The first Terminator started a
franchise. The second film, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, established
milestones in computer graphics technology. The third left audiences
wanting more. Now, the fourth release, Terminator Salvation, once again
breaks new ground in CG with energy-conserving shaders designed to
produce more efficient and accurate reflections, new technology for
choreographing the light playing across a surface, and new techniques
for creating liquid metal.
ILM did not use these new tools to put reflections on shiny surfaces
for standout effects as they did in T2, but to create realistic
surfaces for CG terminators, cars, trucks, airplanes, and other objects
that blend so seamlessly into gritty backgrounds you believe the exist
in that world. How was this done? What is the magic behind this new
film? Find out in the June issue of Computer Graphics World.