Pixels on parade at Innov8 display
Written by Claire Taylor
Elizabeth Touchette and her son Dylan, 8, talk with CG artist Adam Prejean about the colorful music visualization system seen running in the background during iOpener 2013, part of Lafayette's Innov8 creativity and innovation festival. / Leslie Westbrook, The Advertiser
Ray McIntyre Jr., visual effects supervisor for Pixel Magic, is
lit by projector light as he explains the work that Pixel Magic does on movies during iOpener 2013, part of Lafayette's Innov8 creativity and innovation festival. The event offered hands-on demonstrations and seminars Saturday at the LITE Center in the UL Lafayette Research Park. Leslie Westbrook, The Advertiser
The movies “Beautiful Creatures,” “Looper” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” are just a few of the movies that have the special effects work performed by Pixel Magic in Lafayette.
And on Saturday, about 1,000 people got a behind-the-scenes demonstration of Pixel Magic’s magic during IOpener 2013, a part of Innov8, held at the LITE Center.
Ray McIntyre Jr., vice president of Pixel Magic, said about 30 people worked on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” at the LITE Center in Lafayette, some of them UL graduates.
The 3-D movies required a lot of computer work because they weren’t shot in 3-D, McIntyre said. Instead, they were shot with one camera and converted to 3-D by computers that created everything the second camera would have captured, he said.
The computer-generated work is so time-consuming, the Lafayette group converted only about a 50-minute piece of the film. One minute of film consists of about 1,440 frames that require computer work.
McIntyre, assisted by artists Jordan Alphonso, Victor DiMichina and Thomas Wilson, a recent UL graduate, spent most of Saturday explaining the computer magic behind movies like “Beautiful Creatures,” which was filmed in Louisiana.
In some scenes, they turned daytime into night. In others, they added moss-draped trees to the background of scenes shot on a soundstage hundreds of miles away. They demonstrated the tedious task of inserting computer-animated windows exploding inside a classroom, hitting a teacher and bouncing off desks.
Pixel Magic was lured to Louisiana about 3.5 years ago while McIntyre was in Lafayette working on the film “Secretariat.” He was approached by City Parish President Joey Durel and others. Thanks to state tax credits and the LITE Center, the company located a branch in Lafayette instead of New Orleans, McIntyre said.
With help from the Louisiana Economic Development office, McIntyre currently conducts a training course to expand upon the computer animation skills taught at UL. Now when students graduate, they’re prepared to step right into computer animation projects with Pixel Magic, he said.Innov8 activities continue through Friday.
Innov8, hosted by the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, focuses on the region’s creative economy, innovative technology and entrepreneurship.