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The Lion King: The Next True Evolution In Filmmaking

The Lion King: The Next True Evolution in Filmmaking. All of the animations and VFX related to the movie were done by Technicolor’s MPC Films.

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The Lion King

The remake of Lion King, the new animated movie by the legendary Jon Favreau, has become the highest-grossing animated film of all time. You may know him as “Happy” from the Avengers franchise. Kids love it, adults adore it, but people belonging to the animation industry are in a good deal of confusion over it.

How was it made? Is it animated? Is it VR? What is it? Here, we attempt to answer the question.

If you want a one-word answer, then we say “CG animation.” If you want a detailed answer, like we know you do, the answer is a little bit complicated. So read on.

This movie consisted of a bunch of pre-production tactics that we can categorize as “virtual production.” This was done to increase the quality of the animation and achieve levels of photorealism that were not possible before. In this manner, this is a ground-breaking movie that has set a new standard for upcoming animation films.

The tricks and techniques used in this film are still in the experimental phase and aren’t properly understood. We will discuss the insights given to us by Jon Favreau himself and his VFX supervisor Rob Legato, Caleb Deschanel, who was the cinematographer, and others to find out in-depth details about the making of the movie and why this movie is so important for future ventures.

1. Animation and VFX

Technicolor’s MPC Films did all of the animations and VFX related to the movie. They mostly worked out of their London office and the one situated in Bangalore, India. They have already worked on Jon Favreau’s remake of The Jungle Book, so they probably knew what they were getting into.

Along with the animation, MPC was also responsible for the VFX for The Lion King. They did this with the help of 1490 shots and 2D and 3D rendering. The total team that worked on the animations and the VFX comprised around 1200 people.

Disney The Lion King 2019

They divided the task into three phases:

  • Worldbuilding
  • Virtual Production
  • VFX and Animation

2. World Building

Staying true to the film and Jon’s ambition of updating a classic landmark without changing its personality was the need of the hour. The team of animators and others traveled all the way to Africa, as the movie is based there, to experience the lush continent firsthand.

They scouted all the locations that they would be using and captured important data during their expeditions. The goal was to make the viewers believe that they were watching something real. For this purpose, they captured everything, like the Kenyan vistas, the landscape, the colors, the tones, the vegetation, and how the light felt on them.

While building the world, the main factor was the reality of the scene, not perfection.

3. Virtual Production

Once all the data was in place, and everything had been photographed and documented, the team started the virtual production. The tools used for virtual production involved creative and innovative techniques. A game engine platform was used to produce a live-action film while in a VR space. Although VR was used, the film is digitally rendered, and every environment and character is animated using keyframes.

4. VFX And Animation

This was the final phase of the production. Everything from the skin, fur, hair, shading, water, grass, trees, and everything else had to be done and done better.

Virtual Reality (VR) , VFX And Animation

A lot of handcrafting went into each shot. Different types of simulators were created for different fur tools and all other textures. This is another reason why The Lion King is a revolutionary film, as many things that create the photorealism effect were innovations and were made specifically for this film.

The most challenging task for the animators was to create talking and acting animals that still gave off the feel of reality. Not only did they animate the talking and acting of the animals, but also all the muscle movements and performances. Another technique that they used was to use 3D to make the characters or the environment more or less imposing. This will soon be used by every animated video company out there.

5. Cinematography

Caleb Deschanel, the cinematographer of The Lion King, was tasked with making the film photo-realistic. He used innovative and revolutionary techniques, like virtual cinematography. These were driven by the techniques that had already been used in movies like Avatar and Favreau’s previous hit, The Jungle Book.

Virtual production was one of the ways that The Lion King has affected the entire animated film industry by advancing filmmaking methods and taking the paradigm presented in The Jungle Book much further than ever expected. These innovations also included simulating dollies and drone shots. The moving and talking characters were realized in full 360 degrees before the staging.

6. The Circle Of Life Scene

Who doesn’t remember the opening scene that has been famously dubbed “The Circle of Life Scene”? We watched it with awe and amazement in our childhood, and now we are experiencing it again. But this time, it is as real as it can get.

In a video lecture, Jon Favreau gives us details about this scene and its differences from the original one. Keeping most of the things just as they were in the original version, they made very subtle changes to achieve photo-realism, like changing the posture of Rafiki and the substance that he anoints young Simba with.

7. Everything The Light Touches

Another scene almost as famous as the “Circle of Life” scene is the “Everything The Light Touches” scene. This is the scene where Mufasa first shows Simba his future kingdom. If you have seen the original movie, and we don’t know what to say to you if you haven’t, you will remember the vast expense of land, the multitude of textures, and the glaring and transcendent lighting that made it something that we will remember always.

The goal for the animation and VFX teams and the cinematographers was to make the scene as natural as possible inside the photorealistic world. As Rob Legato puts it, “The goal was not perfection; it was plausibility.” To make it less perfect, he even added the hand-held move to some of the scenes, especially in the close-up.

8. Animated Movie Or Documentary

Jon Favreau was bent on creating what he calls “documentary aesthetics” in the movie. This called for long-sens cinematography. At one point, he had the team add clouds to the clear skies. Usually, the skies are unnaturally clear in CG movies, and this was not the way he wanted to go. He also added back-lighting behind the characters to obscure their textures.

Conclusion

If you take it as a whole, the entire movie was pre-shot in VR, a ground-breaking innovation. Add to this, the animal motion and the talking were made by key-framing it by hand, and then they were rendered in real-time. The camera motion was made through a virtual production stage. Add all these things together, and what you get is the evolution of animation. The Lion King has clearly defined the future of filmmaking.

Helpful Resources:

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4. Artificial intelligence (AI): Friend or Foe to Future Designers?

5. How Augmented Reality Will Change The Future Of the Design Industry

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Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI in Education: Importance and Benefits of Using It

The potential is enormous, especially when artificial intelligence or simple AI is involved. It mimics the brain of the human and provides instant results and calculations.

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Artificial Intelligence App Development Trends

Technology is widely used in merely all spheres of human activity. It serves people in a variety of ways. It simplifies many processes, provides tips, speeds up any function, enhances productivity, and so on. The potential is enormous, especially when artificial intelligence or simple AI is involved. It mimics the brain of the human and provides instant results and calculations. Therefore, it is no surprise this technology is used in education with huge benefits.

Lauren Bradshaw is a famous writer, professional researcher, and blogger employed at a leading essay writing service called CustomWritings. She covers many topics related to students, education, and technology. She has shared one exciting thought, and we want to provide it here:

“The use of artificial intelligence will sufficiently ease the life of students in many ways. Students will comprehend and learn new materials very fast. Smart technology will help to develop skills fast, and they will be applied correctly. The perspectives are enormous.” We understand the point of view of Lauren, because we think the same way. Our helpful blog post casts more light on the benefits and importance of AI in education.

1. Automation

One of the essential benefits of AI is the automation of merely all processes. It saves precious time and energy. AI can help students, as well as teachers and professors. For example, students can create interactive schedules that reflect all the tasks and grades they have. Thus, youngsters will know what should be done and how good their score is. AI will calculate the odds, and students will know if any adjustments and improvements are required.

Teachers and professors do not have to spend heaps of time checking the progress of their students. An intelligent program will take into account the grades of all students and will provide the average rates. Educators will not spend their energy doing that and will have more time to heed the students who need their support more.

2. Big Data Collection

Artificial intelligence may help learners and educators in finding the correct information. It works fast and ensures the desired results. Every time you place an online request, AI registers it and saves it in your browser’s history. This function helps to speed up the process of searching and makes it more accurate. After it gathers enough facts from the requests of all users, you receive instant targeted results. For example, you may write an “essay,” and the browser will provide you with all related products:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • How to write an essay;
  • Essay writing structure;
  • Essay outline;
  • How to write an introduction to an essay;
  • How to research an article, etc.

It hugely saves time, and users receive instant search options that are relevant for them. AI may provide recommendations of information sources that can be helpful for students. These are:

  • Learning courses and programs;
  • Educational websites;

3. Assistance for Disabled Students

As we all know, some students have specific disabilities. They appeared because of accidents, traumas, or genetic peculiarities. Students have problems with talking, walking, or writing. AI can overcome most of those complications.

Let’s review a few typical situations. A student has problems with gripping. He cannot hold the pen firmly, and it is impossible to understand what he writes. Thanks to special digital writing tools and AI, this issue can be successfully solved. A student should take a special pen and write with it on the screen. AI will analyze what is written and will type it.

Another example is related to students with speaking issues. They may not be able to pronounce all the words. Thus, a specific AI technology can speak instead of them using an intelligent, sensitive algorithm. It can identify the quietest sounds and pronounce them instead of a student. Steven Hawking used to utilize this unique technology. Mind that he could not speak and even move.

4. Interactive Assistants

AI software is brilliant and can become the most effective helper of students. It is used in various learning tools and helps to improve skills and avoid mistakes. The most widely used learning apps based on artificial intelligence are:

  • Grammar checkers. These intelligent apps scan the text and underline grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. They also show how to correct those mistakes.
  • Editors. Thanks to online editors, students receive editing tips to improve the readability of their texts.
  • Topic generators. If you have problems with choosing a topic, topic generators will help you. AI proposes the most relevant ideas after you specify at least one keyword.
  • Organizers. An intelligent organizer may become your assistant. It will schedule and adjust your routine. Thanks to its assistance, you’ll be able to control time and optimize your work.

5. Virtual Reality

Artificial intelligence allows using virtual reality or, shortly, VR. AI will create unique environments for students according to their needs and the goals of their educators. For example, nobody can travel back in time to observe Ancient Greece or Rome or travel to the time when dinosaurs lived. Thanks to a special algorithm, AI provides this opportunity.

They should only put on special glasses and headsets to feel the virtual world as accurate. Such use of artificial intelligence makes lessons more attractive and provides more details necessary for adequate comprehension. It encourages students to attend such classes and do their best to succeed in learning.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the potential of artificial intelligence in education is beneficial for educators and learners. It assists fast and precisely. Students can find the required data, optimize their schedule, improve learning skills, get brilliant prompts, and save heaps of precious time. It is only necessary to find the right software, optimize, and use it correctly. The positive results will appear almost in a blink of an eye. AI has the potential we cannot ignore. It should be used wisely.

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