In one of today's main Gamasutra features, Eric-Jon Waugh reports from this year's final IGDA San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter meeting – held Tuesday, the sixth of December at the Sony Metreon's Action Theater in San Francisco.
The talk featured three representatives from Industrial Light & Magic and two from LucasArts. The assembled personages spent an hour discussing how, thanks to their new joint facility in San Francisco's Presidio district, they can share resources more easily than before.
Waugh explains of the crux of the talk:
"Right up front, ILM's Steve Sullivan spilled the one essential detail of the night, explaining that, for about a year, ILM has been using LucasArts' game expertise to develop "pre-viz" sketches for its effects sequences. For those unfamiliar with the term, pre-visualization is a way for directors to "doodle" with complicated visual ideas using low-polygonal models on approximate digital sets. Weta Digital, for example, used pre-viz animations for most of the complicated scenes in Lord of the Rings. These animations were intercut with storyboards and model sequences to give Peter Jackson (and his backers) his first rough version of the movie, before any footage had even been shot.
The idea in Lucasworld is that the game division uses its tools to prototype the movie, and then ILM hands over its more sophisticated models, animation data, effects, and technology over to the game division when it's done."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, including more on George Lucas' drive for convergence between the different parts of his business (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).