You might think about big Hollywood movies these days not just as stories, but increasingly as attempts to tackle tough problems. I don’t mean how to fix our educational system or our foreign policy. I mean how to make maximum returns off a multimillion dollar investment—and how to make magic look real. For the VFX whiz kids, this is actually a math problem. The movie is a kind of solution, and we decide if it’s right.
The modern search for better solutions arguably began in the 1970s, with Hollywood’s special effects heavyweights turning to computers for the most cutting-edge film scenes—like the light bike races in Tron, which, as I wrote back when, gave rise to Perlin noise, which allowed the kind of computer-generated natural-looking surfaces that trick us into thinking that we’re really hunting the Opposing Force or visiting Pandora.
Read the complete article at The Creators Project.