Spring 2017

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80 CINEMONTAGE / Q2 2017 80 CINEMONTAGE / Q2 2017 TECH TIPS by Joseph Herman T o win a Scientific and Technical Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is no small feat. After all, these prestigious awards, which are given at a formal reception a couple of weeks before the principal Academy Awards ceremony, recognize original technical innovations and developments that result in significant improvements in motion picture production and exhibition. In 2017, Madrid- and London-based Solid Angle was presented with this important Academy Award for Arnold, its industry-leading 3D rendering software for animation and visual effects (Note: Solid Angle's award was for the higher-tier Scientific and Engineering Award, not the lesser Technical Achievement Award). That should give you some indication to the key role Arnold plays in the creation of complex, computer-generated imagery for feature films and TV. It's been used to render images for all the films in the Alice in Wonderland, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers franchises, as well as Elysium, and HBO's Game of Thrones. It was also used in the production of Gravity, which won seven Oscars, including Best Visual Effects. While Solid Angle boasts a team of talented developers, Arnold is the brainchild of Marcos Fajardo. His early ray-tracing code was implemented into WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) — a stage lighting design tool that earned an Engineering Emmy Award. Fajardo went on to create Arnold, entering into a partnership with Sony Pictures Imageworks to co- develop and adopt it as the company's main renderer. In 2007, Sony-owned Columbia Pictures' animated feature Monster House, rendered with Arnold, was nominated for an Academy Award. Since then, Arnold has become the preferred renderer for many leading visual effects and animation studios. Arnold is a powerful, unbiased, physically based path tracer and global illumination production renderer based on Monte Carlo ray-tracing algorithms. Without getting into a technical discussion as to what all that means, the important thing to know is that Arnold can produce high-quality, photorealistic renders of 3D scenes that some consider to be the best in the business. How powerful is the software? Well, the product was named after Arnold Schwarzenegger. Whether or not that is an indication of just how powerful the software is, I will leave up to you. See Arnold Run Solid Angle's Sci-Tech Award-Winning Rendering Software Arnold 5 at work within Autodesk Maya. Image by DadenOrgeron

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