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Tue, 18. September 2012 – 23:10

While trying to track down the creators of the Darktable software package – I am still planning to have it featured on the FLOSS Weekly show – I discovered that one of them had relocated to New Zealand, in order to work for Weta Digital. This of course triggered a quick jump halfway across the planet, at least digitally, directly placing myself in front of a number of shots from Prometheus, one of the mostly anticipated movies of this year (and yes, shame on me for still not having watched it). One of the really fascinating background stories I already had been picking up was an interview on fxguide.com, which provided some in-depth insight into the creation of selected sequences. Alongside with the interview – distributed as a podcast – there also is an in-depth article, which in even more detail is breaking down some of the visual effects of the film.

In the history of modern visual effects films there is a small handful of universes worthy of religious veneration: the bed chamber in 2001, the hover cars of Blade Runner, the initial flyover from Star Wars and of course, the fallen broken ship of Ridley Scott’s Alien. This last hallowed and sacred site is known to all serious visual effects artists, but for a select few artists at companies like MPC, Weta Digital and Fuel, they got to rebuild and reimagine these ‘consecrated’ assets – the map room, the ship and of course the pilot’s chair from Alien. The film has erupted a blogosphere of arguments over the meaning or symbolism these objects have in a creationist tale of mankind, but virtually without question even the harshest critics of the film have applauded the stunning visual effects of Prometheus.

If you want to understand some of the magic which has been used behind the scenes to create the visuals, this is a must-read article!