Musings & Interests of David Stipes
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  • 50 most influential visual effects films

    Posted on June 26th, 2009 dstipes 41 comments

    VES 50 most influential visual effects films

     

    One of my students asked for a list of visual effects films to look at during the break between quarters at school.  

    I directed him to the Visual Effects Society (VES) and their list of films.

     http://www.visualeffectssociety.com/documents/ves50revelfin.pdf

    ves-logo_575-banner1

     This was their list on May 10, 2007.  We have had a few new VFX films since ’07.  Do you agree with this list?   If not, what are your choices?

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • How to use a Perspective Cube

    Posted on April 14th, 2009 dstipes 7 comments

    New visual effects students often have difficulty with the concept and application of the “perspective cube.”  A perspective cube is a well constructed box with accurate parallel edges and right angles.  Usually it is white with black lines along the edges. Typical construction materials would be white foam core and one inch black paper tape along the edges. 

    The cube size is somewhat to taste and per your transportation restrictions but it should not be too small. Most appear to be 12″ x 12″ x 12″   or 18″ x 18″ x 18″.   I suggest using whole inch measurements and make all side equal as that facilitates quicker set up and ease of reproduction in a Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) environment if needed. 

    picture1The perspective cube can be used for multiple reasons. Today we will use the perspective cube to find a horizon line that can’t be seen.  

    Suppose you are on location where mountains or vegetation blocks your view of a horizon line and you have no other man-made structures to run perspective lines from to find a vanishing point and horizon line. 

       Read the rest of this entry »

  • The next best thing to knowing something ….

    Posted on April 4th, 2009 dstipes 5 comments

    At times students contact me about how to do certain effects or procedures in After Effects. Since I can’t always be available, I wanted to remind you that:

    * You have an interactive “Help” menu at the top of your After Effects tool bar or you can hit “F1” 

    * Within the Help Menu, there is an “effects reference” help section that will cover most, if not all, the effects menu.

    cmg4* Also check the wonderful text book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects by Trish and Chris Meyer. 

    * It is a valuable reference and belongs in every animator’s, editor’s and VFX artist’s library.

    * Look up the topic in the back, in the index, and it will take you to the pages that cover the subject of interest.

    * You can also Google topics like “puppet tool in After Effects”  or “How to use the puppet tool in After Effects”

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • A new adventure

    Posted on March 29th, 2009 dstipes 4 comments

    Blogging is a new adventure for me. With many urgings by my friends and the universe, I can no longer sit on my tush and talk about writing again. Now I have to produce something on a regular basis. Several categories of articles are drawing my interest. Maybe some of you will respond to them as well … or you may give me some suggestions.

    Some considerations; film and effects history, my experiences with Cascade Pictures and CPC Associates, Universal Hartland and, of course, David Stipes Productions.

    Star Trek stories and behind the scenes on some of my favorite shots will be covered.

    Since I am now more involved in education, I may visit that topic as well.

    I hope former colleagues will contribute their information and recollections to these topics. It would be nice to document our history and techniques before they are lost. Since I have been teaching, I have seen how much information is slipping away. Many of my students rely on their computer as their only tool to solve visual problems.  I want to remind my students of the old tried & true techniques, and maybe keep them alive a while longer.

    So, it seems I have several topics to write about. I hope you will return, read along and add to the commentary and conversation.

    David

  • Graduation day!

    Posted on March 29th, 2009 dstipes 1 comment

    Saturday March 28th was graduation day for The Art Institute of Phoenix.  I say, “Congratulations and well done!”  to all my students.

    I pushed them hard now they are going off to show what they can do.

    Colin McKee was gracious enough to share a photo with me. Colin is an Media Arts & Animation graduate interested in 3D animation and digital art.

    colin-mckee-graduation-wi09

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