VFX Pros: Home Edition2020-06-01T12:35:02-07:00

VFX Pros: Home Edition

Welcome to our new webcast series, VFX Pros: Home Edition – your new channel for VFX stories behind-the-scenes, live conversations about cutting-edge technologies and techniques, discussions around the VES 70 most influential visual effects films and more!

Stay connected with VES:

  • Get educated and inspired by VFX experts
  • Enjoy exclusive and insightful conversations
  • Discover practical applications for new tech

Join us for this growing series as we go forth together. If you have suggestions for future VFX Pros: Home Edition episodes, let us know

Join the discussion about JIM HENSON’S THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE with the VES Award-winning visual effects team. Panelists will include Creature & Costume Designer Toby Froud and Visual Effects Supervisor Sean Matheisen with moderation by VES Board member David Tanaka.

Click here to watch now!

VFX Pros: Home Edition – Dennis Muren, ASC, VES on STAR WARS Day

A interactive webcast with Dennis Muren, VES, ASC, legendary visual effects artist and supervisor and Creative Director at Industrial Light & Magic.

We’ll talk about creating a galaxy, far, far away, the legacy of STAR WARS and how he got this life-changing gig…pioneering techniques that marked new benchmarks in visual effects…other film juggernauts including the CG dinosaurs of JURASSIC PARK…the flying bicycles in E.T….his storied career at ILM…and so much more!

HOF Dennis Muren

From his work on nearly all of the STAR WARS films – and E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY and JURASSIC PARKDennis Muren, ASC, VES has defined the role of visual effects supervisor and attained a near-mythic status among visual effects aficionados. He has nine Academy Awards, is a recipient of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award and was the first visual effects artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Inside the VFX of Cosmos: Possible Worlds

An interactive Webcast – Inside the VFX of National Geographic’s Cosmos: Possible Worlds – with award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun, VES.

Okun, who had young dreams of becoming an astronaut, takes us inside his 18-month journey supervising visual effects on this season’s 13 episodes of Cosmos, the widely successful science documentary TV series, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

How do you use visual effects to showcase the beauty and poetry of science, and transport audiences on spiritual voyages of exploration?  Okun talks about the exciting collaboration with scientists, the impact of dynamic scientific advances on storytelling and the tools and techniques that helped reveal previously uncharted realms, including lost worlds, worlds yet to come, and the worlds that humans may one day inhabit.

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Jeffrey A. Okun, VES is a VES Fellow and recipient of the VES Founder’s Award, and served as VES Board Chair for seven years.  He is known for creating ‘organic’ and invisible effects, as well as spectacular ‘tent-pole’ visual effects, and has won the VES Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects for his work on The Last Samurai.  Okun has delivered wide-ranging effects in award winning films such as Alpha, Blood Diamond, Stargate, Sphere, Red Planet, Deep Blue Sea, Lolita and The Last Starfighter. Okun also created and co-edited the VES HANDBOOK OF VISUAL EFFECTS, an award-winning VFX reference book, whose 3rd edition will be published this summer.

Click here to watch now!

TRON

Recorded Interview – Watch Now!

View this exclusive conversation with creative and cinematic director Richard Winn Taylor, VES

TRON (1982) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.

The groundbreaking science fiction action adventure film was the first to tell a story in cyberspace, as a computer hacker is transported inside the fantasy software world of a maintenance computer and forced to participate in gladiator games as he attempts his escape. As the director of its innovative special effects and computer-generated imagery, Taylor talks about creating the look of live action characters in a glowing world, the making of this first film to use computer simulation as the full production process and its influence on filmmaking that followed.

He shares why the crew were considered outlaws at Disney and how video games ruled the day, what went on at the Academy bakeoff in being considered for a visual effects Oscar nomination and how a major political event played into the foiled marketing event of “almost” simultaneous TIME and NEWSWEEK covers.

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Richard Winn Taylor II, VES holds an extensive background in live action direction, production design, special effects, and computer generated images for theatrical films, television commercials and computer games. Richard began his career as an artist and holds a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah. Click here for more.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Recorded Interview – Watch Now!

View this exclusive conversation with award-winning matte artist and visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw, VES.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.  The VES 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling.

This star-studded, ambitious tale of a trouble-shooting 19th century seaman investigating the disappearance of whaling ships, a megalomaniac Captain Nemo and high-tech submarine, was Walt Disney’s magnificent debut into live-action films.  It was also the first film that Harrison’s celebrated father, award-wining matte designer and special effects creator Peter Ellenshaw, worked on, after moving to Sherman Oaks from the U.K. and being dubbed the new ‘boy wonder’ on the Disney campus.  Harrison shares tales of visiting the set and lessons learned from his dad, and why this film holds a special place for him.

He talks about Disney’s technical masterstroke of mounting the epic in the new-at-the-time CinemaScope aspect ratio and the challenge and glory of creating the exciting and memorable encounter with a pack of giant sea squid. And he might let on what happened to the official Oscar nomination for this winner of the golden statue for Best Achievement in Special Effects.

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Harrison Ellenshaw, VES, was an original member of the VES Board of Directors, and is a VES Fellow and the recipient of the VES Founders Award. His credits as a matte artist and a visual effects supervisor include work on THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, STAR WARS, BIG WEDNESDAY, THE BLACK HOLE, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, TRON, DICK TRACY and DAVE.  Harrison headed up several different independent visual effects companies, including Triple DDD, which created 3D effects for the Disney theme park film CAPTAIN EO, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas and also managed Disney’s independent effects facility Buena Vista Visual Effects, which created VFX for over 35 films. Harrison is a recipient of the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and an Academy Award nomination for THE BLACK HOLE.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Recorded Interview – Watch Now!

View this exclusive conversation with award-winning matte artist and visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw, VES.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.  The VES 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling.

The animated musical fantasy film was the first full-length cel animated feature film and the earliest Disney animated feature film.  You know the story of Snow White – the magic mirror, seven dwarfs, evil queen, the poison apple and true love’s kiss.  Harrison takes a closer look and shares his personal tales and professional insights into the film he calls “A Walt Disney masterpiece with a villain that makes Darth Vader look like a pussycat!”

From the film’s pioneering use of a multiplane camera and how Disney himself “sold” the idea of people sitting still for a 90-minute cartoon…to Harrison’s full circle journey from a young ride operator at Disneyland to supervising the Kodak/Cinesite 4K restoration of the film in the early 1990’s….to the enduring power and legacy of classic films – it’s all in here.

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Harrison Ellenshaw, VES, was an original member of the VES Board of Directors, and is a VES Fellow and the recipient of the VES Founders Award. His credits as a matte artist and a visual effects supervisor include work on THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, STAR WARS, BIG WEDNESDAY, THE BLACK HOLE, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, TRON, DICK TRACY and DAVE.  Harrison headed up several different independent visual effects companies, including Triple DDD, which created 3D effects for the Disney theme park film CAPTAIN EO, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas and also managed Disney’s independent effects facility Buena Vista Visual Effects, which created VFX for over 35 films. Harrison is a recipient of the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and an Academy Award nomination for THE BLACK HOLE.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People

Recorded Interview – Coming Soon

View this exclusive conversation with award-winning matte artist and visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw, VES.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) is one of the titles on the VES 70: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time.  The VES 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling.

This tale about a fiddling caretaker who matches wits with the King of the Leprechauns and helps play matchmaker for his daughter, holds a special place for Harrison, as he recounts his father Peter Ellenshaw’s work on the film as a matte painter and the brains behind the special effects that make us believe the dancing leprechauns are less than two feet tall.

He talks about the film’s optical illusions, the “off the charts” forced perspective split-scale in-camera shots, the backstory on where this “very Irish” film was actually shot and why this film attracted the attention of James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli.  And he gives us his take on the traumatic and climactic scene tapping into the Irish myth of the banshee and the death coach.

Recording coming soon!

Harrison Ellenshaw, VES, was an original member of the VES Board of Directors, and is a VES Fellow and the recipient of the VES Founders Award. His credits as a matte artist and a visual effects supervisor include work on THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, STAR WARS, BIG WEDNESDAY, THE BLACK HOLE, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, TRON, DICK TRACY and DAVE.  Harrison headed up several different independent visual effects companies, including Triple DDD, which created 3D effects for the Disney theme park film CAPTAIN EO, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas and also managed Disney’s independent effects facility Buena Vista Visual Effects, which created VFX for over 35 films. Harrison is a recipient of the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and an Academy Award nomination for THE BLACK HOLE.

Compositing: VFXer’s Inside Guide

An interactive Webcast on Compositing with digital compositing pros Colin Campbell, VES Board member and Emma Clifton Perry, VES Board 2nd Vice Chair. 

Get their insights on tools and techniques and more! —

  • The evolution of compositing
  • Photo-real vs. photo-believable: what does the audience see
  • Fix it in Comp: benefits vs. over/misuses
  • Good vs. sloppy compositing
  • The ins & outs of being a generalist vs specialist
  • Overuse of fake camera and lens tricks
  • Our favorite film comp sequences: how we did it and how would we do it today!

Colin Campbell has 32 years experience in animation and visual effects, working at major facilities including Industrial Light and Magic, Sony Imageworks, Rhythm & Hues, Digital Domain, and Tippett Studios and using a variety of software packages including Nuke, NukeX, Shake, Wavefront Composer, Matador, Elastic Reality, and in-house proprietary packages.

Emma Clifton Perry is a freelance Senior Compositor with 15 years experience across features/fully animated features/TVC’s and Longform/Series. She’s worked in-house for FOX and vfx vendor side for Weta Digital, Rising Sun Picures, DRD, Framestore CFC and MPC and a number of commercial facilities, using software including Shake, Commotion, Curious GFX and Nuke.

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HDR and Dolby Vision Primer for VFX & Gaming

An interactive Webcast on HDR and Dolby Vision with Thomas Graham and Aby Matthew, senior pros at Dolby. 

What you’ll learn –

  • What VFX professionals need to know about HDR
  • How did PQ (Perceptual Quantizer) come about?
  • End-to-end content creation and the VFX pipeline
  • Color mapping to the capabilities of each device
  • Working with monitors – tips, recommendations and dealing with on-set challenges

Aby Matthew is Senior Staff Content Engineer at Dolby Laboratories.  After formal training as an engineer, Matthew began his career in the content creation industry as a 3D animator and vfx artist using Alias Power Animator, Maya, Flame and Inferno. He spent 12 years at Autodesk as the Flame and Lustre product specialist for the Asia Pacific region and joined Imaging team at Dolby in 2011.

Thomas Graham is Head of Dolby Vision Content enablement at Dolby Labs and is a 29-year veteran of the Post Production industry working for Digidesign, Avid & Dolby and a variety of consulting/freelance work. He was one of the first to use Pro Tools to record and edit the orchestra on Hollywood scoring stages on over 40 feature films, including Collateral, Ice Age, Star Trek Nemesis, Solaris, and Serenity.

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Coping With Uncertainty During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A special live webcast to help you stay mentally healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic with Erica Folinsky, LCSW, Licensed Therapist.

With the uncertainty and evolving impact of COVID-19, it’s natural to experience anxiety.  We are all grappling with issues including isolation, changing dynamics in the home, job loss and economic impacts, fears about the health of loved ones, friends, colleagues and ourselves and more. Like any emotion, anxiety can spread from person to person.   This session is designed to provide coping tips to help navigate through these difficult times.

Erica Folinsky is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the founder of the Los Angeles-based private telehealth practice, Your Healing Begins Here.  She works primarily with adults and young adults addressing a variety of concerns including relationships, anxiety, depression and generally coping with daily life challenges.  She specializes in trauma and trauma-related symptoms, as well as working with the LGBTQIA++ community.

Erica is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and her years of experience with trauma offer a unique perspective on living in uncertain times and managing fear and anxiety.  She has worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and received her Masters in Social Work from California State University Northridge.