Confessions of a researchaholic

August 16, 2009

Renaissance

Filed under: Imaginary — liyiwei @ 12:02 pm
Tags: , ,

Renaissance is a stylish binary animation. By binary, I mean it is rendered in only two colors, black and white, not even gray scales which the movie used only rarely for special effects like transparency.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh7s32XRScQ&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0]

I watched this movie because it was mentioned in a research paper titled Artistic Thresholding, and I am curious about the artistic and technical effects. In particular, even though binary rendering has been performed on static images (e.g. posters), these are usually abstract renditions. Thus, it was not clear to me how the effect would carry over for 3D animations, for which frame-to-frame coherence is required in addition to single frame stylization.

Overall, the binary rendering of the movie looks very good, in terms of both intra frame stylization and inter frame coherence. The binary rendering, combined with the nature of the story line, pushes the film noir genre to the extreme.

In the bonus materials, the creators explained that the movie was authored as a combination of motion capture and 3D polygonal rendering. This is quite comprehensible. Unfortunately, no explanation was given to the binary shading part. From what I could see, no published research algorithms have achieved binary animation anywhere near what is shown this movie. The usual suspect is heavy manual work, but even with that I still cannot figure out how things were really done.

Looks like this is still a open research problem, and probably a darn hard one.

August 11, 2009

Dolls

Filed under: Imaginary — liyiwei @ 3:04 pm
Tags:

Being a romance/drama, Dolls is not my kind of movie, but I watched it nonetheless for the sake of family duty. It is a very interesting movie. At the time of viewing it is a bit slow and bland, but strangely the message gradually sinks in afterward. I guess it is like drinking some sort of wine that tastes gentle but with strong after effects.

This is all I am going to say about this movie, to avoid spoiler as well as the fact that I believe this movie is better to be felt than described.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-7eNtLia6o&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0]

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