Breaking the silence, with a Trailer Release

Hello world, this is my first update in 4 years. Figured it's about time to awaken this blog from its slumber. There are two reasons for this long delay.

First one is silly stupid: a software update broke my website generator, rendering me technically incapable of publishing updates. Thanks, Rapidweaver! The problem is now partially resolved, but with the effect that I will have to rebuild the page from the ground up. Guess it was due anyways, the original design is from 2007 and isn't really holding up anymore...

Second reason is that all my time and attention was spent on crafting a short film: Troll Bridge. This is a cinematic adaptation of a Discworld story by Terry Prattchett. It was a passion project of mine for the last 15 years - in fact, work on it started long before I launched this website or even published my first HDR book. With a running length of 30 minutes, filled with 250 VFX shots, it's also my most ambitious project ever. The film has a whole family of animated trolls, a talking horse head replacement, massive digital set extension, plus a magical sword and hundreds of minor effects. Truly epic. All crowdsourced, which means hundreds of kind souls donated their work and time to get this film done. We basically formed an ad-hoc artist commune over the internet. I made many new friends, met exceptionally talented artists from all over the world, and had the privilige to lead this unique army of volunteers in my role as VFX supervisor. There are certainly enough Making-Of stories to fill several blog posts, but for now...

Please enjoy our brand new trailer!

Currently we're filing off the last rough edges on a couple of shots, but the film is already submitting to festivals. I can't wait to see it on the big screen.

Going forward, I will try to figure out what to do with this blog. HDR has infiltrated all walks of life while I was gone. Dolby Vision is everywhere (as I predicted in my book), panorama cameras had a huge revival, it's never been easier to author and edit panoramic material (including video foortage), and you can't even walk into a Best Buy without a salesman praising the latest 8k HDR flatscreen. We're already on the verge of VR light field technology, and so the amount of news item I didn't cover is staggering. Not sure if I should concentrate on catching up on pivotal developments from the last 4 years or stick to reporting on brand-new cutting edge news. What do you think? Tell me in the comments! Either way, good to be back!

Oh, and another concern is the future of Smart IBL, which is in desperate need of some maintenance to work with the latest flavors of Maya. If you know Python and MEL, and want to help out, please drop me a line!

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