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George Lucas & # 39; Howard's Duck movie made The Matrix happen




When you read the history of the most famous factory in the movie industry, it almost always includes Howard Duck, a 1986 Marvel Comics regular costing $ 37 million and he struggled at the box office.

The iconoclastic Marvel comic written by Steve Gerber became a cultural obsession in the mid-1970s, and George Lucas got it in film school. In the '80s, however, Gerber's creation was largely forgotten – except for Lucas. Director-producer has chosen Howard Duck as one of his post-Star Wars marquee production projects, directed by his old friend again American Graffiti Co-author Willard Huyck.

But from the ashes of failure it often succeeds in the future. This extraordinary debate about the breadth of the anthropomorphic waterfalll presented a special way of transforming the way cinema was created. We would not Matrix out Howard Duck.

Behind the feathers

Howard duck and that thompson in Howard in the duck

Image: Universal Pictures

In the 1980s, Industrial Light & magic was where the special effects of magic took place. Lucas founded the company because he wanted the real thing star Wars a visual input that no other sci-fi film had released before. A New HopeSpace battles were carried out using a PDP-11 computer that accurately removed the camera rig around the smaller models. It reproduces its motion and brings it back to the original position, allowing for more shooting to be combined while preserving placement and vision. This changed the way image effects have been sorted, and put the computer in the heart of Lucas Tool. It was not long before ILM's attention shifted to the use of machines to transform the film itself.

ILM projects were often used as evidence of a new technology concept, too Howard Duck it was different. The movie was full of highlights, ranging from "Go to Motion"The process, used to create a true blur of the film shot with the Digital Overlord, on the wireless controls of Howard's animation. But the irony is that the film's most important effect was something that was not even on screen.

Howard DuckThe most realistic turn comes at the beginning, at the scene where the duck was kicked out of his apartment and his easy chair. The effect was fitted with metal rods pulling puppies and straight into many walls and rays, but it was only after the camera stopped rolling that it made a real difference.

Going by telephone

The cord suspension was nothing new to the special task. Classics like Metropolis (1927) no King Kong (1933) mimicked aviation by moving small-scale models into less visible metal lines. Actors can also be tied with harnesses to simulate a plane, which is a technique used on stage.

Over in Hong Kong, the directors were desperate for their cables. To increase their already impressive power, players were tied to ropes of heroic connections and kicks that showed gravity. The process described wuxia 1960s films, but if you turn around, you can often see telltale strings stopping heroes and villains.

There were many ways to hide or hide their existence. Wires are painted to match the background, illuminated by light, dimmed with Vaseline, and sometimes even painted on the film itself. But because Howard Duck, ILM developed the following technical solution.

Take it out

After installing scenes with Howard's chair on the walls and walls outside the building, the image was taken to the ILM optical lab, where the team used dirt, double-disclosure, and other traditional methods of producing the backdrop to create visual effects. According to Jonathan Luskin, a music artist and technical director at ILM, the original intention was to use traditional analog methods to hide the wires – he thinks Vaseline might be in the glass. But it was a little vague: Howard's distinctive architecture flies by drawing too much attention to the telephone, blurred and moving.

As the door nears its end, experts find a team of computer photographers to see if there are any ideas. ILM & # 39; s Graphics Group recently developed a program called LayerPustom to use the first Pstrong Image computers. (When Lucasfilm sold the controlling interest in Graphics Group to Steve Jobs in 1986, Jobs renamed the company after that part of the hardware.) LayerPaint allowed artists to draw sharp images in a transparent part above the film wave, before consumer products such as Photoshop were made available. it is possible.

The group also has one of the world's largest digital film scanners capable of handling film. Luskin adapted the system to load the frames in a row, which artist Bruce Wallace has used to combine the colors of the background and the overlay of transparent strings, frame by frame. The result, as you go, looks less developed.

This method quickly hit the circles of visual effects. In a nutshell, films can have live actors and ways to violate the laws of physics without turning to a blue screen. Many studios have developed their own techniques and software, and the method was widely used for hoverboard sequences inside Back to Part Two of the Future

and then the bike jumps Article 2: Judgment Day shortly thereafter.

“Nobody thought of us first,” he tells Luskin. “It was always a matter of identity. Some managers of visual effects were thinking ahead, but others didn't really understand what we could or could not do. ”Litterer's leading program presenter, Mark Leather, was to receive the Academy Award in 1993 for his contribution to the process.

Excellent battles

While American movies may have included one or two file threads within a single film, Hong Kong action demanded more. By the 1990s, wireworks had become industrialized in the industry, and a generation of firefighters were watching the rise of ants. Films like Ching Siu-tung & # 39; s Swordsman II and Tsui Hark & ​​# 39; s Once upon a Time in China you are fighting against the enemy with the help of the telephone.

One of the most notable directors of the time was Yuen Woo-ping. After starting his career in 1978 with Jackie Chan's car Snake in the shadow of an eagle, Yuen has worked with many types of oils. As he gained confidence, he began translating choreographing skirograis of the act by telephone. 1993 & # 39; s Iron Monkey, was widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of this Hong Kong architecture.

When executive producer Barrie Osborne approached Yuen about coming on board Matrix, at first he shrinks, fearing that his poor English will hinder his performance. But when he was stopped from the profession and the special effects that would accompany his wrestling choreography, he agreed to work for America for the first time, with a platform that advanced players would train directly with.

Getting inside

The Wachowskis had big dreams Matrix.

The script included and featured conceptual ideas from Buddhism, quantum mechanics, semiotic, and more. In 1999 discussion on the Warner Bros. website “We think that the most important kind of fictional attempt to answer some of the big questions,” they noted. One of the things we talked about when we first came up with the concept of the Matrix is ​​the idea that I believe philosophy and religion and mathematics are all trying to answer. That is, the reconciliation between the natural world and the other world which is reflected in our mind. ”

They also knew that Warner Bros. he was not going to pay $ 75 million in 90 minutes for philosophical inquiries, so they needed to bring a sequence of actions unlike Western audiences.

Best actors Matrix you were hard a four-month training program able to resist Yuen values. Most of the Hong Kong actors come from the martial arts program, so at least they have some basic knowledge of the techniques, but Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and the rest were first-timers. To make matters worse, Reeves had recently had surgery on two vertebrae around his neck, and yet he continued to do about 95% of his shooting action.

One of the reasons Yuen has agreed to work on the film is the technology that would be used to put on the mask, and he suggests that it has opened his eyes by being open to other effects. Most of the film sequences were shot, it is only the digital work that will be cleared of strings and cables.

It is undoubtedly how influential you are Matrix it was action cinema. Hollywood movies that follow include fun, larger-than-life fighting scenes. With the reliability of digital wire removal, directors can have their highest paid makers securely do more than just human and touch all the time.

Yuen took the digital wire back and moved to Hong Kong, and the directors there immediately adopted the method. Ang Lee & # 39; s 2000 film Crouching Tiger, The Hidden Dragon has shown how modern technology can adapt to the past wuxia mode, and before long, the old hiding methods were completely ineffective.

The beginning of the digital wire erasure has also created the making of films more secure for actors. Earlier the stunt coordinators used very thin straps to reduce their look to the camera. But now, it's as easy as painting with a large rope, reducing the chance of accidental cracking.

It is absolutely true that today's action, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe's battle scenes, owes a lot of recognizable names to technology from Howard Duck. If it weren't for the small group of ILM artists trying desperately to make a puppeteer on a simple chair look like a real plane, the world of cinema would have been very different.


Since I had my first console when I was 10, I've never stopped playing. I'm a multiplatform player and my favorite genre is RPG.

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