Premiere Magazine Profiles Episode 2 and Wired Writes about CG Faces

by malducin

As the imminent release of Episode 2 approaches the media coverage has kicked to high gear. The current issue of Premiere magazine has an article on the film and goes into some of ILM's work. Also the current issue of Wired has an article about the quest for ever more realistic CG character and human faces.

The Premiere article mainly concerns itself with the whole project and includes many great photos of the finished film. The ILM coverage mainly concerns itself with Rob Coleman and the work of the team of animators on Yoda and his fight scene. The supervisors are mentioned along with The magazine also has an article on Natalie Portman and a preview of the Summer movies. Episode 2 is predicted to be the number 1 movie with an expected gross of 350 million dollars. Spider-Man come in second, MIB2 is expected to be number 4 behind Austin Powers, Minority Report is predicted to be number 5 and Signs is at number 9. K-19 is not on the top 10 but is listed as a hot ticket.

Wired's main story is about Spielberg and Minority Report, but no real mention of the VFX work. There is a brief list of Wired's top 20 sci-fi films. But the real interesting part is the article on CG animated faces. It features the work of ILM, in particular a character named Hugo that was used for inhouse tests. The facial animation was realized via facial mocap and the results are quite impressive. Senior modeler Geoff Campbell, mocap supervisor Seth Rosenthal and R&D lead Steve Sullivan. Also profiled is Stanford researcher Henrik Wann Jensen, creator of photon mapping, Lucia Modesto of PDI discusses Shrek, Alvy Ray Smith, one of Pixar's original members since the Lucasfilm days and now at Microsoft chimes in and Andy Jones, animation director for Final Fantasy has some brief comments.

Thanks to The Cynic for the Premiere heads up.