Dead Man’s Chest Goes Six for Six at VES Awards
There were plenty of challenges cited, ranging from recreating actual Mars data [for ROVING MARS] while maintaining historical reality and making the images presentable for IMAX, to rooting the bridge that went from foreground to background with five people in only seven weeks for DEAD MANS CHEST.
In addition, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to ILMs legendary senior vfx supervisor, Dennis Muren, an eight-time Oscar-winner, who began his career 30 years ago on STAR WARS and has been on the industrys cutting edge of innovation, working on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, INDIANA JONES & THE TEMLE OF DOOM, E.T., THE ABYSS, T2, JURASSIC PARK, A.I. and WAR OF THE WORLDS, among others.
Without George [Lucas], where would we be?, Muren asked backstage. Muren reminisced about the impact of seeing Yosemite as a child in opening up his observational skills. His philosophy: Think of everything that you do as being obsolete Take what you think you can do and top that Make an image look fresh and new. Ive grown to embrace technology. What artists need to do is make things work for them.
Right now Muren is working on an instructional book for CG artists intended to hone in on their observational skills and working part-time for ILM and Pixar. Hes working on realtime at ILM to make it more iterative and working on a synthesis of animation and vfx at Pixar that will work for them.
Lucas recalled Muren working nights at ILM and becoming not only a stalwart, but also the heart and soul of the organization. In terms of innovation at ILM, Lucas singled out Zviz, the companys realtime previs system based on the LucasArts game engine. Lucas said Zviz is still being beta tested on the new animated STAR WARS series, as well as INDIANA JONES 4. Its the single most thing that will revolutionize the industry, Lucas boasted.
Meanwhile, DEAD MANS CHESTs vfx supervisor John Knoll hinted at whats to come in the fourth installment this summer, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLDS END: Getting the Dutchmen characters integrated and smoothed out was the biggest challenge of DEAD MANS CHEST. In the next one, the challenges are more environmental. Theres a big water sequence at the climax and the requirements are somewhat different from POSEIDON and [demand] more techniques.