- 14th September, 2011
- Joseph Campo
Often referred to as mocap, motion capture is the process of recording movement and translating that movement on to a digital model. In filmmaking it refers mostly to recording actions of human actors (though there has been some motion capture done on animals and other non-human subjects), and using that information to animate digital character models in 2D or 3D computer animation. Very detailed motion capture, such as specific movements of the face and fingers or that which captures subtle expressions, is often referred to as performance capture.
There many mocap techniques. Some require magnetic, LED, or gyroscopic markers placed on a person, with which a computer maps out a digital representation of the subject. Others, such as the XBox Kinect, do this without markers. Each method has its own advantages.
Most of you probably have some grasp of what CGI, or computer generated imagery, is. Wikipedia defines it as the application of the field of computer graphics or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in art, video games, films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media. In video, CGI is more accurately termed computer animation.
Computer animation is the successor to stop motion animation. Where stop motion animation requires a physical set and subjects, artists can now use computer animation to emulate these. This offers many advantages: its sometimes a more cost effective method, its far more controllable, and offers capabilities that would be impossible to replicate in real life. Basic computer animation might involve drawing an image and changing it slightly, frame by frame, but there is also more complex software available that allows the user to create a lifelike scene, and then defining how the imagery in that scene will behave. Often, filmmakers synthesize computer animation with live action video or photography.
While Cineclectic’s exhibition focuses on some of the best independent computer animation on the internet, I found the video below on the history of Hollywood CGI worth a watch. I hope you enjoy it, and check out our exhibition.
Hey folks! This month we’re talking about time-lapse, a technique where the the filmmaker shoots at a low frame rate, and then sped up to a normal frame rate. When replayed at normal speed, time will seem to move faster (lapse). For example, an image of a scene may be captured once every second, and then played back at 24 frames per second; the result would be an apparent increase of speed by 24 times.
The filmmaker can thus highlight otherwise imperceptible events because they happen so slowly, as well as patterns that we might have otherwise missed.
Some filmmakers use the technique simply to create interesting visual effects.
Check out the time lapse tutorial below, and this blog, which is a hugely informative source of instruction.
June 15th 2011
Hi and welcome to Cineclectic. This June, we’re taking a look at setting.
According to Wikipedia, “In fiction, setting includes the time, location, and everything in which a story takes place, and initiates the main backdrop and mood for a story.”
What tools does the filmmaker have to create the setting? In live action drama, sets/locations, costumes, props, and even hairstyles and makeup give us clues as to the world of the story. A filmmaker can also use lighting and sound/music to paint this picture more vividly, or even in some circumstances, to create it altogether. In Kill Bill 2, Tarantino creates a rich setting using only sound design to portray the protagonist being buried alive (video below).
There are of course other ways to create set elements: such as puppetry and other crafts, CGI, and digital projection, to name a few. This month’s featured videos all find a creative way to portray their story’s setting.