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Motion control operator brings his camera tricks to The Hobbit

Visual effects motion control operator Paul Maple In an interview with, visual effects motion control operator Paul Maple discusses his work on numerous films and television series and how his programming skills got him work on The Hobbit.

MAPLES is one of a handful of people in the world working as a motion control operator, one of many ways to create visual effects in films.

At its heart, his skill employs computer programming to control a camera crane. And he is good at it, having been nominated for three Emmy Awards.

In the case of Maples’ work on “The Hobbit” and “Star Trek:Deep Space Nine,” the programming can do things like create a twin, make one actor look much larger than another (think Gandalf and Bilbo), and effect different speeds in music videos.

“They’re camera tricks, but it all has to be very precise to work,” he said.

“The 3-D guys can import my camera move data into their computers to recreate my shots in a virtual world. I can also receive moves from them.”

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