looks to Rob to help him decide what stays in, and what gets cut from the movie. “Scene by scene, I’m helping determine what’s going to make a better film. With mocha, I was able to quickly and easily produce incredibly complex scenes so we could preview them together and bring together the vision of what this film could be. Conversely, we’re able to quickly determine shots that just were not doable, and the time and money we saved because of this new workflow was invaluable!”
mocha broadened my tool box. It enabled me to produce more content for each shot, and therefore enabled us to preview more. The more content you have to work with, the more you can appreciate the vision for each shot. The fact is, mocha transformed the preview process for me on Shutter Island. All the stuff that seemed to be such a huge undertaking was made so remarkably simple thanks to mocha.”
The specialized world of content creation is changing, evolving. Roles are merging. And as the technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, simple and accessible, content creators are using the tools once reserved for ‘specialists’ in imaginative, and even highly productive ways.
Shutter Island opens in theaters worldwide on February 19, 2010.

Monday, 11 January 2010

CIS Vancouver - Invictus

Here is an interesting story from Studio Daily about Imagineer customer CIS Vancouver. They relied heavily on mocha's tracking and roto features for the feature film, "Invictus".

From Hancock’s point of view, creating digital make-up not only helped the speed of the shoot but was a boon to editorial. “Make-up ties you down to a certain order of shots,” he says. “In this case, they could re-order shots and play with things in editing and create continuity afterwards.” To track the rugby players as they move around the field, CIS Vancouver used Imagineer Systems’ mocha, which, says Hancock, “does planar tracking really well and accurately. Whether it’s a cheekbone or a face turning or tilting, it lies in the 3D plane of the body and was accurate enough so we could have more detail closer-up. We could put the scrape or cut wherever we wanted to see it, and we didn’t have to avoid close-ups.” The blood-and-guts team — who were artists experienced in creating organic effects — then integrated the effects with Shake. CIS Vancouver partnered with CIS Hollywood on 150 out of a total of about 200 shots.

read more

Monday, 4 January 2010

mocha training added at fxphd

Here is some good news for the new year! Our friends at fxphd have added a new course dedicated to mocha and planar tracking. Long time Imagineer user David Blum will be teaching the course. David has many years of experience in vsiual effects and is an industry veteran. This should be a very worthwhile course and I am sure that even experienced mocha users will learn a thing or two. More info at: