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+ - Movies without Video FX->

Submitted by
kalieaire
kalieaire writes "I'm not a digital artist like the VFX guys at Digital production houses like Rhythm & Hues or the now defunct Digital Domain, but a lot of my friends are. This post basically highlights the current plight of the VFX industry especially after last night's Oscars in which the VFX awards acceptance speech was cut short. Face it, today's movies practically rely on amazing VFX to sell, without it, today's movies would be vastly different. However, today there's a bit of a revolution in the industry, directors are always asking for cheaper/better/faster without understanding that VFX isn't the "science" (read voodoo magic) that they're thinking of, but instead it requires real people making real decisions to make the special effects look realistic. The VFX industry is poorly recognized inside and outside the credits roll, nobody wants to see a the vast employ of digital artists at each production studio working on a single project (commonly >250). These people generally are working 80+ hour weeks to get projects like Life of Pi, Avatar, and Iron Man done in time for their release dates. They're also the only un-unionized crew in the film industry. Even heavy hitting actors like Robert Downey Jr, Mickey Rourke and the practically no named film production crews are unionized works with rights and benefits. Nothing like that exists for the VFX industry.

Imagine films such as Life of Pi with a blue doll instead of a Tiger. Perhaps Tony Stark wearing a skintight blue suit with white motion tracking balls instead of his amazing powered suit?

Didn't think so.

Here's even more additional reading:

http://vfxsoldier.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/an-open-letter-to-ang-lee/"

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask /. -- Can we survive our Aging infrastructure 2

Submitted by kalieaire
kalieaire (586092) writes "On the topic of global disaster, apocalypse, and pandemics, people rarely consider our aging infrastructure. I definitely thought about this topic a little more after Monday's story regarding Ron Fouchier's 10th generation airborne H5N1 strain, in which his genetic engineering experiments bear striking similarity to a High School student's AP Bio Fruit Fly Lab. What would happen if the world was suddenly half as large? Obviously some population areas will be largely unaffected where as others would suffer catastrophic losses. So what happens to nuclear power facilities in the event that all the operators fall ill and die in front of their workstations? Do they have sufficient automated safeguards and safety systems to scram a reactor bringing it to a shutdown and keep itself cool for an indeterminate period of time? What about USAMRIID and the CDC what's to stop some random scavenger like http://textsfrombennett.tumblr.com/ open up a few vacuum packs of preserved flesh infected with ebola thinking it's a steak dinner to then transfer it to other folks? Think Slashdot community, think."

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