Thursday, 29 August 2013

3D Animated Trilogy Film “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

After achieving huge response from the audiences by the trilogy film “Lord of the Rings”, Peter Jackson is now working on a 3D animated trilogy film, which is named “The Hobbit.” The first sequel “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was released in 2012 and achieved a massive success. Following the success of the first sequel, Peter Jackson is now going to release the second sequel named as “The hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The adventure of the hobbit starred by Bilbo Baggins is continuing in this film with the wizard Gandalf and twelve dwarves led by Thorin Oakensheild for an epic quest to reclaim the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug.

Andrew Lesnie, the cinematographer and his team have done their work successfully in the first film and they continued their work in this film similarly. It is a big challenge for the visual effects team at Weta Digital team to bring Tolkien’s fantastical romp to life, but they are successful as they did it in this film. It is the first blockbuster which combines the dimensional hurdles of 3D with HFR technology and makes it the most arguable daunting special effects movie ever. As put by Letteri, the supervisor of the visual effects that there were a lot of things we got away with on Lord of Rings, such as the miniatures which bring a lot more difficulties to do in 3D. Though it’s possible to use miniatures, but it is tougher to pull off the scale, mood and lighting. However, in this film we have done it successfully.
The most challenging sequence in this film is the opening skit in Bag End. At first they brought the wizard, Gandalf closer to the camera and pushed the dwarves back to make them small, but that didn’t work in 3D. Then they found the only way was to shoot in stereo using two cameras slaved to each other across two sets. The camera operators on the Bag End are set to follow the action, which is driving a motion-controlled camera on the green screen set to follow Ian, said by Letteri. So the director could see both in the monitor together. In this film, the most contentious and innovative technology is HFR which is used to give a clearer and smoother picture.

Though HFR basically changes the look of the film, Weta can transform it with what they have achieved with CG animation. Letteri believes that it was very helpful for the fast motion and Gollum’s rapid dialogue, thus it could really sharpen up movement with HFR. At the cave scene of this movie, they show some creativity, because there is “less bur” to perceive detail all the way and really pay attention to the nuances of Gollum’s facial animation. The realization of the digital acting which stands out in this film is the achievement of FX.
In this modern world, everyone is eager to see some high-tech graphics. This kind of films need technology and render farm with considerable render nodes support to create a new era of 3D animation.
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