Saturday, April 28, 2012

48fps Will NEVER Look Good

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit is coming for a holiday release, and early previews of the semi-completed film are garnering quite a bit of WTF.

The complaints are coming because of the 48fps process as opposed to the 24fps that is usually used for films.

This is apparently being done because the film is being produced in full 3D straight from the camera, which as far as I know, only a few movies thus far have been done this way. They claim that 3D with 24fps causes issues for many people.

I think that this just goes to show that 3D is total crap, but I digress. There is a good reason why 24fps was chosen for cinema and why it looks more "real" than higher fps film: it blurs like human vision.

Most film is recorded at 24fps with a 1/48th second exposure of each frame, and then 1/48th second of black shutter. Sometimes, they will shoot with faster exposures, creating a hard, defined, and edgy look. You'll see this sort of effect in scenes intended to give a starkly dramatic look, like the beach landing scene at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan.

Human vision blurs the world as it moves around us. 24fps, or more precisely a 1/48th second exposure, does a very good job of capturing that blur on film. Without it, things appear hard and lifeless, because life exists between the frames, not on them.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Surprisingly Good Poster

Apparently, the movie is awful, but the poster is fantastically inspired. Again, very much in the vein of Saul Bass posters, and it works very well.

All of the elements explain something about the film. You can tell just from the poster that whoever the guy in the hat is the bad guy, his entire presence on the poster being off-putting and creepy. He is apparently a doctor, making his odd silhouette all the weirder. Finally, the woman indicates some female in the movie will be the target of the bad guy, or perhaps be the one who stands against him.

What's important is that the poster says something. And for that, the creators of the film should be commended.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Final Brave Trailer

The third and likely final trailer for Pixar's Brave has been released, and while not as disappointing as the first, it's still among Pixar's worst trailers. Honestly, what were they thinking with this thing?

In one sense, this gives me hope. That they had such a hard time making a happy, h'yuk kind of trailer (which is the kind of trailer for which all of these idiotic studios seem to shoot) leads me to believe that the movie has very few h'yuk kind of moments. It reminds me of Wall-e, where its trailers featured almost nothing from the second half of the film. It was two solid minutes of Wall-e being cute on Earth.

It also gives me hope that we will see something different. Because, man, after Rango, I'm not sure that good ol' cartoon formula will ever sate me again.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Great Reel Of 80's CGI

It's sometimes impressive to see, one, how far we've come in the past few decades regarding computer animation. But conversely, it's also impressive to see how far along development was back in the 80's. This was a full decade before Toy Story. came out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bill Plympton Animates The Simpsons Intro

The Simpsons, created by animation and comic fan Matt Groening, has brought on another underground animation great to do the intro. I only became aware of Bill Plympton a few years ago when I picked up The Animation Show Seasons 1 & 2 on sale. You might not recognize the name, but you will recognize the style instantly. There is a playful, haphazard, almost dark quality to it that positively courses with energy. A work of his has appeared in all four seasons of the Animation Show, which should give you an idea of how respected he is. In fact, in his last full production, Hair High, two of the characters were voiced by Matt Groening and Don Hertzfeldt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Favorite Movie Poster

When talking about movie posters, one can't avoid talking about Quentin Tarantino. Truly, it's hard to pick out just one of his movies for an example of a great poster. Kill Bill was bright and bold. Reservoir Dogs has become an icon on the walls of frat rooms the world over. I've always loved Pulp Fiction, though. It is an interpretation that seems obvious, but considering the number of obvious movie posters that get ignored every year in modern Hollywood, perhaps obviousness is not something that is very... obvious.

Every element of the film is represented in the poster. The nostalgia, the sex, the violence, even the attitude of the film is represented in Uma Thurman's face. Very few movie posters are this perfect.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Elvgren Girls In Photos

Gil Elvgren would frequently work from photographs as opposed to a live model who sat there for long periods of time. Not always, but since he did, we have these great photos to compare with his own works.

Again, we see an artist playing with lines. When created, the fact that some of the lines on the girl have been subtly, and sometimes even wildly, exaggerated isn't very salient. It doesn't stand out as it does with Photoshopped models of today because it hasn't entered the uncanny valley. Every element of the image has been built from the ground up by the artist to match every other element. When the same principles that make these images coherent and sexy are applied to photos of real women, the results are awful.

The below photos were scavenged from multiple websites, and the bulk of them appear to be of a model named Janet Rae; you can see her in the first photo. Compliments of a single collector (her son, I believe), who uploaded them to his Flickr page, the images are available to the net-addicted public. Fans of Elvgren everywhere thank you very much. He is rumored to be working on a book about his mother's work, which would be fantastic. It would be a perfect companion piece for Louis K. Meisel's book on Elvgren.

A Grand Slam - 1961

A Fair Shake - 1960

The Right Touch - 1958

A Lot At Steak - 1955

A Neat Package - 1961

A New Wrinkle - 1961

A Sharp Lookout - 1961

A Surprising Turn - 1960

A Warm Welcome - 1959

All Yours - 1958

Appreciative Audience - 1960

Be My Guest - 1963

Best Foot Forward - 1958

Bewitching - 1956

Charming Trick - 1961

Claws For Alarm - 1958

Cooling Off - 1958

Curving Around - 1960

Ditzler Advertisement

Eye Popper - 1960

Fall Changeover - 1952

Fit To Kill - 1965

Fresh Breeze - 1956

Gina - 1959

Going Places - 1959

Have a Heart - 1964

Help Wanted - 1960

Just For You - 1961

Last Stand - 1961

Lucky Chaps - 1962

Lucky Dog - 1958

Measuring Up - 1961

Mimi - 1956

Modest Maneuver - 1969

Partial Coverage - 1960

Phone-a-Vision - 1969

Plenty Sharp - 1959

Pot Luck - 1961

Pretty Cagey - 1953

Puppy Love - 1957

Real Swinger - 1965

Riding High - 1958

Success! - 1958

Ruffled Feathers - 1967

Screen Test - 1968

Sheer Comfort - 1959

Sitting Pretty - 1953

Skirting the Issue - 1956

Something New - 1957

Swingin' Sweety - 1968

Taking a Chance - 1962

The Right Scale - 1960

The Right Touch - 1958

TV Spectacular - 1959

Unexpected Lift - 1961

Unknown date and title

Up and Cunning - 1955

Upsetting Upset - 1969

Wanted - 1961

Welcome Traveler - 1955

Well Built - 1961

Well Picked - 1965

Wish You Were Near - 1969

With The Greatest of Ease - 1959

Worth Crowing About - 1954