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Thursday, 27th January 2011

Olwyn Hocking reviews a trip to the Roman Wall

The more successful computer graphics are those which you hardly notice.

That was one of the messages at the Royal Television Society May event when the highly successful Eagle's Eye film was screened in the Vindolanda Trust cinema at the Roman Army Museum near Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland.

The 15-minute film has already been seen by more than 200,000 people. Stunning virtual reconstruction is used to tell the history of the nearby stretch of Hadrian's Wall and the people who lived around it.

FilmNova's Peter Brown, who produced the film, said it took 5 months to make. The key was the decision to use real life and computer-generated footage of an eagle in flight to unify the different sequences.

Manchester-based Red Vision developed new software to achieve the CGI effects needed. Eye-catching highlights included the wall being rapidly "built" along real life footage of the familiar crags, accompanied by appropriate sound effects.

Dave Mousley showed clips of other Red Vision projects including Battlefield Britain and the latest, Titanic - Birth of a Legend. The company also created remarkable effects for Channel Four's Touching the Void - where once again the vital goal was that viewers did not even know they were watching computer-generated material.

To find out more about how you can view Eagle's Eye: www.vindolanda.com

By Olwyn Hocking

Patricia Birley (Vindolanda Trust) and Peter Brown (FilmNova)

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