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Sunday, 4 October 2009

Tyson Ibele "Hemlock" (2009)










Hemlock is so well realised you'd almost believe the guy was real as he prowls the labyrinthian tunnels in search of water. He suffers shocks along the way however with an array of most realistic spiders, flies and mice, with rats accurate right down to their whiskers. You recognise his attacker from the outset because he is recognisably a robot. Tyson Ibele is a 22 year old New Zealander of startling ability. Check the link and you will discover tutorials laying bare the secrets of the profession. Now, if this were the Magic Circle, Ibele would be struck off the register. His film won the Grand Prize in this year's CGSociety challenge to rewrite an ancient myth in the manner of steampunk. As he explains on Vimeo, Ibele chose the myth about the fountain of youth. You'll have to wait for the dramatic final moments to discover the ingenious twist in the tale. Whilst I realise it is easier to create worlds underground (as compared, say, to the Roman's baying for Spartacus' blood) the degree of detail in our explorer's face as he gets close and dirty to the camera is spellbinding. 3d Studio Max and the Adobe suite of Photoshop, Premiere and AfterEffects is exploited to the full, and if you require help the director has released a making of video. But this is a bit dry. As our hero leans over the edge of the well there is a presence behind him and I remember as young boy shrieking in the cinema, "Behind you!" And what a terrific transformation at the close. Of course I knew all along what was going to happen.

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