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Technical ingenuity

Technical ingenuity

Postby Choppercrazy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:50 am

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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Bix » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:45 am

This is great--Dwight mentioned a bit of this on the Saturday in Novi, back in May.

And I know what he's getting at by the technological "dumbing down" that takes place in order to make people comfortable. I was on a "Doctor Who" kick during the 10th Doctor's reign, and I couldn't help but notice that the episodes were being, well, tampered with in some way... the sharper images and smooth-flowing action (like in the raw footage of these deleted DW scenes: http://youtu.be/TUufNjWHCeQ) was made to look more film-like in the finished product. So the "soap opera effect" was tamped down in Post in order to make the British show look more Hollywood-ish, even when DW switched to HD with "Planet of the Dead." Thought the lavish look probably DID help the series find a much larger audience over in the U.S. than if it had been left untreated, because it kept it in the normal style of TV/movie viewing which people are comfortable with.

The technological changes are a fantastic advancement in filmmaking, but it really is going to take "new" eyes--those of the new generation--to fully appreciate and accept just what it is that has developed.

The sad part is that films made "the old way" will be overlooked in favor of those newer projects. It's inevitable. The majority of the younger generation consider classical music to be little more than white noise... as Dwight mentioned, they can't fully appreciate the fact that you can have an entire orchestra playing for you in the comfort of your home for very little money. Silent films, and black-and-white films, get the same flip-by-it-on-the-telly lack of attention by the current generation. And you can bet that the visually-dumbed-down movies (i.e. the 24fps of The Hobbit) will be treated much the same way in the future when the newer technology is brought into acceptability, with their flaws as distractions rather than as an integral part to the experience of watching them.
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Milena » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:27 pm

Bix wrote:The sad part is that films made "the old way" will be overlooked in favor of those newer projects. It's inevitable. The majority of the younger generation consider classical music to be little more than white noise... as Dwight mentioned, they can't fully appreciate the fact that you can have an entire orchestra playing for you in the comfort of your home for very little money. Silent films, and black-and-white films, get the same flip-by-it-on-the-telly lack of attention by the current generation. And you can bet that the visually-dumbed-down movies (i.e. the 24fps of The Hobbit) will be treated much the same way in the future when the newer technology is brought into acceptability, with their flaws as distractions rather than as an integral part to the experience of watching them.


I completly agree. It's very sad!
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Sandilynn » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:42 pm

Being a musician myself, I can't listen to a piece of classical music as white noise. Pieces like Gustav Holst's "The Planets," Igor Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps" (The Rite of Spring), Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings," and I could go on with the list have so many layers and nuances that you can listen to them several times and each time come away with something deep and enriching. That is, if you sit back, cancel out every other distraction, put on a pair of good headphones and truly listen with eyes closed. Most people don't want to spend the time doing that, though. They're heavily into multi-tasking so music becomes background noise.

How many people have the TV running from the time they wake up til the time they go to bed and sometimes even through the night just to have the noise in the background?
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby bcbdrums » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:38 pm

Sandilynn wrote:Being a musician myself, I can't listen to a piece of classical music as white noise. Pieces like Gustav Holst's "The Planets," Igor Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps" (The Rite of Spring), Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings," and I could go on with the list have so many layers and nuances that you can listen to them several times and each time come away with something deep and enriching. That is, if you sit back, cancel out every other distraction, put on a pair of good headphones and truly listen with eyes closed. Most people don't want to spend the time doing that, though. They're heavily into multi-tasking so music becomes background noise.

How many people have the TV running from the time they wake up til the time they go to bed and sometimes even through the night just to have the noise in the background?


i've become one of those "background noise" people, be it tv, movies, or music. however, i'm very choosy with what the content of my background noise is. there is a lot of music that i am incapable of treating with that level of disrespect, and some movies and tv as well. although there is rationale that background noise can help people focus. i focus much better with some sort of sound, especially music in the background.

as for the outrage about movies looking better...what is the problem? i for one am thrilled to turn on discovery channel today and see not only places and creatures i never thought i would, but in a detail that makes it real and worth seeing, as opposed to nature programs from 20 years ago, in which you couldn't distinguish what was being talked about due to the poor film quality. however, i own the original star trek on dvd, not the digitally remastered version with new CGI footage. i could say that every piece of music and every movie has its "proper" place in terms of quality, but honestly? that's kind of silly. i love the opportunity to see details, but, i also appreciate the charm of days gone by.

for me, it comes down to personal taste. i could buy the recording of le sacre du printemps that stravinsky himself conducted, but i don't--why? because the timpanist kept messing up in danse sacrale! (which i have played) so i buy a modern recording in which the music is played correctly instead. but, i prefer ithzak perlman's version of the beethoven violin concerto to hilary hahn's, because i prefer his timing. in either case, it has nothing to do with the quality of the recording, but the content. does it matter if the image on the screen is blurry, or God forbid lifelike? i might prefer the soap opera look if i don't want to see how much makeup they put on an actress, but if it's nature we're talking about, give me high definition!

people are really fighting over this? when there are real problems in the world? seriously...
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Bix » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:16 pm

While visiting Michigan back in May, I couldn't help but notice that the owner of the house I was staying at pretty much kept the stereo playing all day and night, save for after about 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. when his family was sleeping... and even then, the bedroom TV was on while he slept! Background noise was a necessity for the guy. At least being of the same age and background, we were in agreement with the musical selections.

Of course, it's not just films being affected by the new technology: http://blog.laptopmag.com/origin-provid ... -virtu-mvp

"Origin announced today that they’re going to start shipping all of their notebooks with Virtu MVP Mobile Edition from Lucid. This software increases the efficiency of graphics cards in a number of ways, including simultaneous use of integrated and discrete graphics, breaking the 60 frames per second cap of vertical synchronization (Vsync), and boosting the responsiveness of the mouse and keyboard during play. And best of all? Origin is providing it to their customers free of charge."
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Bix » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:18 pm

Ah, I knew I posted this here: 1-000-000-000-000-frames-per-second-photography-t4740.html

And to think, in thirty years, 1,000,000,000,000 frames per second could very well be old hat! :o :shock:
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby KaizokuShojo » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:35 am

I found this very fascinating. I didn't really know about the "judder" thing, and I didn't know about the ways they have in the past/are now actively are trying to fix it. I....admit, I pretty much NEVER watch movies anymore. Nothing grabs me in the previews to make me want to go see them. XD; I do see a decent number of previews and some clips, though, and I take note of what I see.

I've noticed heightened clarity on a lot of film and movies. I've seen a lot of excellent CG work, and...I've seen a lot of hideously bad CG work that STILL doesn't quite capture the proper motion and lighting of objects. (A huge issue that hasn't been revolved in every instance is putting digital creations and reality together in a perfect, seamless way... I'm wondering when the time will come when they'll manage to do it each and every time. I prefer the grainy explosions in The A-Team to the CGI ones in nearly all the tv shows now any day, because they just look more believable in the atmosphere....)

I'm wondering if the sharper, more smooth images on movies is met with criticism also because a lot of people do not normally sit and LOOK at anything for any length of time, and haven't for many years as life gets busier and busier, and more and more self-involved. When you're not paying attention, and things are going by fast, little is actually focused in your field of vision. You can actually navigate through a crowd pretty well while in this unfocused visual state. It's kind of a low-detailed 'autopilot.' But at the movies you're sitting for over an hour staring at a large, detailed screen. The blur of older movies is not only comforting because it's what you're used to in motion pictures, but it's kind of what you're used to in reality.

I find myself preferring clearer, more realistically-lit imagery, despite the fact that my vision is technically always blurry. XD I love detail, and the easier it is to see it, the better. (It also makes for cleaner screencaptures that I can use to draw...:lol: ) But, if it LOOKS fake, or seems implausible, it bugs me. XD For some reason, some images I've seen more recently don't quite.....seem right. I think it's the camerawork, perhaps. It seems to move unnaturally. I'd have to observe it more to know why it bugs me.

(By the way, and this is random... Anyone else seen clips of the new Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-Ray discs???? AMAZING. Can't wait to see my favourite episodes like that. :D)

I agree, though, with what's been said that this clarity will make some newer viewers look over classic film gems. I don't care what era a movie is from, as long as it's good, but a lot of people just aren't like that. They think new ANYTHING is automatically awesome, even though ten or twenty years from now, they might look back and think it's as bad as parachute pants. (Unless parachute pants are back in style in twenty years........) I mean, heck, why did they remake Footloose? I've never seen either the old or new, so I can't pass judgment on either, but it wasn't that old of a movie, why remake it? I know of a fan of the original who complained about how trashy it was. Remakes are rampant as it is, I hope people don't start using visual clarity as an excuse to make more. XD

I wonder if they'll start photoshopping the actors/actresses more now, with all this newfound crispness and detail... All these celebs are bound to complain about how bad it makes their pores and wrinkles look. XD (Yet another instance of someone being upset with reality! :lol: )
(As a note, I'm sorry for the rambling again...I still have hideously bad insomnia. I always tend to ramble, but at least it makes more sense when I've had sleep! XDD )

I love this bit especially....
In some strange way these film buffs were comforted by the blur, however their reconsideration that perhaps the 48fps is too revealing for what is being photographed is intellectually honest and permits advancement in the field of motion picture photography. This is of profound importance because this view is the truth.

There is no reason why you can’t prefer the comfort of the unreal, but declaring something to be inferior when it is clearly superior is emotional, irrational and a lie. The tech world is rife with irrational nonsense, but because of its very nature the truth generally finds its way through the smoke in time. Such is not the case in other areas of life, where damage to let’s say, our society, is not always as quickly noted as a light switch that is not connected to a real source of light, or an automobile that cannot make it to 30mph, no matter how we put the pedal to the mettle.

Greater detail and clarity may bring us closer to reality, but not closer to our desires or personal comfort. Fine! We may properly prefer a limited or editorialized view as long as we recognize it as a preference; but once we stray across the line that divides the subjective from the objective without noting that we have indeed crossed it, fantasy reigns, and fantasy can be a killer.

I really enjoy how he phrases things and makes his points.
I think that a serious flaw in society to-day is the importance that is placed on such things as feelings and 'relative truth.' Feelings are important, but they aren't everything. "Do what you feel is good," is inapplicable to an orderly society, and causes bias like with the new frame rates. (On the opposite end of the spectrum, you actually also get those who accept anything NEW just because it is NEW... Neither the new or old bias is good or productive....I'm going to sound like an episode of Star Trek TOS here for a second, but, a balance needs to be achieved between logic and emotion. You can't follow one or the other with absolute exclusiveness. People don't think enough, they just let the waves of emotion carry them to wherever, content to ride along--especially if it's with a clique of like-minded people. They become like kids that never grew up. "I don't like that! I don't wanna, I don't want it! I like it THAT way!" The internet makes them all the more noisy, and we've got all these people running around the web, commenting and posting everywhere, and they're just a kid or some self-proclaimed expert on film that has no true credentials or education whatsoever...

I forget, how many frames can the human brain properly process? I'm too tired to look it up at the moment... Anyway, it seems that for NORMAL cinema (that is, non-documentary, and not counting shots taken for special effects in a film) the FPS rate should match that as closely as possible, and with as much real-life visual fidelity as possible...with, of course, allowances made for artistic vision. Blur might at times be used intentionally or pseudo-intentionally for effect (like that soft-lens treatment in old movies' romance scenes).

Maybe FACTS will be treated better, too, now that they're thinking so much of visuals............. Nah, not in Hollywood, that'll never happen. :lol: (At least just ONCE I'd like to see something OBVIOUS dealt with....like the timing between lightning and thunder. Even from a few hundred yards, sound is delayed, people, let alone miles....good grief. :roll: )

Okay, the soapbox can be taken by someone more awake now. Image
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Zania » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:03 pm

Having majored in television production in college, I can totally agree with what Dwight is saying. When I started taking classes, the college was still working a lot with 3/4" tapes, Hi-8, and regular editing bays. But, soon, they started to get AVID and teaching classes on how to edit on AVID. And they managed to get a Betacam unit, including a couple of VTRs. But the big thing was starting to catch on at the time was AVID.

AVID, for those who aren't familiar, is a line of digital editing programs on a Macintosh computer that's far more superior than the Microsoft version that you can find on most home computers today. At the time I had taken classes, AVID was still pretty much brand new, but several movies and TV shows had already been edited with AVID. Since it's on a computer, it's very easy to manipulate frames from various scenes with Photoshop or other elements, and include that within the final work. And with how powerful computers are getting, it may not be too far down the road where we'll see long-dead celebrities reincarnated on film or TV (with the approval of their estates) through very realistic CGI work (overlayed on another actor wearing a sensor suit and going through the mannerisms) and audio manipulation (to recreate the voice) - things that will make it so realistic that you wouldn't even be able to tell a CGI created figure from a real one on film.

Look at how they brought Tupac Shakur back to life for an on-stage performance through a realistic hologram! Look at the amazing work done on the movie Avatar! Or, look at how they took an older, bearded Beau Bridges and made him look younger again and removed the beard for the character of Clu in Tron Legacy!

It's good to embrace the past with how film making is done, as it gives an appreciation of how things were originally filmed and how they managed churn out such amazing pieces if cinematography without the technology that we're used to, today. But, in the same token, we can't be afraid of what the future may hold as well when it comes to movie making or we could miss out on all of the possibilities that could provide tremendous advances and improvements in what we end up seeing on the big screen (or small screen, depending on their budgets). That includes not only CGI and other elements that can not only bring characters to life that were once only in our imaginations, but also changing the frame rates to where what we see on the screen is that much more visually stunning, putting the art back into the art of movie making.
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Sandilynn » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:38 pm

When I went back to college in the late 80s to finish my elementary ed/music ed degree, I did work study for the music department in their listening laboratory. Much of my job required me to record cassette tapes for students and professors of things like student recitals, the complete nine symphonies of Beethoven, all of the Brahms symphonies, world music samples, etc. Some of it was cassette to cassette recording. Some of it was LP record to cassette work. And one of my projects was to preserve what was on a bunch of reel to reel tapes onto cassette. (That project fizzled when we discovered that the tape had degraded to the point that some of it sounded like backmasking. The lab did not have CD capability at that time so I wasn't burning CDs.

At that same time we were learning how to write LOGOS commands to create computer programs on the university's Apple computers. Everything was on floppy disks including the Turtle LOGOS program we had to use to create that project. For one of the education classes I remember having to review Oregon Trail and other educational software which were all on floppy disks.

Hard to believe how far everything has come in a quarter century.
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby KaizokuShojo » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:15 pm

I'm okay with the idea of CGI actors, in a sense, as long as there is still...actual acting done, in some way. That is, I don't want to see a half-baked performance turned into gold by some computer whizes. xD Just like I don't like to hear about singers who can't sing at all "digitally enhancing" to become superstars. I like real acting and real ingenuity both.

Example: Mel Blanc. He was grand. But I've read that to begin with, he would use slightly sped-up recordings of himself to achieve different effects for a character. This is a mixture of talent and ingenuity. And if I'm not mistaken, Beast from Disney's Beauty and the Beast was Benson's voice altered digitally as well, and returned to normal when he was human. Disney's Tarzan used a LOT of CGI environments, to amazing effects (although they weren't always blended seamlessly into the environment--they moved 'too perfectly' in comparison to the drawn elements around them--it should have been balanced, like when in The Iron Giant they wrote a program to make the CGI Giant's lines act more like traditionally drawn ones). If we get CGI actors, I still would rather hear an actor on his/her own delivering a good impression of said deceased actor than a computer giving us an approximation of the late actor's voice. While both work, it's more impressive when a person does it alone.
(I also wonder if perhaps a late star's CGI self would be put into roles they wouldn't normally have accepted... I mean, just because their estate okays something, that doesn't make it quite the same. Take the new cartoon, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood for instance. It's nothing like Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, and doesn't quite seem in-line with Fred's ideals. Who knows if he would have been completely okay with it? But, his estate approved it.)

I like the idea of excellent CGI being used in film and animation, but I also like to also see what raw human talent alone can do. Some people can produce amazing voices and sound effects all by themselves...which we already all know. ;) I like both MIDI and orchestral soundtracks. I like CGI cartoons (although, I'm...not so much a fan of Flash animation, since it's usually REALLY ugly) and traditionally drawn ones. Quite a lot of people will say one or the other is superior. But that depends entirely on what criteria they're using to make that decision. Financial? Emotional? Time production scale? Job creation? Digitally-created cartoons are cheaper to produce, take less time to make, and take fewer people to make them. Conversely, this means less created jobs. Sometimes it also means a sacrifice in quality--like with most average Flash-animated cartoons. But, with larger-budget digital creations, the motion can be extremely accurate (especially if motion capture is involved). So it just depends on what angle you're looking from, or what your purpose--or even preference--is.

This kind of takes from what I mentioned earlier, the new ST:TNG blu-ray sets... They actually re-did the computer graphics, since the old ones combined with the new re-mastered clarity looked...off. I was a little suspicious of it at first, since I've seen a LOT of re-done CGI that doesn't look as good as the original (such as in many spots of the original Star Wars films) but when I saw clips, I was amazed. It was perfect. I look forward to seeing how they redo things like the Crystaline Entity since....the original of that was very badly done. xD Technology in just that little span of time, from the original 'til now, has increased profoundly. Who knows, by the time I'm forty we could have replicators! :lol:
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Bix » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:46 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19423951

New technology bringing old technology to life! I love film restoration projects. Wish I had the chance to do that for a living.
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Nance » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:54 pm

Where did my post go? It dissapeared and It was long response.... :cry:
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Re: Technical ingenuity

Postby Nance » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:58 pm

I've found it, but I don't know how it got there :huh:

After reading Dwights blog I found myself suddenly wondering about the A-Team movie. Did it also apply the, more than 24f/s rate?
There is something about the action scenes that hurts my brain.

I think that experience wise, the LCD High Definition TV's, have taken something away from us viewers, that we might not ever regain. I was watching the revamped star wars movies (the new ones) on a HD television, having been told that the effect was amazing! I hated it from the moment I saw it! Suddenly I could see what was real and what was computer generated. And even though I KNOW Starwars isn't real, I could enjoy it, because it SEEMED real.

This reminds me of classical artworks. The ancient Greeks were perfecting their ability to produce marble statues. They kept on doing this until the statue of the Kritian Boy. It was a perfect example of a perfectly REALISTIC human man. After that, having gained the ability to produce perfect statues, they started to make flawed statues. Flawed in the sense that a Olympic winner, would no longer be immortalized realistically, but enhanced! His muscles would be portrayed bigger, a crooked nose would become straight etc... This made every statue look the same, even though the persons depicted looked nothing alike.
This is what you would call the ancient Greek version of the soap opera effect. There was beauty, it looked realistic, but it really wasn't. It was perfection, not realism.

Going back to HD TV... We want flawed perfection, but we don't want realism. Removing the jitter from the frames, makes a movie look completely realistic, but it also makes it look imperfect. Realism and perfection are two different things. The way the movie is shown is perfectly realistic, we want to see flawed/enhanced perfection.

So I guess that 48f/s rate really is inferior to the 24f/s rate, until they find a way to escape realism and reenter fantasy. Just like the Kritian boy statue is inferior to the later Greek statues even though it's perfectly real.
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