Computer Graphics World

Edition 4 2018

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D E P A R T M E N T 36 cgw | e d i t i o n 4 , 2 0 1 8 D E P A R T M E N T Red Carpet Wor thy FILMS TO WATCH AS WE HEAD INTO AWARDS SEASON BY KAREN MOLTENBREY The year at the box office started out rath- er slowly, but it quickly gained momentum thanks to a particular superhero who definitely came to the rescue – yet again. Without question, there were some big blockbuster VFX-filled films this year, aside from Black Panther. Just in the super- hero realm alone, there are a number of strong contenders as we head into awards season, including Ant-Man and the Wasp, Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War, and the upcoming Aquaman. In fact, a plethora of films released in 2018 contain a degree of visual effects work – some far more plentiful and cutting-edge than others. On the animated features side, CG superheroes played their part in saving the day, too, as the Incredibles once again flexed their muscle at the theater, drawing in crowds le and right for Incredibles 2. As of this writing, a number of the holi- day-season films had yet to be released – features boasting tremendous appeal and tremendous visual effects work. In fact, a handful (namely Mary Poppins Returns, Fan- tastic Beasts 2, and The Nutcracker) could potentially unseat the year's top earners. Until then, the films in the top spots at the box office are VFX/animated super- hero films: Black Panther, with more than $700 million in gross sales at the theater, followed by Avengers: Infinity War at $679 million, and Incredibles 2 at $608 million. (In fact, Black Panther sits at number three on the all-time box-office list.) Following for the year is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Deadpool 2, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Solo: A Star Wars Story – again, all big-time effects films. Although box-office gold does not directly translate into Oscar gold, it is an indication of overall popularity, at least among the general public. As we await the short lists and nominees for the upcoming Academy Awards and other major motion-picture competitions, here is the rundown of some of my top choices and why I believe they are deserving of this honor. VISUAL EFFECTS While the list of work is quite long in this category, there are a number of standouts. A Wrinkle in Time March 9, 2018 Walt Disney Pictures This long-awaited sci-fi adventure from Disney takes audiences through space and time. Some of the better effects are con- tained within the environments of the alien planets. This includes a menacing forest on the evil planet Camazotz, where a violent dust storm kicks up, with flying debris, dark clouds, ground that separates, and more. Avengers: Infinity War April 27, 2018 Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios "Superhero" and "super visual effects" go hand-in-hand. And Avengers: Infinity War definitely falls into this description. It is full of supersize VFX scenes containing legend- ary worlds and characters. Aside from the impressive work that brought the heroes to life, a larger-than-life standout is all-CG Thanos, motion-captured and animated by the visual effects teams at Digital Domain. In addition, there is the CG character Ebony Maw from Cinesite who is featured full- screen. In fact, character animation is big in the film, especially in various fight sequenc- es, including the all-out battle between the Guardians and Avengers. Black Panther February 16, 2018 Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures This movie dominated conversation and theaters for quite some time due to a number of its many achievements, includ- ing the effects, created by a dozen primary

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