Computer Graphics World

April-May-June 2024

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2 cgw a p r i l • m ay • j u n e 2 0 2 4 A NEW DIMENSION OF VISUAL STORYTELLING mmy Awards season is upon us, so it's the perfect time to celebrate the shows that have caught our attention and captivated us over the past year. With so many top-tier offerings across all genres, it can feel impossible to keep up with every new series. One thing is for sure, though—visual effects are playing a more essential role in storytelling than ever before. From spectacularly eye-catching CG creatures and fantastical landscapes to virtually invisible set extensions and subtle augmentations for historical accuracy, visual effects are allowing creatives to tell stories and build worlds in ways that were never possible in the past. Rapidly evolving technology is fueling new and improved VFX production pipelines that maximize efficiency and allow creativity to flourish. In our cover story, we dive into the imaginative visual effects of FX's What We Do in the Shadows, a hilarious mockumentary series based on Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's comedy/horror film of the same name. Garnering critical acclaim, 21 Emmy nominations, and a dedicated fan base throughout its five seasons, the series documents the idiosyn- cratic exploits of four modern-day vampires who share a home on Staten Island. Muse VFX, a boutique Hollywood, CA and Atlanta, GA-based visual effects company, has played an essential role in craing the show's uniquely stylized visuals. "The goal is sometimes to be invisible, and always to help reach the show's vision," explains VFX supervisor Fred Pienkos. "I think what I like the most about it is that the visual effects also play a part in the comedy, and what's most rewarding for me is when I see our team adding to this humor that is already so rich." Also in this issue, Post editor-in-chief Marc Lous takes us behind the scenes of the crit- ically acclaimed Apple TV+ miniseries Masters of the Air. Set in War War II, the nine-episode drama follows the brave airmen of the 100th Bomb Group—a B-17 Flying Fortress unit— as they carry out dangerous missions to destroy targets in German-occupied Europe. An armada of VFX studios collaborated to bring the show's stunning visuals to life, including The Third Floor, DNEG, Whiskeytree, Rodeo FX, and Wētā FX. "It was like doing three mov- ies, back-to-back. Sometimes not even back-to-back—sometimes on top of each other," shared overall VFX supervisor Stephen Rosenbaum. "In terms of scope and complexity, this was definitely a beast. And it grew exponentially as we were prepping and then shooting." This issue also explores the process of animating 1970s Italian giallo horror inspired im- agery for Head Shoppe's new "Séance" music video, and spotlights an array of new tech- nological advancements in the ever-evolving realm of virtual production. FutureWorks VFX supervisor Vinay Chuphal provides insights into his career and the ways in which AI is impacting the industry: "VFX artists and 3D animators bring a unique understanding of storytelling, emotion, and artistic expression to their work, which is not easily replicated by AI. Instead, AI tools are more likely to augment the capabilities of artists and animators, allowing them to focus on more creative and complex aspects of their cra." We can't wait to see how advancements in visual effects will continue to elevate story- telling in the years to come. E R E C E N T A W A R D S E D I T O R I A L CGW MANAGING EDITOR Kendra Ruczak t: 818.291.1168 POST EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Marc Loftus t: 516.376.1087 PUBLISHER/PRESIDENT/CEO William R. Rittwage COP Communications A D V E R T I S I N G DIRECTOR OF SALES: PRINT, DIGITAL, AND AWARDS Mari Kohn t: 818.291.1153 c: 818.472.1491 EDITORIAL OFFICE / LA SALES OFFICE 620 West Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 t: 818-291-1168 D E S I G N SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Michelle Villas ISSUE DESIGNER Kendra Ruczak C U S T O M E R S E R V I C E / C I R C U L A T I O N Junior Lopez t: 818.291.1117 D I G I T A L M A R K E T I N G / S O C I A L M E D I A Tommy Rittwage t: 818.291.1166 COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD, A COP COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY. Computer Graphics World does not verify any claims or other information appearing in any of the advertisements contained in the publication, and cannot take any responsibility for any losses or other damages incurred by readers in reliance on such content. Computer Graphics World cannot be held responsible for the safe- keeping or return of unsolicited articles, manuscripts, photographs, illustrations or other materials. Address all subscription correspon- dence to: Computer Graphics World, 620 West Elk Ave, Glendale, CA 91204. Subscriptions are available free to qualified individuals within the United States. Non-qualified subscription rates: USA—$68 for 1 year, $98 for 2 years; Canadian subscriptions —$98 for 1 year and $136 for 2 years; all other countries—$150 for 1 year and $208 for 2 years. Digital subscriptions are available for $27 per year. Subscribers can also contact customer service by calling 818-291-1158, or sending an email to Postmaster: Send Address Changes to Computer Graphics World, 620 W. Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 Please send customer service inquiries to 620 W. Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 Kendra Ruczak Managing Editor, CGW

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