“I was doing my PhD when I started to do research in trying to bridge the physical world with the digital world,” explains Hao Li, professor and 3D software developer. Li has been on the leading edge of the new generation of 3D technology.
zeeBigBang spoke with Hao Li, currently a University of Southern California professor, whose research led him to a great development in 3D capture technology. He has been working away from traditional computer graphics, where you have a virtual object that you’re trying to render in a way that will make it look as real as possible, and started working inversely, where you have a real object and you’re trying to bring it into the digital.
The development allows a computer to use an algorithm in order to understand what it’s capturing at a very geometrical level. This caught the attention of a company called Industrial Light and Magic, (ILM) who do the visual effects for the Star Wars films.
Li was hired by ILM to develop new 3D capturing technology for the upcoming Star Wars films. They saw Li’s work as a way to eliminate marker based motion capture, especially for the face. Marker based motion capture involves scanning people using special markers on their face and body in order to render virtual animations based on the actors movement. The technology, however, is limited, especially when trying to capture the intricate movements of the human face.
Once developed, ILM can then use Li’s 3D technology for visual effects in any other motion picture. These developments would not only improve existing technology but also revolutionize virtual production.
The film, which premiers at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend, is itself a surreal experience within within the mind of Benoît. Keep A Modest Head features rare audio recordings and film footage taken in Benoît’s studio in Paris.
zeeBigBang spoke with Dawson on the making of his film and what it was like to get such intimate access to Benoît.
The live production features 23 dragons, some with wingspans of up to 46 feet, including Viking warriors and world-class acrobats who perform against a 20,000 square foot wall-to-floor immersive projection screen.
"There’s nothing quite of this nature in Toronto.There’s a massive [animation] audience here. We’ve got all this great infrastructure and there’s so much industry here." That’s what kicked off the idea for TAAFI according to Ben McEvoy, festival co-founder.