CGI Paul Walker in Fast & Furious Sequel?

When Fast & Furious star Paul Walker passed recently, the film sequel was put on hold. Now that producers are moving forward, and the question is how should they finish a film that is already more than half-way done filming?

There has been talk of rewriting, re-editing or even using stand-ins to film the remaining scenes.

But one suggestion has stirred a lot of controversy: Use a CGI Paul Walker! (Basically a computer generated likeness) Some people have suggested this is bad taste, disrespectful, creepy.  Maybe it is, I don’t know. Now that producers have confirmed this solution, the backlash has begun.

BUT… I personally think they SHOULD use CGI Paul Walker. And here’s why. (And it is not because CGI has improved. That doesn’t matter!)

His Real Performances!

Typically, I’m against bringing back actors but the movie was already at least half-way done filming before Paul Walker passed. SO they have his REAL last performances in the film.

Now since movies are typically filmed out-of-order,  it’s possible these finished scenes are missing important connecting moments that are needed to tell the story and maintain continuity.

So producers have to choose:

1. Cut his character entirely and re-shoot/rewrite the film without Paul Walker. (Movie insurance would cover the cost):

END RESULT: No Real Paul & No CGI Paul.

2. Use a CGI-version of the character to finish the missing scenes and keep the majority of his REAL performance in the movie:

END RESULT: Real Paul with Some CGI Paul.

Whether you are a fan of the movies or not, they were always fun and well made.  And these films may well be his legacy so I think it would be a shame to cut all of his last performances over some CGI that is only meant to help keep the true Paul Walker in the film so producers don’t have to cut him out.

NOTE: I’m not tied to production so I’m not sure the specifics of how they plan to do the CGI stuff but I wanted to make this post to offer some perspective. Hopefully they have the same idea!

I’m going to NAB!

 

Are you going to NAB in Las Vegas?

If so please stop by the Adobe booth on Tuesday and Wednesday for my presentation! I’ll be on around 2pm both days. Come one, come all, I’d love to have a chance to meet some of my digital friends!

Plus you can hang around the show floor and see many great new gadgets! Should be fun!

New Tutorial: The GRID

In this tutorials we will be creating an intricate Grid animation inside of After Effects without additional plug-ins. We will be using the Advanced Lightning effect along with many other unexpected tools!

Watch on Video Copilot + Project File
Watch on Youtube

VFX Academy Awards

So the Academy Awards for best visual effects is upon us and we momentarily focus on the impressive work created by the many thankless visual effects artists around the world!

Not that my opinion matters, (Although I was the first to combine an After Effects Tutorial with MS Paint) but I started to think about the idea of giving an award for best VFX.  How do you choose? Luckily, I don’t have to.

Visual Effects is the art of problem solving. Every shot, every movie, every challenge is different.  I look at the body of work in this years academy awards and think, “every one of these movies did their job exactly right”. The visual effects all expanded the story, the world and created an impressive experience. Not to mention the films that were not nominated like Pacific Rim.

Was one movie more or less innovative than another? I don’t know. I do know that the end result does not always tell the story of what it takes to get there.

The film Gravity created some stunning work that has never been done before on that scale and pulled it off flawlessly. The set extensions in Lone Ranger were some of the best I’ve EVER seen.  And did you see the Star Trek into Darkness End Titles? AMAZING!  I mean… Well…

The point is this: I think every person on the post side of visual effects will probably be lost in the the controversy over wether or not Leonardo DiCaprio wins or loses.  But maybe we can all take a moment to talk about the great visual effects shots you remember from this past year! Leave a comment, maybe the artist who created it is reading!

PS: Go LEO!

Make a Movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme & VFX!


Strap in! The team at Funny or Die has put together a new video & a contest that is perfect for VFX and they even let me do a little cameo! Oh and it’s starring this one guy named JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME!
Watch Now!

How it works:
Watch the video. Then you shoot a video and add in some pre-keyed shots of Van Damme taking names, then whoever makes the best films wins some gear! Short deadline though, only 2-weeks, good thing they are pre-keyed!

Check out the video and see what Jean-Claude Van Damme has to say about it!

Update:
FreddieW also created a new short using footage from the contest! 

Grid Experiment

I’ve been finding some extra time to dig deeper into some built-in After Effects plug-ins to create some interesting and unique effects. Here is my new experiment using a very interesting combination of effects (as always) to build a networked title or logo.

We are really making a big effort to create new projects to keep you inspired and thinking in new ways!

I’ll be recording the tutorial this week so expect it soon and be ready for a few unexpected surprises!

Free Valentine’s Day Pack!

 

Happy Valentines’ Day from Video Copilot!

Sorry for the last minute gift, now you know how my wife feels! Ha! Just kidding honey, I love you.

Our Free Model Pack contains several great 3D models ready to use with Element 3D or your favorite 3D program!

No nonsense, just download now!

Like Right Now! (164 MBs)

 

New Tutorial: 3D Light Rays in AE!

In this new tutorial I’ll show you a cool technique to generate 3D Light Rays inside of After Effects without 3rd party plug-ins. I’ll also show you how to add volumetric light to a live action shot using 3D tracking. I’ll be posting project files and tutorial to the main site later today!

Watch on Youtube in HD

Watch on Vimeo in HD

Watch on Video Copilot in HD

Download Project File

We also created a blog show to demonstrate how to create light rays in real life!
Watch on Youtube in HD!

Puppet Tool Tips

In our recent blog show on volumetric light, I created a short animation with the puppet tool because I wondered what would the twitter logo be like if it was alive… In this short video I explain how I setup the project file to animate the logo.

Download the project file too! (CS6)

UPDATE: According to twitter guidelines it is not permitted to “add special effects” to the logo. Sorry.

If you are not on twitter, be sure to follow us @videocopilot

Blog Show: Real Volumetric Light!

Check out the new blog show on creating real volumetric light!

Hologram Table Experiment Preview

Other than being holiday sick, I had a chance to shoot some greenscreen plates in the ol’ Video Copilot studio to test some hologram FX I’ve been experimenting with.  So far the only thing missing is the hologram…

At least we have a cool futuristic table and now it just needs some 3D graphics or something! Actually what’s more interesting is a new technique I’m developing to create 3D volumetric light for the hologram projector.

For those interested we shot with a Canon C100 and a 24-100mm lens. The small light Dustin is holding is actually a color controlled LED light that is quite handy for VFX shoots. We are going to be doing more on set VFX this year and try to bring you tons of behind the scenes action so stay tuned!

Happy Holidays from the Kramers!

Hey what’s up! Another year of doing what we love and pushing the limits of our imagination. It’s been great to be part of this community every single year and share experiences and ideas with so many of you. I’m forever thankful for this opportunity and look forward to an even more intense year in 2014!

My oldest daughter and I have been spending a little time in After Effects and I talk her through her own ideas. The other day, she wanted to make a candy cane (in 3D of course) and it was not as easy as it sounds! She really likes the “Sun” plug-in too! Oh, she really is my daughter As soon as the other kids get older, I’ll be putting them to work but until then!

But for now, let’s all try to find some time to be with family and friends and of course you guys are no exception.

Happy Holidays from the Kramer’s and everyone at Video Copilot!

 

 

Free Future City Pack!


The future is here! Our community-built Future City pack is now available. I want to personally thank everyone who contributed and submitted their work for this pack.

Sorry it took longer than expected, we had a lot of files to sort through and optimize to work in Element and organize into one place but here it is!

Download Future City Pack and Information

The pack contains a variety of 30 buildings to create stunning futuristic city sky-lines inside Element 3D. Some models feature high resolution textures and others have lower resolution and work better for distant buildings. Experiment for best results! Remember be thankful to all those who worked on these!

There is a lot of variety and you can even user the Element 3D replicator, you can create some fun combinations like above.

NOTE:
Be sure you are running the latest version of Element 3D V1.6

Beautiful VFX

I just stumbled upon this spectacular reel of visual effects work for the film Stalingrad. The simulations of smoke and fire take it to another level.

What’s even more impressive is the amount of work that went into this video just to show all of the layers and work that went into. C’mon! Look at those camera swings!

While not quite as impressive, you ca check out our Advanced Training Series you might be able to see how some of this is possible combining Fume FX with 3Ds Max and compositing in After Effects.

See Tutorials

 

Tutorial: Lionsgate Studio Logo

I decided after all to put together a tutorial about the Lionsgate Studio Design and here it is!

In this tutorial we’ll take an in-depth look at building complex bevels with Element 3D and give your titles a shiny finish. We’ll also looking at Lens Flares, Render Settings and adding some nice Light Rays.

Watch Tutorial & Download project File

Original Design Credit:
The actual Lionsgate studio design was created by the talented folks at DevaStudios!
Check out their work!