Movie Making: Is It Real Or Is It Digital?


CLEMSON, S.C. (Ivanhoe Newswire) –Advances in digital technology continue to happen all the time in the movies, with one breakthrough seemingly outdoing the last. Special effects in movies are so good that many viewers can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake. We’ll show you the latest in movie technology – you won’t believe your eyes.

Computers have changed the way we view movies and what can be done in movies. For a fraction of the cost in real life, moviemakers can blow things up, flood a town, and even re-build and re-sink the Titanic. Movie production has developed into both an art and a science. Computer scientists at Clemson University reveal not everything that looks real is.

“You almost never see a film that doesn’t have special effects anymore,” Robert Geist, Ph.D., computer scientist at Clemson University told Ivanhoe.

One image looks real, doesn’t it? It’s all-fake, right down to the leaves on the trees and the sunlight.

“This is why I call what I do fast fake physics. Because you have to be close enough to the real physics to make it look real,” Dr. Geist said.

But not all movies want to look real, 3D animation students in the digital production arts program at Clemson university – work hard to create entirely new things.

“None of this stuff actually exists, so we’re kind of just making it up as you go along, so you come up with the characters and then you create the characters,” Casey Johnson, Student in the digital production arts program at Clemson university told Ivanhoe.

To make these high tech animations, students are challenged with a unique blend of art, computer science, and computer engineering for spectacular visual affects from a program that has many students moving on to bigger and better things.

“I can’t find a movie anymore that I don’t see students of ours in the credits,” Dr. Geist said.

Giving credit where credit is due even when you can’t tell if it’s fake.

Students and faculty from Clemson University’s digital production arts program have won Oscars for visual effects in the movie “the golden compass” and an Academy Award for creating simulated water in the movie Titanic.

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