By the time readers have this issue in their hands, 2008 will have already begun. What can we expect in the upcoming months? Undoubtedly, the use of motion capture will continue to grow, and expect to see more projects featuring lifelike digital humans. 2008 also will be big for stereoscopy, with films like Journey 3D, followed in 2009 by the 3D feature Avatar.
What are those in the industry anticipating? I asked a sampling of DCC veterans what application, technology, or product (aside from their own) they are looking forward to most. Here’s what they had to say:
Nick Rashby, AJA: “We’re looking forward to seeing which of the new codec formats are adopted by the postproduction industry for online quality, and what new formats and codecs are ultimately supported by the NLE software manufacturers.”
Patricia Harrell, AMD: “End users and developers are excited about the possibility of dramatically accelerating their workflows via GPUs, and we’ll see more ISVs taking advantage of this in 2008.”
Antonio Julio, Dell: “As company consolidation grows, so does customer demand for differentiation, especially in terms of application performance as it applies to workflow and creativity. This [opens the door] to providing a more simplified, solution-oriented approach that combines professional hardware, software, and services.”
Paul Babb, Maxon: “I’m not moved by the tools as much as I am by the art. I always look forward to seeing quality work coming from very small teams or even single artists. I expect to see more inspiring imagery, animation, videos, Webisodes, etc. unfettered by big studio influence.”
Dominique Pouliquen, RealViz: “We will see more applications in which capturing the real world ‘as is’ is key. This applies not only to visual effects (on-set mocap, HDR imaging, set reconstruction), but also to video games, architecture, and Web industries. On the Web side, everybody will soon be ready to navigate in 3D in virtual replicas of real cities for online shopping experiences.”
Robin Pengelly, Vicon: “The convergence of film and game production techniques has been predicted for years, but progress has been slow. Everybody sees convergence, most want it, but few know what it really means, and fewer still have actually tried it. 2008 will see many of the impediments removed and will allow both film and game productions to work in virtual production spaces that more closely resemble the creative’s dream.”
Tracy McSheery, PhaseSpace: “We are looking forward to the quad-core processors from AMD and Intel. With GPU graphics cards improving in speed and the software to take advantage of them, the tools for making ever-more realistic animatics and previz are making our clients happier. The key is that the big silicon producers are making their tools more accessible, with CUDA and CTM allowing us to write accelerated code directly to the GPUs, and multithreaded support from the compilers allows us to increase our applications four to eight times over a single CPU.”
Francois Wolf, Boxx Technologies: “It is fitting that Boxx’s 10th anniversary year (2008) will be the one when the DCC industry will make a full transition to HD for broadcast and even higher resolutions for film. The generalization of 2k stereo will result in upgrades to production and postproduction pipelines.”
What are you looking forward to in 2008? Let us know by starting a blog on the CGW Web site at www.cgw.com.