included in the fabrication
area that perform many of
the same functions that we
employ when we as
hobbyists build a character. I
also had the opportunity to
see the computer graphic
section (although we didn’t
have time to view it in detail
— maybe next time).
The pictures are carefully
chosen and framed so as not
to reveal any current projects
but you will get an inside
look at the complete facility.
We certainly would not want to prematurely let the cat out
of the bag on an upcoming project!
At long last, this much anticipated visit was to begin.
The first stop was the domain of the computer geniuses.
Whether they are constructing a physical prop or
creating one digitally, the magic starts here. This is the
realm of the new age of effect wizards: those that create
characters while seated at their computers (Figure 2).
Discussions are ongoing among character and
environment creators as to the relevance of practical effects
versus digital effects. The work they do here makes it
apparent that the practical is still relevant. There certainly is
a place and time in the industry for both.
Computer-Generated Imagery (or CGI for short) is just
another tool. It allows us to be transported to places not
possible with practical effects, but it does come with a
more expensive price tag.
Upon leaving the computer section, we entered the
production floor where we were greeted by a collection of
figures that have entertained us over the years. These
characters have been featured in movies that have shaped
the special effects world for our enjoyment. They have
allowed their creators to immerse us in situations and
environments not possible in the real world (Figure 3,
Figure 4, and Figure 5). It was now time to discover what
each department had to reveal (Figure 6).
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Figure 4. Who likes dinosaurs? Figure 3. Plenty of super heroes here.
Figure 2. The
computer and brain
power in this room is
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