New IRTC anim topic (round ending 4/2006): Special Effects

General discussion about JPatch

Postby squirrelhavoc » Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:56 am

nine wrote:Sure I know what is meant with special effects - but I have got kind of fed up with them. I believe it is about a technical game. I am hoping on using JPatch to say something about life and death - about love and hate - about .... story telling... for sure you can use special effects in story telling... but they have to be a part of the story... the story is that matters... not the effects....[


Wow, that actually made sense! So you agree with me that you can use special effects in a story (although our ideas of what special effects are seem to differ), and I agree with you that you can use special effects to tell a story, depending on what you use, whether its an emotion, or something technical like an explosion.



PS To admins: Sorry to fuel this more, but he made sense, and I actually agree with him, so I thought I would jump in and tell my opinion.
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Postby nine » Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:58 pm

squirrelhavoc wrote:Wow, that actually made sense! So you agree with me that you can use special effects in a story (although our ideas of what special effects are seem to differ), and I agree with you that you can use special effects to tell a story, depending on what you use, whether its an emotion, or something technical like an explosion.

The thing to me is that explosions are so commonly used in bad 3D animations. In daily life most people do not use explosions - there are some murderers doing it. But common people don´t. They use their emotions and if you can tell a story about that you can begin to communicate in some good way with others - using explosions is just boring.

Why not read this one and understand something that perhaps can change your life - beginning to animate in some new way:
The Secret History Of The Atomic Bomb
http://www.whale.to/b/mullins8.html

What we need is peace! No one wants to get killled and killing others make you really sick - you will never recover after having done it - you is never more a person that can be trusted - you are a murderer!

What we need is peace - sitting down - trying to do something together - benefitting from it all of us. Here are someones trying to do it:
http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

I belive it is possible to use 3D animations to contribute to peace - telling some story. And then it is most about emotions and intelligence - trying to solve some problem.
:roll:
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Postby dcuny » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:20 pm

How about compositing live footage with animation done in JPatch? I've got a camera that shoots video, but at a fairly low framerate, so the live action would come out pixilated. That could actually be a feature. ;)

    (Video is a 10 second loop of kids running around in a park.)

    Kid (offscreen voiceover): Can you add an alien?

    (Green CGI alien appears in the scene)

    Adult (offscreen voiceover): Like this?

    Kid: Bigger! Make him bigger!

    (Alien grows twice as large)

    Kid: And a flying saucer, too!

    (Flying saucer appears in scene)

    Kid: Can you give me a lightsabre?

    Adult: No.

    Kid: A raygun?

    Adult: No.

    Kid: This is boring.

    Adult: I can do this...

    (Alien "stomps" on kids running around. None are actually squashed)

    Adult: This is fun...

    Kid: Mom!
;)
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Postby squirrelhavoc » Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:47 pm

Heheh that is some really funny stuff. Would the IRTC accept something with live action footage?

EDIT: Just a thought, instead of I can do this, I think I can do this would sound better
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Postby nine » Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:28 pm

You will need some alien music, too!
Just wonder can you get the shadows from the alien into the video scen?
:wink:
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Postby squirrelhavoc » Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:35 pm

nine wrote:You will need some alien music, too!



I'm a computer musician, I can try to come up with something if they ask, but I might not be able to deliver in time.
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Postby dcuny » Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:39 am

If there's going to be music, I think it would be along the same lines as The Imposter - something for opening and ending credits, but it would fade under the dialog, so you could hear what was happening. I don't know that I'd go with anything alien, since it's not so much an alien movie as it is a parent messing with his kid's video.

I think that live action might work in this case, because that's really what the topic calls for. The fact that the video is low quality with choppy movement would help ensure that people could tell the computer animation from the background.

If you didn't want to go with live action, another option would be to use still images of major cities, and add a monster to the scene. Or robots. :)

The story is pretty much just a stub - the core idea is that because you've got a kid asking for things, you can add some pretty silly things in. It also offers the thin veneer of a plot. ;)
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Postby squirrelhavoc » Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:51 am

Although this might not qualify as an animation maybe, but how about a still image of a kid, thats supposed to be the kid who you can hear talking, and he is asking if you can add CG things in the picture, not animated, but stills of created objects and stuff. Like I said, its not much of an animation, but I like your basic idea, so I thought I would start a brainstorm session :)
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Postby dcuny » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:05 am

How about having special effects as characters? I was originally thinking of a film auditioning for special effects, and having a line of different characters, looking like little monsters. You'd then see some of the special effects auditioning for the producer. One might be an explosion, another could catch on fire.

A different take on the idea would be to have a single special effect arguing with a guard to let him onto the studio lot. The guard would argue that he wasn't really a special effect - more a "stunt" or something like that. The special effect would argue the guard was there purely for expository effect - "You're nothing but a literary plot device for this video" It's a bit derivative of your Imposter plot, though.

Another idea would be to interview various special effects. For example, one could brag about his part in a film: "Remember when the Death Star exploded in Star Wars? That was me. Some of my best work, man." Another would complain "Those guys at WETA keep bragging about Gollum, but that as me, baby! Subsurface scattering is my speciality!"

You wouldn't actually have to have any of them explode or whatnot - they could simply explain that was what they did. That way, you could have a video filled with special effects, without actually having to do any special effects. ;)
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Postby sascha » Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:49 pm

I've deleted yet another message from Nine.

Nine, if you read this: Stop polluting this forum with off-topic messages about conspiracy theories or you will be banned. Hiding as "Guest" won't help, the forum software fortunately does log all IP addresses...

PS: There is an off-topic forum available, but I don't believe that anybody around here will condescend to discuss about that with you. I'm sure you can find other places on the web where this kind of discussion is welcome...
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Postby squirrelhavoc » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:27 pm

I like dcuny's idea, it should be somehwat simple to create, it will be funny, like all the old stars of special effects (Death Star explosion, and others) trying to make a comeback in a CG world. Funny stuff!
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Postby pndragon » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:35 pm

The only problem is: How do you animate a special effect as a character?

--- Jim
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Postby pndragon » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:50 pm

Assuming the problem of character animation is solved, another plot? option does present itself --- "SFX Idol".... with a lot of bad special effects auditioning....

Or a mockumentary on the evolution of SFX from fireworks and shadow puppets
to computer imagery....


--- Jim
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Postby dcuny » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:24 pm

Perhaps a bit more explanation here would help. I was in the bookstore the other day, and noticed the title "Movie Magic" on a book about special effects. So I got to thinking: what if special effects were magic. Someone would have to do them, right?

That got me thinking about brownies, elves, gremlins and other magical creatures. In the old days, some of them would do helpful things, like make shoes. But with children in southeast asia making shoes for pennies a day, it's a bit hard to compete. So in modern times, they need a new job. And movie magic was right up their alley.

Sure, there are stunts and toons, but that's not the same thing at all. We're talking about special effects - things explosions, fire, levitation, floods, lightning on demand... All that sort of stuff. Need a magic glowing sword? No problem, talk to Eddie - it's his speciality.

But now, things have gone sour - they're all out of jobs again. That's because special effects are being replaced by computers, of all things. It's just not like how it was in the old days. Everything is so slick and lifeless.

As for what they would look like, I was initially thinking of the gnome from the Oz stories, as drawn by John R. Neill. Bother, Google isn't being helpful here...

You could have the "special effects" resemble their effect, sort of the the Heat Miser from A Year Without Santa Claus:

Image

But I don't think there's really any reason to do that. I was thinking of something more like the Raid spray cockroach:

Image

Or the Lamisil dermatophyte (foot fungus):

Image

The opening credit could read Sascha Ledinsky presents... The Truth About Special Effects". It would then be a series of short Creature Comforts style interviews, where the "true" story of special effects, and how they are being replaced by computers, would be revealed. A sort of "mini documentary".
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Postby squirrelhavoc » Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:23 pm

I kinda liked my idea with yours, an idea of old school special effects doing something like an interview or screentest, where they try to compete with CG, and some little CG guy comes in, and shows what he can do, then the old guys say something funny, or leave or something. I just like the idea of old goblins coming in bragging on different things they did in the past, then some little guy comes in and steals their thunder. Only problem with that is the actual special effect that the goblins produce. But this idea would really fit in with the topic, even without animating the special effect. Just the idea that those goblins represent past movie effects is probably enough.

Good stuff from you guys though, keep it coming!
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