AN END-OF-YEAR REFLECTION: FAVORITE 3D AND VFX NEWS STORIES FROM 2023

December 20, 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, the time for reminiscing and reflecting has arrived. But with so much news flying around the world, it can be easy to lose track of all that’s happened over the past 12 months.

 

If you feel like you’ve missed out on 2023’s biggest news, don’t worry—we’re here to help.

 

From developments in artificial intelligence (AI) to immersive concert venues, read on to discover the best 3D stories from the past year.

MACHINE LEARNING AT THE VFX STUDIO LEVEL — befores & afters

While AI and machine learning have been making their mark on various industries, they have become particularly valuable in visual effects (VFX). One of the pioneering studios incorporating both into its work is Digital Domain, which has been experimenting with machine learning in several digital human projects.

 

In this great feature on machine learning in VFX, befores & afters details how the team used machine learning to create more realistic digital humans in the making of She Hulk: Attorney at Law, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Supermassive Games’ The Quarry. Machine learning helped the team save time, energy, and resources by doing everything from solving facial performance issues to recreating actor likenesses, offering an exciting glimpse into what the future of VFX may hold.

WHY NeRF TECHNOLOGY COULD BE INCREDIBLE — Creative Bloq

This year, another huge development for AI within the 3D industry came in the form of NeRFs (neural radiance fields). Through the use of machine learning, a NeRF can generate lifelike 3D scenes or objects from a series of 2D images. This might sound easy, but NeRF technology is very complex and difficult for many to understand.

 

That’s why this piece from Creative Bloq is another of our favorite stories from the year. For anyone confused about NeRFs, it details what they are and how companies like Shutterstock are helping artists use them to create and render photoreal scenes in minutes. For anyone who wants to learn even more, fxguide has also created a fantastic deep dive into the art of NeRFs.

WHAT DID WE LEARN? THE HOLLYWOOD STRIKE — Variety

The Hollywood strikes, which took place from May through November of 2023, proved impactful to many industries. Drawing attention to numerous issues within the field of entertainment, the strikes paved the way for positive change for writers and actors in Hollywood.

 

Negative effects of the strikes have started to reverberate throughout the industry, ranging from delayed release dates to shorter TV seasons. But there are already positive results too, with increased wage minimums, new rules governing the use of AI, and streaming participation bonuses, to name a few.

 

In September 2023, VFX workers at Marvel Studios voted to join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the first time a unit of VFX artists voted to join the union, emphasizing the widespread changes taking place across the industry. As Hollywood regains its footing, the team at Variety published this fantastic reflection on the strikes, bringing in first-hand recounts of the past few months and offering hope for a future full of possibilities.

U2 AT SPHERE: Q&A WITH PETER KIRKUP — Live Design

Opened in September 2023, the Sphere entertainment venue has made headlines all over the world for its immersive concert and performance experiences. The venue’s debut event, U2: Achtung Baby Live at Sphere, has dazzled audiences over the past few months. Eye-popping visuals are displayed on a massive LED screen, run by a system of Disguise gx3 servers that bring the experience to life.

 

In this great Live Design interview, Disguise Solutions & Innovation Director Peter Kirkup takes readers behind the scenes of the event, providing a glimpse into the magic behind the Sphere. It’s worth a read to learn how visual content was created and delivered for Sphere’s unique wraparound LED screen, which accounts for 15,000 square meters of the dome’s interior.

A HISTORY OF VFX: LIAISON CELEBRATES 25 YEARS — 3D World

We couldn’t help but give ourselves a little shout-out and add our 25th anniversary feature in 3D World to this list. After we were named PR Daily’s Boutique Agency of the Year, the magazine took a deep dive into the history of visual effects and how our team helped some of the most influential companies in this space—from Kaydara and Luxology to Vicon and Digital Domain—reach new audiences with a mix of tailor-made PR plans, smart content marketing, and more.

 

Do you wish your work got more love from the press? Get in touch today to see how we can help.