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RobertoOrtiz
02-07-2009, 05:35 PM
Hey guys I need help setting up a future challenge, and I need your ideas.


I want to do a tribute of FX Magician Albert Whitlock, and I want to see how you guys would do this.


Who is he?
You might have seen his work and not know it...

The flying saucer embedded in ice in "The Thing" (Video: Link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouZkkIsLiNg))
The prologue from "Cat People" (Video: Link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=golEvRaaKYo))
The town shots in "The Birds" (Video: Link1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2wY7Cq2qHU), Link2) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RunhKHMDEg&feature=related)
All the Matte work from "Greystoke" (Video: Link1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm1IA8AS-as))
Almost every FX shot from "History of the World" Part I (Video: Link) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uXhE7DuVdw)
Almost every FX shot from "Earthquake" (Video:Link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh4cIdQYf9o))
The passing train shot in "The Sting" (Video: Link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCfflhAHbT0))
The temple shot in "The Man who would be king"
The zeppelin hovering over Manhattan in "The Hindenburg"
The sandstorm in "Bound for Glory"
Fx shots in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Video: Link) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xhyuey4xU3Q)
The Blues Brothers (Video: Link) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjGfnsjdJec)
"He was an English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England) motion picture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_picture) matte (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matte_(filmmaking)) artist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist) best known for his work with Disney (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_Pictures) and Universal Studios (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Studios)."


"Whitlock began working as a matte artist during World War II. Recruited by Walt Disney (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney), who was an admirer of his work, he would relocate to the U.S. in the early 1950s.At Disney, where the head of the Matte Department was fellow-Londoner and near-exact contemporary Peter Ellenshaw (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Ellenshaw), he successfully mastered the impressionistic approach to matte painting that he would become known for. He remained with the studio for seven years, helping with the design of Disneyland as well as film work, before moving to Universal in 1961. There he served as the head of their matte department, continuing his long collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Hitchcock) and many other directors, until retiring from the company in 1985 (though he continued to work on the odd production for a few years after).

His crowning achievement was the creation of over 70 individual matte paintings for the 1974 disaster film (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster_film), Earthquake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake_(film)), which earned him an Academy Award (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award). He won the Oscar again the following year for The Hindenburg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hindenburg_(film)), in which he re-created the great airship and its final voyage. Universal loaned out Whitlock and his team for some notable visual effects work on films including Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greystoke:_The_Legend_of_Tarzan,_Lord_of_the_Apes), the David Lynch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lynch) version of Dune (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune_(film)), Mame (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mame_(film)), The Learning Tree (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Learning_Tree) and Bound for Glory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bound_for_Glory_(film)). In the latter film, Whitlock created the famous Dust Storm with moving cotton-covered disks.

In addition to his film work, Whitlock is famous among Star Trek fans for the matte painting used to establish the huge exterior of the Delta Vega lithium cracking station in Star Trek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series) (1966). The painting was later modified and reused as the Tantalus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantalus) penal colony from the Star Trek episode "Dagger of the Mind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagger_of_the_Mind_(TOS_episode))".

He is also responsible for the matte paintings in History of the World, Part I (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_World,_Part_I), and even appears in the movie hawking used chariots."

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Whitlock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Whitlock)

Stefan-Morrell
02-08-2009, 12:19 AM
here's a documentary about him too:
Visual Effects Society’s tribute to Al Whitlock
http://mattepainting.org/vb/showthread.php?t=2745

RobertoOrtiz
02-09-2009, 05:06 AM
Holey moley...

That story by John Landis on the VFX ofthe Blues Brothers is amazing.

nickmarshallvfx
02-10-2009, 03:52 AM
Anyone who hasnt already, if you want to know more about Whitlock, read The Invisible Art by Mark Cotta Vaz and Craig Barron. Its out of print now, but you can still pick up copies on ebay etc.

I really cant wait to hear more about this. Depending on when it runs, i really want to get involved! Just a bad time for me right now, but ill try!

Nick

Velarion
02-10-2009, 04:08 PM
I'll definitely be involved in this when it starts. Whitlock and Ellenshaw are like matte painting gods.

katana2665
04-18-2009, 11:55 AM
I actually met Albert Whitlock at Universal. I was just a kid at the time, my father was on the crew shooting "All Night Long" at the time. I got in with a nice girl from the FX dept. while they were working on "Heartbeeps". Although the meeting was brief, he was painting a glass pane for Mel Brooks "History of the World" He was a very nice and calm guy. He seemed ancient in years, but clearly a God in talent. Even then I knew who he was as a matte painter...Funny how times change. I wonder if any of the digital matte artists could do what he did...I wonder if they ever tried. (meaning no disrespect to anyone who does it.)

RobertoOrtiz
04-18-2009, 05:00 PM
I actually met Albert Whitlock at Universal. I was just a kid at the time, my father was on the crew shooting "All Night Long" at the time. I got in with a nice girl from the FX dept. while they were working on "Heartbeeps". Although the meeting was brief, he was painting a glass pane for Mel Brooks "History of the World" He was a very nice and calm guy. He seemed ancient in years, but clearly a God in talent. Even then I knew who he was as a matte painter...Funny how times change. I wonder if any of the digital matte artists could do what he did...I wonder if they ever tried. (meaning no disrespect to anyone who does it.)

Wow what a tale.
One of the things I want to do with these new type of challenges is to give a sence of history
with our trade.

And to make people rethink the tools we use by learning from those masters that came before us.

katana2665
04-18-2009, 05:13 PM
yep...I agree. My father tells me he still gets calls from film students asking what program they used in The Exorcist....(*Laugh ) (sorry if this comes across as name dropping..)...as if CG were even in the infancy...

I've never tried a matte, might be a good excuse to do one. There's been some great work done by the community.

RobertoOrtiz
04-18-2009, 05:19 PM
yep...I agree. My father tells me he still gets calls from film students asking what program they used in The Exorcist....(*Laugh ) (sorry if this comes across as name dropping..)...as if CG were even in the infancy...

.

wow, I mean wow...

My pet complaint is wen people call Visual Effects "Graphics" specially when you are looking at older films.

This happened recently when I saw Trek II with a crowd here in DC.

Well I will need help from the forum setting up the RULES for this proposed tribute.

Please post your ideas/suggestions.
-R

MatejaPetkovic
04-20-2009, 12:15 PM
I want to get involve into this one. Sound promising

M

RobertoOrtiz
04-22-2009, 12:47 AM
we will have ONE MONTH to set this up.


So what I am lookign for ideas On how to make this work.

Lets use this thread as a staging area for people to share their ideas on this topic.

-R

thundering1
04-29-2009, 03:30 AM
I'm very curious and would love to take part in this - any ideas as far as content, or a brief or something?

-Lew

RobertoOrtiz
04-29-2009, 01:11 PM
Wel lI am leaning to doing something as CLOSE as the real thin in trms of what a matte
painting really is.


I think we should do it, the same way Albert Whitlock did...
But with digital tools
-R

MatejaPetkovic
04-29-2009, 08:21 PM
Wel lI am leaning to doing something as CLOSE as the real thin in trms of what a matte
painting really is.
I think we should do it, the same way Albert Whitlock did...
But with digital tools
-R

You mean just paint without using photo or 3d?
That would be fun

M

Tris3d
04-30-2009, 08:23 AM
Sounds great mate! Wish it was the next challenge. :drool:

nickmarshallvfx
04-30-2009, 01:06 PM
That does sound pretty cool, although im guessing hard to judge?

Look forward to hearing more.

Nick

RobertoOrtiz
05-02-2009, 05:44 AM
That does sound pretty cool, although im guessing hard to judge?

Look forward to hearing more.

Nick

Soon,
for now:
CgTalk:FXWars! Lighthouse & the Wave! - Challenge:25 (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=139&t=758963)

RobertoOrtiz
05-29-2009, 04:10 PM
I wanted to remind all about this mini challenge idea.


I want to film some background plates, so please post your ideas on what I should film.

-R

thundering1
05-29-2009, 04:27 PM
I can also shoot, and send a link to the footage if needed (JVC HD110 with an FS5 - 720p).

Do we wanna have a brief - this is the movie, it is of THIS genre, the background needs to be replaced with THIS image, as well as some foreground elements, etc.?

Or do we wanna just shoot some footage and freewheel what we do with it?

-Lew

everlite
05-29-2009, 05:00 PM
I'd suggest shooting HD, have an option of say 3 sequences, about 3-5 seconds each. Shoot somewhere that doesn't require any rotoing, take something with distinct depth, ie maybe have something strong in the foreground, like a building then something in the distance. If you can get high up, maybe shoot down into the street level ...

Railway, train coming past camera slowly.

highways ...

Airport ...

Shipyard ...

Constructions sites ...

not too sure.

"Painting with light" is the thing to keep in mind with Whitlock; this should be a strong criteria of the challenge.

Dave.

RobertoOrtiz
05-29-2009, 05:16 PM
I can shoot also in HD in the DC area.

And I am going to New Orleans, LA & The Caribbean soon.

I can muster some friends to help me on this.

RobertoOrtiz
05-31-2009, 02:41 PM
Anyway lets keep the comments flowing.
Should we do some basic storyboards?

-R

katana2665
05-31-2009, 03:02 PM
Do you really want to turn it into a mock movie project? Seems that, that might get overly complicated...the painting with light thing isn't really a style, its a marketing gimmmick...all color variation is seen because of the way the light bounces off and / or through it...perhaps looking at what projects Whitlock liked to be a part of? Just a thought...

RobertoOrtiz
05-31-2009, 03:16 PM
Not at all.
The background plates would be filmed in advanced and supplied to the participants.
and to be honest filming those plates should not be a huge problem.

Besides this is not part of the challenge... This is more like preproduction of the challenge.
Again the plates would be supplied to the teams for them to use as they wish.

The idea is to do a tribute to some of his famous shots.
And try to replicate them.

We just need a camera, a sunny day, a couple of friends and a couple of locations ( an open field, an industrial area etc)

we just need to agree on what films we should do tributes in the plates that we would film.
(Earthquake for sure, and maybe the Birds)

BlenderFan
05-31-2009, 10:27 PM
I have to cast my vote for doing a tribute to "The Birds". I didn't know the aerial shots in "The Birds" where painted until I watched the special features. I have not seen "Earthquake"; I'll have to check it out.

Cheers and God bless.

nickmarshallvfx
06-03-2009, 02:42 AM
Im not entirely clear, is the aim to do an Al Whitlock style of matte using modern digital technology, or to create a matte using photoshop but only using hand painting (no photo manipulation)?
Either way its worth remembering that the cameras were locked-off so tyat the illusion wasnt broken, and there was often a large amount of foreground / focal point movement to compensate.

-N

RobertoOrtiz
06-03-2009, 04:06 PM
To be honest I would like something different.

Try to get as close to the old school approach as possible, just to see how that is like.

nickmarshallvfx
06-03-2009, 06:46 PM
So we are talking about steering clear of all photo manipulation then? Sounds like a great challenge, but would it be difficult to police? I can already see the disagreements over whether a piece has really been done without photo manip. Having said that, the cgsociety bunch are a good group, and if everyone stays honest it would be a great challenge and a cool test of core skills!

N

Tris3d
06-04-2009, 07:24 PM
Haha thats a real tough challenge! I really wanted to practice with photo manipulation but I'm up for giving it a shot!

RobertoOrtiz
06-06-2009, 03:36 PM
I can get some artists from the DSF to see if they would be intersted in helping out.
(this would be a great opportunity fo those fx artists that cant paint to save their lives)

-R

thundering1
06-06-2009, 03:42 PM
I'm a photo-jockey, and even I'm looking forward to trying just flat-out painting! No photos involved other than holding it in my hand and looking at it as a reference to paint. No 3D base structures, nothing.

Bring it on!

-Lew

RobertoOrtiz
06-14-2009, 04:29 PM
Ok time to start gathering some reference for this challenge...

We will focus on his work on The Birds & Earhquake...
Consider this thread a PREPRODUCTION thread.
I will be posting for the next week images and clip from both films.

RobertoOrtiz
06-14-2009, 04:33 PM
EARTHQUAKE:

http://es.geocities.com/artinmovies/Birds.html
http://es.geocities.com/artinmovies/eartquake.html
http://theoscarsite.com/whoswho5/whitlock_a.htm
Earthquake - The Movie - Trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh4cIdQYf9o)
http://www.earthquakemovie.com/[/url]
THE BIRDS:

http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/exhibitions/current/hitchcock.html
http://www.filminamerica.com/Movies/TheBirds/
http://www.mattepainting.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=34
The town shots in "The Birds" (Video: [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2wY7Cq2qHU"]Link1 (http://members.aol.com/earthquakemovie2/prepro.html), Link2) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RunhKHMDEg&feature=related)
The (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGXGxYPPrHA) Birds Trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGXGxYPPrHA)
http://www.denofgeek.com/misc/178043/top_sfx_shots_no6_the_birds.html
MISC:

http://es.geocities.com/artinmovies/Whitlocks-gallery.html

katana2665
06-14-2009, 06:34 PM
nice choices

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