VFX Oscar Bakeoff 2010: Seeing is Believing
And ILM's Scott Farrar closed the bakeoff with a little levity in his intro to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which substantially raises the robotic bar: "The biggest challenges were better acting… for the robots. And the sheer scope and scale of the show. First, we had 47 new robots to build in addition to rebuilding the previous 14, drawing inspiration from our photo library of auto parts, we continued to improve the photoreal look of the robots because two sequence would be shot on IMAX cameras… More detail was necessary for characters already built because an IMAX film frame is 8x larger than a 35mm anamorphic frame; 8x higher resolution; and 6x the storage space…Also, the camera moved into extreme close-up on Optimus and Devastator -- the most complex character ILM has ever built. So this caused massive increases in paint detail on the metal surfaces. Devastator contained 52,000 pieces and some of his IMAX frames took longer than we had time for. It's his fault that we had to develop a multi-res pipeline: five levels of resolution for each character because he had so many pieces…"
Afterward, the Samuel Goldwyn Theater lobby was buzzing with praise. All of the films seemed worthy of nomination. And everyone was impressed with the Dolby 3D presentation of the Avatar reel and how it was so much brighter than some theatrical screenings.
So, now we wait to see what two films will join Avatar: District 9, Star Trek and 2012 were the clear front runners. Some were talking sci-fi trio. Check back Feb. 2.
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.