Thursday and Friday took place in Babelsberg (near Berlin) the Animago 2013 event. Two days of talks and presentations about movie production and more specifically cgi/special effects and other VFX. The people giving talks were coming from different production houses. Companies involved in movie production of course but also production of commercials, tv shows, tv productions.
What was interesting? Two things. First you don't need much equipment to produce/create cgi of high quality. Some computers, one or two kinect, good software and most important talented people and you are ready. Secondly it was interesting to see how big movie production (e.g. from the US) are sending scenes to be produced oversea (e.g. in Europe). A few seconds of film or shots are sent to a company. And that company will finish the "job", add explosions, destroy buildings, remove people when necessary. They may not have the resources to produce a whole movie, but some seconds are completely doable. Also it gives a bit the feeling that everything is about producing the best explosion on screen (half true) in that field. Or that too much attention is put on very little details when you know which movie it is or how long is the scene to be processed.
There were also longer talks describing the work on full movie almost, you can call them making-offs. Once talk was great, a team from a company based in Stuttgart was telling the story of their work on the movie Oblivion. And it was fascinating how much effort was put in that movie (knowing it is reasonably average sci-fy with a non-sens ending). Not only effort, but quality work. A perfect example of old fashion studio work and up to date vfx. So if you have seen this movie, the house in the sky was built in real size but hooked to the ground and the simulation of viewing above the clouds was created by re-projecting (I call it immersive cinema in case you are not following...) in every directions various panorama movies (made from shooting in Hawaii with a camera cluster). Very cool I may say, a nice mix of creative work and proper scientific work (how to record panorama movie, how to project them, how to set-up such projection system..)
I hope to be able to attend this event next year.h