What Dreams May Come…

I watched a film tonight.  ‘What Dreams May Come’,(1998) I was really interested in the visual aesthetic.  The backgrounds look like they have been painted with a brush, they are so surreal.  Artificiality is a concept that interests me greatly, and ways in which to achieve a visually artificial aesthetic are always a welcome form of inspiration.  Here are some images below. 




 According to this website(http://www.fxguide.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=333 ) This is how the visual affects were achieved

The actor was removed from the scene via optical flow technology. Then markers were used to recreate the basic movement of the camera in 3D. Then using optical flow once again, optical flow vector maps were created to track each pixel throughout the frames. Finally, Lidar, a laser radar technology that can be used to scan topography and create a cloud of points, was used to reconstruct the 3D information about the landscape where the scene was shot.Then using Photoshop to do previsualization, the team would decide how to paint the different portions of the scene: mountains, sky, water, foliage. They would use color, luminance, and depth to create alpha mattes for each style to be used in a scene.Then “Motion Paint” was used to apply the different colors and brushstrokes to the scene using the motion/spatial analysis information that had been gathered. Motion Paint takes the live footage, the Photoshop mattes, and would use optical flow processing to render an entire sequence of frames.Lastly, the actor was placed back in the scene.


Although I don’t have this technology at my disposal, it makes me think of other ways in which to achieve a similar affect.  Maybe the use of a green screen with captured and treated media composited onto the background.  Maybe experiment with projection, and have the acting taking place in front of this projection, as if it were their environment.  To use 8mm cine format, and digitize the footage, almost to bastardize a more organic format, to change real pictures into binary data.  I find that 8mm film has a very sentimental quality, an emotion associated with contentment.  The process of bastardizing this medium may create a feeling of uncomfortableness, arguably the antithesis of sentimentality.


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