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Meet the CGI Wizard Bringing Magic to Real Life

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Vernon James Manlapaz's latest stage for computer-generated sorcery.

by Beckett Mufson
Mar 9 2017, 7:01pm

Image via Wikimedia Commons

An unexpected bit of magic was sighted at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this week. Philippines-born, Burbank-based animator Vernon James Manlapaz posted a video of magic broomsticks soaring through the park, no strings attached.

Manlapaz, who works full time as a 3D Animation and VFX Manager in LA, uses his skill set to inject magical moments like these into everyday activities. He's loved animation since watching The Lion King as a kid, and studied at both the De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde and then, on scholarship, Vancouver Film School. In his downtime he uses Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects to bring inanimate objects to life or transport pop culture icons into his reality.

"My creative process usually starts by looking at my surroundings and asking myself, 'What if?' From there I get inspiration from games, movies, people, and life in general," he tells Creators. His technique is very DIY, but requires expertise to pull off. "Once I get the concept out," he explains, "I go shoot outside with my iPhone. Then I shoot a 360° spherical image of the location, which I use as my reflection map to get lighting and reflections right."

His recent witchcraft was executed without the permission of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but, Manlapaz says, "Hopefully they notice it on Instagram. I hope they like it." Check out more of his work in the Instagrams below.

Follow more of Vernon James Manlapaz's work here, and follow Creators on Instagram to find your next favorite artist.

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Vernon James Manlapaz