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  • UFOTOG

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  • Virtual Sets

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  • Part 3 of 3

    Immersive Media Part 3

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    In the third and final video in a series, Doug illustrates some of the underlying concepts he's brought to his work throughout his career, the acquisition of IMAX, his part in designing theaters and projection systems, the advent and success of 3D and how it has advanced, and his experimentation in themed entertainment.

    Simulation rides were a logical extension of early experiments in audience engagement, the Back to the Future - The Ride and RideFilm Theaters led Doug to advance large-screen projection, refine physical, auditory and visual co-ordination, develop hemispherical domes, and create a more advanced orthogonal motion-base.

    Doug observes emerging opportunities resulting from advances in modern digital cinematography, digital post-production, and digital projection. He depicts film as a constantly changing flow of pixels instead of individual frames as an applied concept in 3D film-making, eliminating many inherent problems. He suggests possibilities in virtual reality applications and his own efforts to make content indistinguishable from reality, such as his own patented retinal display technology.

    In ongoing video presentations, Doug will further discuss these emerging possibilities for experiential cinema and his own exploration in his current projects.

     
  • Part 2 of 3

    Immersive Media Part 2

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    In the second of a three part series, Doug further outlines some of the milestones in his pursuit toward a continually more immersive experience in entertainment: a concept that has shaped his work on many varied projects, from photographic effects, to the first simulator theater, to invention in a myriad of capture and display technologies.

    He mentions his early experiments with film formats, frame rates, forms of simulation, interactivity, motion-enhanced theatre experiences, early composite cinematography, and developing film-projection technology. He explains some of the benefits of his Showscan process, which despite eventual pitfalls in the company's development, introduced unprecedented and influential film-making techniques as well as concepts yet to be fully explored in cinema.

    In future updates, Doug will share more of his motivation and insight, as well as sharing ideas from his current and future endeavors.

     
  • Key FX Sequences

    Blade Runner: The Bradbury Building / Blimp

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    In the third of a three-part series, Doug talks about the creation of various effects sequences completed for Blade Runner, focusing on the "Bradbury Building Blimp". The Blimp was equipped with fiber-optic light bundles directed through a remote-controlled prism, and made use of many of the same light sources, lens flares, and multiple exposure techniques created for the Mothership in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

    All of the display panels on the Blimp and many buildings were achieved through 35mm projections onto textured plastic. One of the most beautiful shots in the film is the shot through the atrium ceiling of the Bradbury Building. Doug and Richard Yuricich took stills with a 4x5 camera on the floor, cueing the shutter and a strobe-light on each floor over an extended exposure.

    The skylight windows were carefully cut from the image on a giant sheet of glass, so that the blimp miniature could be shot in multiple motion-controlled passes with interior light sources passing through layers of smoke on both sides of the building's image.

     
  • Part 1 of 3

    Immersive Media Part 1

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    In the first of a three-part series, Doug gives an overview of his early career in the context of creating immersive cinema experiences. He talks about his work at Graphic Films on To the Moon and Beyond for the New York Worlds Fair, using the Cinerama 360 film and projection process.

    That film led Stanley Kubrick to hire Doug for the production of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a collaboration that started Doug on a path to push the traditional cinematic construct toward more realistic, interactive, and ultimately immersive experiences.

    In upcoming videos and articles, Doug will share more of his motivations, ideas and methods and their place in his current projects and future explorations.

     
  • Key FX Sequences

    Blade Runner: Spinner Vehicles

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    In the second of a three-part series, Doug talks about the creation of various effects sequences completed for Blade Runner, focusing on the "Spinners". In creating the UFOs and the Mothership for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Doug and his Entertainment Effects Group team developed techniques which aided immensely in the creation, photography and compositing for the Spinners in Blade Runner.

    Miniatures based on futurist artist Syd Mead's designs were fitted with extensive detail and many fiber-optic and quartz lights. Many of the lens flares, remote-controlled light sources, and multiple-pass film exposure techniques were directly inherited from the production experiences of Close Encounters.

     
  • Key FX Sequences

    Blade Runner: Hades Landscape

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    In the first of a three part series, Doug talks about the creation of various effects sequences completed for Blade Runner. In this video, he focuses on creating the opening sequence referred to as the "Hades Landscape".

    Doug and his Entertainment Effects Group team created thousands of acid-etched brass miniatures lit from below with hundreds of bundles of fiber-optic lights, shot in forced-perspective through layers of smoke to create layers of light refraction, creating depth.

    Doug reveals how the explosions visible in the sequence were projected on screens placed throughout the miniature and light-timed. These explosions were created through massive pyrotechnics shot in the California desert for a discarded sequence for the 1970 Michelangelo Antonioni film Zabriskie Point.

    The sequence ends on the Tyrell Pyramid, which Doug's team created at 3 different scales with similar etched-brass lit from within.

    All of this was shot on 65mm using motion-control and optically composited through multiple film exposures.

     
  • A Fix for the BP Spill

    Prototype for a Solution to the Gulf Oil Crisis

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    Douglas Trumbull has built and photographed a video of a scale model experiment depicting a possible solution to the Deepwater Horizon oil leak, which continues to spew millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

    Trumbull has been studying all available information regarding the wellhead, blowout preventer, broken riser pipe, and other factors such as flow rate and pressure.

    "My team and I have begun to suspect that the current wisdom regarding the pressure of the oil flow is substantially incorrect, and that the flow of oil could be readily captured with a simple “Vacuum Manifold Cap” as depicted in the video," Trumbull said. "Our experiment involved the construction of a saltwater tank, and associated plumbing, pumps, gauges, and flow controls to simulate in miniature what the Deepwater Horizon oil flow looks like at 50,000 barrels per day."

    Trumbull’s design does not need vents like BP’s LMRP cap, because the vacuum of the six riser pipes will literally “suck” the cap onto the broken flange assembly on the sea floor and immediately seal everything tight.

    “I anticipate that the pressure at the wellhead may actually be only slightly above the ambient sea pressure, therefore attaching such a cap to the fragile blowout preventer, which has suffered severe strains, should not apply any additional stress, and when a small ROV was able to knock it loose today, we are further convinced that what we think is true.” said Trumbull.

    By putting surface pumps on each of these six riser pipes, the combined “suction”, pressure, and flow rate that is developed can then exceed that of the oil that is coming from the leaking well. After this complete seal has been secured this new “vacuum manifold cap” can then be additionally clamped in place by mechanical means.

    Trumbull said, “From my own experience in films, working with fluids, tanks, pumps, and dyes for visual effects…this experiment has been a creative problem-solving project that I hope will lead to further discussion and reconsideration. It looks to me as though the pressures at the top of the blowout preventer are not nearly as high as being reported. This new Vacuum Manifold Cap concept may have the potential to reduce leakage to near zero.”

    Trumbull has been assisted in his evaluation of the Deepwater Horizon by Fred Commoner, who is a technical consultant, mathematician, and computer scientist specializing in risk analysis and reliability theory. He is also a contributing op-ed columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He can be reached at fcom-gulfcoast@usa.net.

     
  • Welcome to the New Site

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    We are under construction, feel free to look around while the dust is settling.

    Over the next weeks, we'll be adding piles of archival images, video, and articles either by Doug or about his work. On pages featuring image galleries, we encourage you to click the Fullscreen icon on the Cooliris widget.

    You will be given the opportunity to install the Cooliris plugin for your browser. Accepting this installation allows you to enjoy the photo gallery in superior immersive Full-Screen. You'll be glad you did.

    Happy browsing, and come back often as we'll be adding content for some time to come.