Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

There are (of course) many things that I will never understand but two in particular are bugging me today – car bras and iPhone cases.

I understand the desire to keep nice things looking nice, but surely anything that compromises the day to day beauty of something to achieve that goal is wrong? Cars look stupid with bras on and iPhones lose all of the benefit of that sleek Johnny Ive – Sorry I mean – Sir Jonathan Ive, industrial design.

Just sayin.

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I have just been to see John Carter in IMAX 3D. It’s a great film with a strong story and great visual effects (a couple of years ago I would have said special effects, but The Wife has taught me better), but I have an issue that I want to discuss. If you work in the VFX industry I would love to hear from you.

So here goes –

I am a very keen photographer and I love great cinematography, but I am by no means an expert. I am very aware that in photography and traditional (2D) movies, you can give the impression of depth in an image by clever use of depth of field and focus. You can make part of the image sharp and the rest look soft and it’s worked well for years.

Now in 3D movies depth is created by separating the left and right image to give us the stereo image that we are used to in everyday life…. and it works quite well…. except….

(This is the first of the current 3D movies I have been to see, but based on today’s movie and the trailers before it, I’m assuming this isn’t unique to John Carter (if it is then please tell me))

… the depth of field felt too short to be real. If a person is only a couple of feet in front of another person or a background then both should be in focus and they aren’t! Nearly every scene had a really narrow depth of field that ruined the movie for me. You definitely had depth from the front of the scene to the back, but the  characters all felt really flat. It reminded me of old low budget sci-fi shows where the background was a photo printed on card. The actors all looked like animated 2D objects on different planes to each other.

It ruins the effect.

So my question is: is this a limitation of today’s 3D, is it an effect of the high res used for IMAX, or is it just a compromise because the move has to work in 2D as well?

I also have concerns about problem of combining incredible high resolution visual effects with comparatively low resolution live footage, but I’m sure this problem is purely an IMAX issue.


PS For all the people that (rightly) point out that John Carter was first…. that rock formation was definitely based on the Millennium Falcon  – a nice homage!

(not the best angle, but you get the point)




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