Todd Vaziri
Twitter: @tvaziri
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I was invited to speak at a Silicon Valley SIGGRAPH special event, titled "Invisible Visual Effects - Compositing in Mission: Impossible III." The program description follows:

Thursday June 22, 2006
Invisible Visual Effects--Compositing in Mission: Impossible III
Presented by Todd Vaziri, Digital Compositor, Industrial Light & Magic

Cinematic visual effects artisans have been creating illusions for film for well over a century. In most cases, the images created for films fall in one of two categories. Visual effects can either support the scope of the film, advancing the other-worldy spectacle of the story, or support the narrative in its rawest form, with its presence as invisible as the production's cinematography, editing, and production design, allowing characters and story to take center stage.

Invisible visual effects have progressed to a staggering degree with the rise of digital compositing. Advanced 2D, 3D and hybrid techniques give filmmakers a much larger canvas on which to paint. It is up to the digital effects artist to reign in spectacle and understand cinematic reality. We will look at the invisible visual effects of J.J. Abrams' "Mission: Impossible III" and illustrate how compositing helped bring the director's vision to life, bringing synthetic, hand-crafted images to the screen with the utmost importance placed on invisibility. We will look at specific shots and discuss the techniques and tools that made it happen. Examples from the earliest days of cinema, to specific case studies of modern effects films will also be discussed.

About the speaker:
Todd Vaziri joined Industrial Light & Magic in 2001, and has contributed to Star Wars: Episode II "Attack of the Clones," Signs, The Hulk, Pirates of the Caribbean and Van Helsing. Vaziri has worked to expand the role of compositor at Industrial Light & Magic by going beyond the confines of straightforward compositing. He consistently takes on shots which not only require 2D compositing but matte painting, particle effects and 3D compositing. This approach allows much more flexibility and efficiency to the production.

Vaziri grew up outside of Chicago, and graduated from Northwestern University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and now resides in San Francisco with his wife. Prior to joining ILM, Vaziri worked on several films as a lead artist and as compositing supervisor, such as Dr. Dolittle, American Pie, Driven and Hart's War. Vaziri also created the now-retired Visual Effects Headquarters web site which covered the visual effects industry (

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Todd Vaziri

FXRant Blog
Twitter @tvaziri