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Behind the Scenes

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the these-are-the-penguins-you-are-looking-for dept.

Movies 184

JosefK writes: "Film & Video is running an interesting and fairly in-depth article on the technology that's been used by Peter Jackson's crew and WETA for the production of the Lord of the Rings. From satellite video feeds for overseeing remote shoots, to the development of WETA's Massive program for depicting large scale battle scenes with tens and hundreds of thousands of "agents" (and it runs on Linux!), the article covers the gamut of the interesting things Peter Jackson's been doing Down Under." And Salon is running a lengthy article on the increasing use of Linux in the special effects industry.

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184 comments

goaty (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506952)

flavored secks!

Hello asswipe! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506957)

The first post is mine.

suck my dick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506990)

cumguzzler.

Re:suck my dick (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506995)

Obviously you don't have one, or else you post post logged in.

Only a cockless-prick like you would post as an AC.

Re:suck my dick (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507003)

Let's meet at the same time
Same place
Send your jpeg, I wanna see your face
Girlfriend, send an I.M.

TTYL
No time to spell
Oops, there goes that little bell
Bye, bye for now
BBFN

CHORUS: Hey, LOL, G2G
I gotta go, but watch for me 'cause
I'll be right back, BRB
So sign on, and I.M. me

Mom thinks I'm doing homework
Yeah, research
But I can't help it, I've just got to surf
I gotta chat with my girlfriends on line

We're digital divas
Believe us
This Girl Wide Web is hot stuff
My buddy list is growing all the time

CHORUS

I got a web page
A domain
Sign my guest book with your screen name
Check it out, then send an I.M.

What's your profile?
Favorite quote?
This is just like passing notes
It's easier to type than use a pen

CHORUS 3 times

Re:suck my dick (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507089)

ACs rule. Fuck you logged-in shitbags. Don't hide behind an account trying to sound all cool. Post anonymously and show some balls.

Dick

in your eye.

Thank you.

Typical Slashdot Posting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506956)

WETA's Massive program ... runs on Linux

Is it open source? Where can I download it? Open source it, dammit! Come on. You linked to the kernel. Idiot, the kernel is LGPL. Well, they linked to something else obviously. GPL violation! RMS! Kill them! Shut up! There is no GPL violation! ARAGHRHGHAG! Where are the screenshots? Looks like it is based on QT/GTK/Xforms/... Beowulf cluster!

Re:Typical Slashdot Posting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506968)

(Score: 1 Longest manually typed second post ever!)

Kit Cost (3, Insightful)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506963)

"To accomplish the visual effects, Weta has put together an impressive array of computer firepower that includes 150 SGI Octane workstations, as well as 80 SGI dual processor 330 and 230 series Linux workstations. Two SGI Origin 2000s serve as the primary file servers for the facility, and Weta has also installed a TP9400 RAID storage array. "

This is some amount for kit. Would a Beowulf type setup be less costly, or provide more headaches.

money/schedule/resources... (1)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507164)

...or, can you actually get commodity hardware to perform like sgi hardware? optimized hardware could be a very profitable business, as apple could create a great consumer analogue to the opensource industry. why sgi can't capitalize on this stuff is beyond me. thanks god i sold that stock long ago.

Re:money/schedule/resources... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507335)

Wish I had bought some about a month ago. It's up to like 1.80, from .30 in mid September. That's a lot of money that could have been made. Of course I'm glad I sold mine back when it was around 11... I just barely broke even before the tech plummet.

You know something ladies... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506966)

The big Valboski's a lot like concrete...


Just add a little water, stand back, and watch me get rock hard .

Re:You know something ladies... (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507017)

Wrestling is geigh.

Let's meet at the same time
Same place
Send your jpeg, I wanna see your face
Girlfriend, send an I.M.

TTYL
No time to spell
Oops, there goes that little bell
Bye, bye for now
BBFN

CHORUS: Hey, LOL, G2G
I gotta go, but watch for me 'cause
I'll be right back, BRB
So sign on, and I.M. me

Mom thinks I'm doing homework
Yeah, research
But I can't help it, I've just got to surf
I gotta chat with my girlfriends on line

We're digital divas
Believe us
This Girl Wide Web is hot stuff
My buddy list is growing all the time

CHORUS

I got a web page
A domain
Sign my guest book with your screen name
Check it out, then send an I.M.

What's your profile?
Favorite quote?
This is just like passing notes
It's easier to type than use a pen

CHORUS 3 times

Re:You know something ladies... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507144)

Ha,ha!


You knew where the reference was, you faggot. Now who's gay? You aka Goldust

Special Effects (4, Funny)

Unknown Bovine Group (462144) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506969)

But as (Dungeons & Dragons) we all know (Dungeons & Dragons), special effects alone (Dungeons & Dragons) without good characters and (Dungeons & Dragons) plot development (Dungeons & Dragons) is (Dungeons & Dragons) crap.

(Dungeons & Dragons)

Re:Special Effects (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506987)

This is lotr idiot. Not frickin d&d.

Re:Special Effects (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507005)

And it will probably be even less interesting than D&D was. Lord of the Rings is an awful book. What exactly is the obsession around here with hippies as role models?

Re:Special Effects (0, Offtopic)

Unknown Bovine Group (462144) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507029)

Flamebait? Oh come on! Just because the AC's replying are flamebait doesn't make the original post flamebait.... now if there was an Unfunny (Score: -1) I might be in trouble....

Like there's some crew of people out there defending Hollywoods dungpile defilement of a once-great TSR tradition.

I have much higher hopes for LOTR, BTW.

Re:Special Effects [OT] (0, Offtopic)

Tim C (15259) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507043)

If it's any consolation, I would've voted you up +1, Funny (or perhaps +1, Yeah That Film Sucked Didn't It? if there was such an option) if only I had mod points...

Cheers,

Tim

Burning Karma because I can

Re:Special Effects [OT] (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507063)

How the hell can that be offtopic?? (Oh yeah, it had [OT] in the subject) But still!

Re:Special Effects (2, Insightful)

McD!ck (444861) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507042)

Yes, special effects (D&D) alone do not make a good movie (Pearl Harbor, Titanic, Mummy). BUT we are not dealing with just any old story. We are dealing with The Lord Of The Rings. This storyline has been read by so many, and adored by such a large following of fans that as long as they stuck to the book and have "decent" actors, this movie should come off better than Liv Tylor's dress!


The only thing that could've ruined this movie is if they placed Leo DeCaprio as Frodo.

Re:Special Effects (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507142)

Lord of the Rings is boring. There is a distinct lack of giant robots in it. Good movies have giant robots, bad movies don't.

Re:Special Effects (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507518)

Everyone should be prepared to be underwhelmed then. Any other halfway decent good book that has ever been made into a movie/film absolutely can not hold a candle to the book (Just in the last 10 or so years, I am thinking Jurassic Park, or anything Tom Clancy wrote).

And then, they go and muck it up further by introducing whiz-bang special effects, hoping we don't notice how far off the movie/film is from the book...

I am guessing people *will* notice, and that is why all 3 have been shot already...

GNU/Lord of the Rings (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2506975)

Hollywood will get their fingers burned when RMS declares a jihad against ILM and demands all Linux weenies should not have to pay to get into the movie theater.

I'm so sad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507180)

I've been off Prozac for four weeks now.

I can't hack this life anymore!

Once again Quake to the rescue (5, Funny)

PeterMiller (27216) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506982)

From the Salon Article:
"At Dreamworks, Leonard laments that the thing that drove graphics card performance on Linux in the early days of the migration was the first-person shooter computer game Quake. Gamers who were fans of Linux and Quake hacked on Linux until Quake ran smoothly."

This once agian proves that the Quake engine was the primary driver of technology over the last 7 years.

What will take us to the next level of computing? Why, Quake 4 of course.

Re:Once again Quake to the rescue (4, Insightful)

Thagg (9904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507311)

What Quake really did was single-handedly get OpenGL through a critical couple of years. If it were not for Quake, and Carmack in particular, OpenGL would have been relegated to a few very expensive but low performance (because of low volume) cards; and Microsoft would have a monopoly on yet another field of computing.

I develop software for a visual effects company [hamnmerhead.com] , and I give thanks every day to Carmack, Daryll Strauss, and the Fahrenheit gang for contributing in their own vital ways in keeping OpenGL viable.

thad

Re:Once again Quake to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507355)

What will take us to the next level of computing? Why, Quake 4 of course.

Quake 4 will not be using its own engine, it will be using the unnamed DOOM engine, so that wouldn't quite be true. :P

Re:Once again Quake to the rescue (3, Interesting)

malducin (114457) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507451)

It's funny that you mention it. The Unreal engine was used by ILM to create a pre viz tool for Spielberg during the production of AI. Basicly it allowed Speilberg to have a 3D storyboarding tool. Read about it here:

Unreal City [filmandvideomagazine.com]

Re:Once again Quake to the rescue (1)

tooler (36824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507514)

I know I'll be buying a new computer just for Doom 3. It's petty, but I love that series.

Hey Michael (-1)

TRoLLaXoR (181585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506983)

Fuck you.

Re:Hey Michael (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507023)

Read this new bitchslap message:
Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner. If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, please email jamie@mccarthy.vg.

-DFW (muzzled)

Re:Hey Michael (-1)

Shitsack Comments (256887) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507031)

Who in their right mind would fuck that festering shithole?

Re:Hey Michael (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507201)

I would.

Osama bin Laden would fuck it too.

-Yasser Arafat

RTS-Game! (3, Funny)

Ch_Omega (532549) | more than 12 years ago | (#2506998)

Imagine using that setup and those machines for an ultra-realistic realtime strategygame based on LOTR!

Okay, I just shut up now..

This movie is... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507007)

...going to suck big time. Look at the cast line up. I rest my case.

Re:This movie is... (4, Interesting)

Man of E (531031) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507067)

Wrong. They're going to do an amazing job. Here's why:
"...we've got some people on the production that are real nut jobs. But they're good to have around. They bring a real passion to the work..."
These nutjobs are going to make sure the film is true to the book and shares its appeal. If those nutjobs weren't there, and this were a purely traditional Hollywood production, I would be extremely afraid. But I think it's in good hands.

Weather (4, Funny)

Levine (22596) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507018)

He said that the shoot turned out to be one of the worst of Jackson's career. "We had horrendous weather and all kinds of problems in the production... At one point, production had to be stopped when they were shooting in Queenstown, because there was so much torrential rainfall that the entire crew had to help sandbag the town so that it wouldn't be washed away."

I'd think the ruins of a town washed away would make an excellent set, but hey. Whatever works.

Cheers,
levine

Re:Weather (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507060)

Fuck you, spic.

-- ater

Re:Weather (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507090)

"We had horrendous weather and all kinds of problems in the production... "

Interestingly, if you watch the making-of featurette on the Braveheart DVD, you will find that Mel Gibson also had many difficulties with rain while filming in Scotland/Ireland.

I hear that movie turned out pretty well.

Re:Weather (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507149)

Unless it's actually pouring off the set and cast in close-up I believe you can't actually see rain on film unless it's being backlit, so rain alone doesn't cause too much disruption, more an inconvenience and some discomfort.

Having to sandbag the set however...

Re:Weather (2, Insightful)

elvum (9344) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507397)

The problem is when you film two adjacent scenes on different days - it's going to look a bit strange in the final cut if there are clouds in the sky and puddles everywhere in one scene but then it's gloriously sunny and dry two seconds later.

For an (unintrusive) example, examine the Indy Car chase sequence in Charlie's Angels... :-)

Re:Weather (1)

Zimm (94553) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507297)

I've been to queenstown, it sits in a valley of moutains. No doubt the rain rushes down the moutains and heads for the city. Maybe that would be good for a flooding movie, but no for LOTR.

Re:Weather (1)

Tim Doran (910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507345)

Well darnit, couldn't they just rewrite the script a bit to include a massive flood?

And an asteroid... yeah, that'd rock!

;)

I didn't realize (4, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507024)

that a PBS station [weta.org] was involved in the production of LoTR. Does this mean that I'll stop hearing them beg for money twice a year?

Re:I didn't realize (1)

David Ham (88421) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507069)

nah. WETA's super strapped for money. They're understaffed in a few of the most critical areas. I don't know if I can tell you where, 'cause I know things that other people don't (disclosure: my dad is the Senior Director of Engineering @ WETA), but it is definitely safe to say that you will be hearing WETA pledge drives for a long time to come :)

"Weta" in this instance refers to.. (2, Informative)

oob (131174) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507146)

..a large, nocturnal, flightless insect native to New Zealand. Some of these things can grow as large as 30 grams, making Wetas the heaviest insect on the planet.

Rad insects! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507212)

Shit.

Emigrating to New Zealand doesn't sounds like a good idea anymore...

Re:Rad insects! (1)

oob (131174) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507260)

Wetas are quite rare and completely harmless. In fact, the only creature in New Zealand that can significantly harm humans is the Katipo spider - a rare (I've lived in NZ for 30 years and never seen one) relative to the Australian Redback and North American Black Widow. Bites from this spider can cause breathing problems and nervous system slowdown but not death.

Imagine a movie of (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507058)

Katie. How much would it cost to make a movie of yourself and katie?

Damn Stereotypes... (1, Insightful)

Uttles (324447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507059)

Who says free software is passé? Hollywood's special-effects industry can't get enough of the operating system built by hackers, for hackers.

This story is good news, I'm glad Linux is catching on in popularity, I recently switched to Linux on my personal PC and I'm enjoying every minute of it. The reason for my switch: I used to use it at school, I use it at work, and Windows XP is as crooked as a politician, so I switched to good ol' Linux. Linux is a great OS and the best thing about it is that the more you become a power user, the more powerful you become. It's absolutely the most flexible and tweakable system out there. This public perception however, "by hackers for hackers," is crap, and we need to frown upon it. Linux is built by software enthusiasts, not "hackers." I'm not a Linux history expert, but I have a good feel for the way things are at this moment, and I have to say that nowadays Linux users are a wide range of people, including big businesses, educators, kids, the computer nerds like myself, etc. Linux was built, and continues to be built, by people with a great knowlege of software engineering and the desire to provide a democratic style OS that is both powerful and easy to use, and best of all: free.

Re:Damn Stereotypes... (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507114)

  • Linux is built by software enthusiasts, not "hackers."

Gather round grandpa's ol' rocking chair, and he'll tell you a tale from the Olden Days, when the world was young and innocent, and "hacker" was synonymous with "software enthusiast"... ;-)

Re:Damn Stereotypes... (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507130)

Don't worry, I remember those days. My point was just that similar to glittery gloves and Members Only Jackets, calling a computer enthusiast a "hacker" is out like the fat kid in dodgeball.

Re:Damn Stereotypes... (2)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507420)

But Hammel is perfectly correct when he says that Linux was bult by hackers, for hackers. You presumably object because you're thinking of the popular meaning of "hackers", rather than the historical meaning, which was pretty close to the phrase you want to substitute: "software enthusiasts".

Re:Damn Stereotypes... (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507520)

OK, if you want to get technical:

hacker [hákr ] (plural hackers) noun

1. COMPUTING somebody accessing another's computer: somebody who uses computer expertise to gain unauthorized access to a computer system belonging to another, either to learn about the system or to examine its data

2. COMPUTING computer enthusiast: somebody who is very interested or skilled in computer technology and programming

The popular concept of hacker is and has been for a while definition 1. Calling Linux users and programmers by that definition is wrong. The technical secondary definition of the term hacker is in fact computer enthusiast. That definition, however, is extremely rarely used. I in fact have never heard it being used that way, and in this article, definition 1 was clearly being implied.

Re:Damn Stereotypes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507462)

karma whore...

Re:Damn Stereotypes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507502)

Whatever Cliff...

Saw the trailer at the cinama - gobsmacked! (1)

tomknight (190939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507064)

I don't often like seeing a movie once I've read the book - and I certainly wasn't going to see LoTR. That is, until I saw the trailer at the cinema. Man, I was taken by the whole thing. Okay, the faces and some scenes are "wrong", but that's only because I'm used to my own imagination. The battlescenes are awe-inspiring, and in general I am very impressed.

Tom.

A plea to the hard core LOTR fans (5, Insightful)

billmaly (212308) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507078)

Go easy on Jackson when his films are released. He's obviously done close to everything that a director can do to:

1. Maintain Tolkein's vision.
2. Tell the story as truly as possible
3. Work within the confines of the entertainment industry to do so AND make a movie palatable to Joe Six Pack. (If the film doesn't make money, Hollywood won't support it, fact of life here on Earth, and probably MiddleEarth as well!)

These have all been Herculean tasks, and Peter Jackson has devoted his life to them. I would hope that the LOTR faithful are willing to look past minor transgressions that HAVE to be made to bring a story of this scope and scale to the screen.

Obviously, this will be a far, far cry from the embarressing cartoon of FOTR. Let's hope people can forgive Hobbits that aren't quite rotund enough, elves who aren't quite willowy enough, and dwarves that are perhaps a smidge to tall.

Re:A plea to the hard core LOTR fans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507133)

Yeah right.

Where is Bombadil.
Why is Aragorn so small when he was supposed to be the tallest of the 9. While the Gimli actor, uhm, could play the Boromir role as well.

This are not minor details that can be just ignored.
True fans will not like this movie.
Joe SixPack on the other hand will like any movie with viloence, flashing effects and a couple of tits.

Re:A plea to the hard core LOTR fans (1)

mill (1634) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507427)

Who is Bombadil? If it isn't even obvious who he is for those who have read the books putting him in the movie is just ridiculous. Of course if he would release Silmarillion, the movie, the day before the Fellowship of the Ring, I would be all for putting Bombadil in it.

If Aragorn isn't the tallest or some other technicality isn't exactly correct - who cares. As long as the important things are correct. Heck I can even accept that Arwen has been given a larger role in the movie. If the books were followed exactly the viewers wouldn't understand who Arwen is and why she is significant.

I think Peter Jackson will avoid the issue of winged Balrogs by being as ambiguous as Tolkien was. The trailer seems to take that stance anyway.

I really hope the Scoring of the Shire will be in the last movie though.

/mill

yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507436)

tits are cool. although i would rather be called joe "12 pack"

come on now, 6 pack? i mean, that is horrible...

:-{)

Re:A plea to the hard core LOTR fans (1)

McD!ck (444861) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507159)

Exactly! And personally I am REALLY glad they already filmed all three so even if the first doesn't come off well with the public, I will still be able to see the others.

(I can't trust a public who fell in love with Titanic :)

Re:A plea to the hard core LOTR fans (1)

SirAnodos (463311) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507275)

I totally feel the same way... however, I fear that if the first movie does not go over well, then they may not spend the time and money to finish production of the last two movies. We must remember that they have only filmed the last two movies. They have yet to finish special effects, voicing, post production, and so on.

LOTR category!!! (5, Insightful)

ankit (70020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507087)

This has been said many times, and I am just repeating it. Taco, can we _please_ have a aseparate LOTR category? It more than deserves one!

Call me a karma whore if you like... But this needs to be said often for it to be agreed upon!

Re:LOTR category!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507100)

I agree, it deserves a category of it's own. Then I won't have to read about it.

Re:LOTR category!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507177)

I think he's been trying to do this, but the DB keeps crashing on trying to do an INSERT INTO.

$pecial effects (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507088)

We're [scaredcity.com] not big on wizardish gadgetry (yet), but we've saved some countable dough behind our scenes using penguin powered web servers, etc....

Moreover, we'll be giving away this distinguished/recognizable web address [opensourceworks.com] , to one(s) of you who are shrewd enough to follow some simple directions.

We've heard rumour this a.m., that fud is NOT dead? Hard to believe, having seen these face scans [opensourcenews.com] of those felonious greed/fear mongers from the KingDumb. Whatever.

Windows *ever* used? (4, Interesting)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507117)

Sidebar-question: is Windows *ever* used in the publishing/effects industry?

Every time I work for a company we always have a few hundred Windows machines for desktop users, a mix of NT/2000/Netware/Linux/FreeBSD machines for servers, and Macs for desktop publishing and photo editing. It doesn't seem like Windows is *ever* used for anything higher-end computationally, even with the end user.

Re:Windows *ever* used? (1)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507196)

This is a little off topic, but there's some high end (heavy computation) science/research related software (WinBUGS, bayesian inference using Gibbs sampling, is a fine example) which is only supported in windows versions (although I don't know of an instance where no Unix version exists.)

Admittedly, there's a lot more high end research software which only runs on some particular flavor of Unix.

Only the MBA's (1)

zeus_tfc (222250) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507273)

I work for a wireharness company in the auto industry. Our group designs wiring shields, grommets, and terminals. Almost all the engineers have Unix boxes. All the windows boxes are on the desks of managers, purchasing and Evil HR. The engineers use different CAD software depending on who our customers are, but all are on Unix, whether SDRC-Ideas, Catia, or other. We engineers use Citrix metaframe for our MS office tasks. Its only the "other" departments that use 98 or NT boxes (for solitare or freecell)

Not really a joke, just an observation.

Re:Windows *ever* used? (1)

Silverhammer (13644) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507366)

Sidebar-question: is Windows *ever* used in the publishing/effects industry?

Add music to that list, and the short answer is "nope." It's a simple matter of left brain versus right brain -- artists just don't care about the cheapness or ubiquity of Wintel.

Heck, I'm sitting here, working for a company that *makes* NT boxen (for industrial automation), and I still got me a brand new Mac and the full suite of Adobe software to do my marcomm work. I made it a condition of employment. If I hadn't, they would have stuck me with an old 200 MHz PII running CorelDRAW and Ventura Publisher. (No exaggeration -- I still have to boot it up sometimes to access materials created by my predecessor.)

Re:Windows *ever* used? (2, Informative)

malducin (114457) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507387)

It depends on the size of the FX company. Most major companies (ILM, SPI, Pixar, etc.) mostly use SGI/Irix for production, and also Macs, Suns and a few things here and there. Windows would only be used for office style apps.

Smaller shops (boutiques) probably use mostly Windows and also Macs. Companies like Blur, Digital Anvil, etc. Probably mot TV FX are done in Windows (Enterprise (Eden), Xena, etc.).

There was one time that Windows was given a chance. When Microsoft owned Softimage and released it for NT, I know that ILM at least did tests with it (a short film). While the short looked good in the end it was a failure. Apparently there were just too many issues of porting their in house software and also integrating it into their *nix network.

Re:Windows *ever* used? - yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507463)

Like many publishing companies, we use Macs for the creative, and whatever works for the backend. We have 45 Macs, 12 PCs, 4 NT, 4 Linux, 4 SGI.

Windows NT is used frequently as a server and as a platform for OPI (Open Picture Replacement) and RIP (Raster Image Processor) software in a publishing environment. Our company has 2 DEC Alphas that RIP PostScript - one for a Heidelberg QM-DI digital press (NT 3.51) and one for a Kodak Approval digital proofing system (NT 4 SP5, plus a QNX terminal). We also have a HP P3 system that imposes single pages into 2-up spreads.

Many publishing/printing companies have issues with the stability of NT and poor networking performance for EtherTalk, but don't like the high cost of traditional UNIX hardware (and the cost of technical help to maintain them). Several companies have been burned by vendor promises and consider Linux a high-risk option.

Charles Dostale
http://www.silveroaks.com

No Balrog in book 1 (3, Informative)

guanxi (216397) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507124)

Wasn't the first movie supposed to be 'The Fellowship of the Ring', the first part of the written trilogy?

IIRC, the Balrog's cameo was definitely in 'The Fellowship...', so what's up with this?

Labrie reported that the most difficult creatures from The Two Towers, and Return of the King include Gollum, Treebeard (an ent), and the Balrog. ?We will be diving into those right after the delivery of film one.?

In depicting a Balrog, Jackson will be forced to offer his own answer to a question that has haunted Tolkien fans since the book was released. In the book, it isn?t clear whether a Balrog, which is described in passing by Gandalf, has wings or not.

Will Jackson?s Balrog have wings?

Fans will have to wait until 2003 to find out.

Re:No Balrog in book 1 (1, Funny)

typical geek (261980) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507194)

The more important question is "Do Balrogs have fuzzy pink slippers?"

Re:No Balrog in book 1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507230)

I thought it was "Do Balrogs dream of electric sheep?"

Re:No Balrog in book 1 (1)

iforgotmyfirstlogon (468382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507268)

They need to include Balrogs, Ents, Goblins, Wargs, Elves, Dwarves, and Gollum in the first picture so they can sell action figures of them.

- Freed

Re:No Balrog in book 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507299)

Will they sell an empty package labeled Entwives, or will there just be a space in the action figure holder with that label next to the ents?

Re:No Balrog in book 1--SPOILERS (5, Informative)

JennyWL (93561) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507331)

Jackson has kept the names of the books the same, but altered the story somewhat. He's also keeping the movies more nearly the same length than the books are (go look at your paperbacks and you'll see that The Two Towers is by far the thinnest). There is more background being shoehorned into the first movie than we found in the first book, and to keep the movies relatively the same length some of the action we read in FOTR is appearing in the movie TTT.

From TheOneRing.net [theonering.net] :
The character of Rosie will be expanded slightly, in order to allow us to see the origins of her relationship with Sam before his departure from the Shire....
Also, events that were told through flashbacks in the books will have to be told visually in the movies, such as the defeat of Sauron during the Second Age, Isildur's death, Gollum's history with the Ring, and Gandalf's imprisonment by Saruman at Isengard. ....
the first film in the trilogy will apparently feature flashbacks that will familiarize audiences with the history of the Ring, and it is safe to assume that any flashbacks of this type will include a summary of the story of The Hobbit.


Gandalf explains Gollum's history at the very beginning of FOTR and describes Sauron's defeat at the Council of Elrond, IIRC, so both of these added scenes will appear in the FOTR movie. The explanation of Bilbo's history with the Ring will probably also occur in Hobbiton at the start, so the movie version of FOTR has lots of added material. No wonder there wasn't room for Tom Bombadil.

Tolkien geek

Re:No Balrog in book 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507424)

That is just someone talking out of their ass.

Look at the trailers for FOTR. You can see Moria can, can you not? In the latest (and greatest) trailer, you can even catch a few-frame-long glimpse of the balrog's shadow.

The first movie will go up to the point of Boromir's death, as that is where they felt it was best to break off the story for viewers.

slashdotted already? (-1, Troll)

ankit (70020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507139)

someone have any mirrors?

Re:slashdotted already? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507151)

No mirrors for you. Your ugly face would shatter them into lots of tiny pieces.

Peter Jackson? The Peter Jackson? (2, Informative)

pigeon (909) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507200)

Is this the Peter Jackson who made low budget horror movies like Bad taste and Braindead? He's a genius! Bad taste and Braindead are two of the funniest splatter movies ever made.

Re:Peter Jackson? The Peter Jackson? (1)

foistboinder (99286) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507338)

Is this the Peter Jackson who made low budget horror movies like...

Yes - he's the same guy. Check out: Peter Jackson [imdb.com] .

Let's just hope he does better than this guy [imdb.com] - another director know for odd, quirky movies who ruined a beloved classic [imdb.com] .

Re:Peter Jackson? The Peter Jackson? (5, Informative)

ratguy (248395) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507409)

It is indeed the Peter Jackson who made Bad Taste and Braindead. He also made the masterpiece that is Meet the Feebles, one of the most fscked up movies you will ever see.

To see how well he can handle special effects, I'd recommend watching The Frighteners. The CGI in it looks a little dated today, but it was pretty impressive when the film was released. It was on Starz last night, so I just had to watch the Lee Ermey segments.

He also directed Heavenly Creatures, which shows how well he can capture dramatic performances. It also has some pretty wicked dream sequences that show me just how creative this director really is.

I'm really happy with this choice of directors. From his past work, it seems that he's up to the task. He's also a huge fan of the book, and it's obvious that he wants to do it justice. Put that together with his sick sense of humor, and his penchant for gore, and we could have quite a film on our hands come December.

Of course, Jackson's taste for gore is going to be toned down a bit for the initial release, as he's been contracted to make a PG-13 film. There is a rumor that the DVD will have a Rated-R cut. I hope this happens.

Ratguy

Isn't it ironic... (1)

Dil NaOH (415834) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507238)

...that an industry so devoted to content control and the elimination of "fair use" with regard to copyrighted material is using software developed primarily by folks who are diametrically opposed to those principles?

Re:Isn't it ironic... (2)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507322)

I guess. But there's a big difference between effects houses like WETA or Animal Logic and distributors like Disney and Fox. Effects houses do what they're paid to do. They don't dictate intellectually property policy.

From Server to Desktop (2, Interesting)

ThePilgrim (456341) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507241)

One very interesting line was burried at the bottom of page 5
In any case, Leonard is pleased with the results. "Today, I'm happy to say, all of these things have succeeded to the point where we feel confident to committing all of our pipelines to be 100 percent Linux for the desktop and the render farm."
Is this the industry that will push Linux onto the Desktop?

Re:From Server to Desktop (1)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507308)

Is this the industry that will push Linux onto the Desktop?

Probably not. This is a very specialized industry, and will remain so. Simply because Linux is popular in rendering CGI does not mean that my grandmother will start using it; after all, she only has to render CGI once every couple of months.

But seriously, most of this stuff has traditionally been done on a *nix variant anyway (mostly IRIX, IIRC). These are people who are used to using *nix, and know that it can get the job done. Getting corporate users to use Linux as a desktop environment is a whole different ballgame.

Why should the GPL be a problem? (5, Insightful)

Hanno (11981) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507301)

I don't quite understand why the GPL should be a problem, as mentioned in the Salon article.

It doesn't forbid writing and selling proprietary software, as long as said software isn't based on GPL'd source fragments.

And in-house tools are an example of software that isn't meant to be published or sold to the public. So when writing such tools, they can use GPL'd source and mangle it in whatever form they want, since the result doesn't leave the company and isn't sold or distributed, they don't have to publish source.

Or did I get something wrong here?

Re:Why should the GPL be a problem? (2)

Tim Doran (910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507372)

Yeah, good point - the only explanation I can think of for this quandry is that perhaps some of the studios are modifying the kernel in ways that (if/when released under GPL) would reveal the workings of their proprietary stuff.

But I think the article ended on a positive note... sounds like the requirement to keep the 'plumbing' (ie. the kernel) open is benefiting everyone.

Because of the FUD. (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507442)

Microsoft and others have spread a lot of bad impressions of the GPL. Most people outside the GPL-using community don't really know much about it - except that it's "viral", and - critically - that "it means that if you use GPL'd code, you have to release your source code to the public". True... sort of.

Fine distinctions about in-house use are going to be lost on people who're as concerned as Hollywood about IP rights. If they hear that the GPL threatens IP, they'll be anti-GPL, and it's as simple as that.

What the article (among many) just doesn't get.... (3, Interesting)

SnicklesTheElf (312850) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507304)

I see in the article on "Linux goes to the movies" that the author doesn't really understand the mentailty behind a good portion of the Open Source community.

It's simply not the case that the driving force behind Linux are a couple of companies (Redhat and VA software), rather it is the case the the driving force behind it are thousands upon thousands of people doing their own little (or big) projects in an attempt to add their piece of what they think Linux needs.

"Over the past year, the information technology elite have started to dismiss Linux as a flash in the pan that tried and failed to dominate in a world owned by Windows. Woebegone Linux and open-source companies are scattered across the landscape like so much shrapnel. The stock prices of IPO high fliers VA Linux and Red Hat currently trade near half of their pre-IPO offering prices. Meanwhile, Windows XP gets the press and the plaudits."

Now don't get me wrong, I understand he's just a lowly journalist, but who are the 'Information technology elite'? Bill Gates? Larry Ellison? The managers posing as technical people you see on the news? Technical stock analysts? Furthermore, Windows XP's "press and plaudits" are just a glorified sales pitch. It's big news simply becuase M$ payed for it through their asses. Ah well, it's not like the media is anything even close to objective anyway.

Re:What the article (among many) just doesn't get. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507344)

"Information technology elite" = investors

Sorry, folks, but I must say it: BFD... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2507368)

For one thing, Linux is an OS. Linux itself is not making the graphics for these films; the software running on top of Linux is doing the work. Second, I don't see any of these companies pouring $$ into the promotion or development of Linux itself. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

The main reasons these folks are using Linux are (a) it's stable, and (b) it's free. Those do not do anything to benefit the Linux biz. And as for the feather in the cap thing, there are very few graphics houses out there making special effects for movies, and out of all of them only a few are using Linux. Even if they all used Linux, it would still be a very, very, very small user base that we're talking about.

If these people want to help promote Linux, they need to throw down $$ for promotion and development for the OS. As it stands, they snag whatever's free, port their proprietary, in-house apps to it, then someone on the team mumbles to the press "there are Linux boxes being used in here" and then Slashdot gets wind of it. From there, lots of folks pat each other on the back even though Linux is only what's used to network the computers together and launch the applications that are doing the real work...

Please, folks, this smacks of desperation. I want Linux to succeed, but if we do this "see, I told you so" thing every time someone throws a crumb our way, we're going to look pathetic.

Mixed messages: movies and Linux (5, Insightful)

Azog (20907) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507449)

What's really weird about Linux in the film industry is that the business / distribution / promotion side of the industry would love to outlaw free software. (SSSCA, DMCA, etc.)

Meanwhile, the production side has realized that it is really useful and is wholeheartedly embracing it.

You have to wonder if sooner or later some pointy-haired boss at the MPAA is going to wake up and go "WHAT! We USE Linux!? We use that communist, anti-American.... Well that had better stop immediately!"

I wonder how the "copyright" industries will try to resolve this - they don't want regular people to have powerful tools like programmable PCs and free software. But they sure want to use free software to make movies.

Maybe they'll go for an approach of requiring "computer licensing" but only if you use "non-approved" software. Most people wouldn't care because most people just run Windows, and they wouldn't need a license. Only Linux users, software developers, and computer science students would have to get licensed.

Kind of like you need a license for a car, but not for a bicycle. (Or continuing the analogy, Windows XP == tricycle...)

But of course social geography was never .. (3, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507468)

Americans strong point


EnZed is the Land of the Long White Cloud, and is a good 3 hour plane trip from Oz, which is truly the Land Downunder


But even though I am a skip and not a kiwi, I have to say that it is an awsome place to vist with an astounding variety of scenery packed into a really small place. Pefect for the typical yanks concept of a holiday, as being no more than 2 weeks in duration :-)



Yes I am trolling .. but someone has to do it. :-)

New Slashcode feature needed (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2507486)

There should be a way to post a reply to a story directly from the front page, so that people don't have to actually load the discussion page first. Even better would be just a numbered list of "reply to topic" buttons, without the idiotic stories getting in the way.
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