Wednesday, August 29, 2012

ENDER/MAZER FACE OFF!

Picture of AsaButterfield as Ender Wiggin and Sir Ben Kingsley as Mazer  Rackham

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ender's Game Movie behind the scenes. Khylin Rhambo and 3D capture

For those of us who have been following the developments of the upcoming Ender's Game Movie. We spend alot of time trying to what is going on in decipher pictures that comes from the actors, crew, or production members in order to get some idea of how they will work movie magic to translate the story on screen

At the beginning of production one cast member Khylin Rhambo, who plays Dink Meeker in the film, posted this picture to his Facebook account showing him in a room of light. According to an article on Ender's Ansible he states that the "the technology in the picture was used to scan his face, take costume measurements, 'and other stuff.'” There was not much known about the technology until now.


In my recent internet travels, I encountered a Huffington Post science column called "Talk Nerdy to Me" run by their senior science correspondent Cara Santa Maria. In May she posted a video report called "How to make a Digital Human" which features the technology you see in Khylin's picture called Light Stage X.  Light Stage X is globed network of lights and cameras that was developed by the Graphics Lab at University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Studies, it's purpose, as one of it's creators and lab directors Paul Debevec, Ph.d states is a way of "digitizing people's faces to turn a real person in to a digital person that would be just as realistic as the real thing."

I can spend another 500 words or so giving you an overview about how this thing works, or you can watch the video (WATCH THE VIDEO). It gives a good overview about how it works, how they used it for facial captures for actors in movies and video games, and a example of how they generate a digital version of Cara. Awesome tech.



I can imagine that Digital Domain would be using this capture technology to generate 3D versions of all the kids for integration into CGI effects for the Battle Room sequences. It will be exciting to see how it comes out. This should give you some better understanding into how Digital Domain is spending their money on the Movie!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ender's World Technology

Did you ever read Ender's Game wonder how the things like the Battle School and the Ansible would work in real life? I know I did when I read it. Well wonder no further, Steve Sywak,  a master engineer with backgrounds in the aerospace and entertainment industry can explain it all to you!
A fan of the novel, he has spent the last decade or more applying his knowledge to make plausible designs and explanations about how the  technology in the book could work. That's one of the things I love about Sci-Fiction is that you can use it as an inspiration to foster participation and advancements in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers!

Steve devised a working engineering design for the Battle School that used book descriptions as constraints. This design included rotating and non-rotating elements As he proceeded further in the design he pioneered a unique way to shuttle people between the two and even wrote a research paper that he presented at an engineering conference. Steve also wrote the "Technology" section included in the Authorized Ender's Game Companion.

Steve has recently published via Slideshare his presentation about Ender's Game Technology at EnderCon. A convention created by Orson Scott Card in 2002 to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ender Game short story publication. It's very interesting you should check it out!