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May 9, 2004 3:43 PM   Subscribe

This wonderful life
posted by magullo (37 comments total)

 
Why?
posted by 327.ca at 4:07 PM on May 9, 2004


It's apparently a Flash site about a marginally photo-realistic movie of some kind - the site is almost as uninformative as magullo's post. Here's the only interesting (and kind of Real-Doll creepy) thing I can actually find there.
posted by nicwolff at 4:07 PM on May 9, 2004


I think I've been seeing too many pictures of damaged people in Iraq. When I look at this kind of hyper-real idealization of the human body with its implied marvelling at all that technology can do, I just feel depressed. What is the fucking point?
posted by 327.ca at 4:11 PM on May 9, 2004


There is an interview with the dude here, and I think they're playing the movie on this page as well, in some super lame super low res formate.

This post would have been better if there was a link to the film itself somewhere.
posted by chunking express at 4:12 PM on May 9, 2004


OK, now I've seen it, thanks chunking. It is remarkable piece of CG modelling and rendering, but I'm still creeped out - it appears to be the story of a lonely discarded Stepford-Wife prototype thrown off a bridge by an evil psionic infant-CPR dummy in the Uncanny Valley.
posted by nicwolff at 4:39 PM on May 9, 2004


The film itself is here. It's quite amazing. Apparently, the whole thing as shot on location in Uncanny Valley, CA.

on preview, I have been defeated.
posted by ulotrichous at 4:41 PM on May 9, 2004


[Yawn.]
posted by Fofer at 5:55 PM on May 9, 2004


I found this to be amazing. Some of the best human face and hair animation I've ever seen. It makes the Final Fantasy feature film look like stick figures.
posted by stevengarrity at 6:01 PM on May 9, 2004


This is CG?! Whoa.

I still haven't been able to view the film, but the stills are incredible. I could swear I see just a hint of miniscule, downy hair on her stomach. Hyper-detail.

At first I thought this was just a documentary of a photographer shooting a beautiful model. Call me superficial, but my first thought was, "Yes, that would be a wonderful life..."
posted by Shane at 7:02 PM on May 9, 2004


Call me superficial, but my first thought was, "Yes, that would be a wonderful life..."

Superficial.
posted by 327.ca at 7:13 PM on May 9, 2004


Oh, no; toooooo slow....
posted by lometogo at 7:23 PM on May 9, 2004


on preview, I have been defeated.

Best "on preview" comment to date.
posted by Shane at 7:40 PM on May 9, 2004


Superficial.
Oh, no; toooooo slow....

LOL! Gee, so sorry. I occasionally like to admit I'm human, AND avoid sanctimonious preening as well...

posted by Shane at 7:45 PM on May 9, 2004


Pretty amazing rendering. Download directly from here for the non-browser-killing version (26 MB quicktime)
posted by vvv at 7:46 PM on May 9, 2004


Or maybe even here
posted by vvv at 7:46 PM on May 9, 2004


Really the best moment in the whole bit is the close up on her eyes crinkling when she smiles at the baby (a bit before half-way through), it captures that expression perfectly. It is quite skillful, but the story itself is sort of eeire, as is the totally drugged out baby. If he wanted to do an animation of a mother and child, why not leave it at that, and not shroud it in some "deep" commentary on the death of human relationships, or whatever he was getting at?

It has just the slightest edge of unnaturalness in both the animation and behavior that kinda weirds me out, man.
posted by nelleish at 9:07 PM on May 9, 2004


The modeling is terrific, the textures are fantastic, the motion is very close, but the light isn't quite right. It's very impressive, nonetheless.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:45 PM on May 9, 2004


Really impressive. For a less uncanny--but still amazing--style, see Meats Meier's nifty work.
posted by bz at 1:15 AM on May 10, 2004


Really, really peculiar in some indefinable way, but preternaturally beautiful, like a perfect dream (or nightmare). The hyperreality of it reminded me of Laurie Anderson's remark that artificial reality will never get quite believable until we figure out how to put some dirt into it.

The movie also made me wonder: If this is what we see in 2D video in 2004, what will we be seeing in 2024 when we're all jacking into the Matrix and experiencing artificially induced synesthesia? For example, would I be able to freeze the simulation to dip my toe in the water or stroke the baby's cheek?
posted by alumshubby at 4:18 AM on May 10, 2004


The movie also made me wonder: If this is what we see in 2D video in 2004, what will we be seeing in 2024 when we're all jacking into the Matrix and experiencing artificially induced synesthesia? For example, would I be able to freeze the simulation to dip my toe in the water or stroke the baby's cheek?


No.
posted by jpburns at 4:44 AM on May 10, 2004


Pretty neat, really. I can't understand why someone would be blase about this link, unless they didn't realize it was cg. The stills are more convincing than the movie. A lot of detail in the face of the girl, but things like her hands, her legs, her movement, and the baby aren't quite realistic enough to fool. Still. An impressive work. Japanese, right?
posted by crunchland at 5:13 AM on May 10, 2004


Hands are tough -- isn't that what Bladerunners used to determine real from artificial? There needs to be a kind of randomizing algorithm placed in the movements, and a higher-level language for dictating movement. So that a creator can say, "Move hands to mouth" and specify "frightened" then let the computer pick a random seed so that every iteration isn't the same.

It's not enough to be able to map coordinates to physical actors, because you then still need the actors. But I don't see it being very far away.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:34 AM on May 10, 2004


Contrary to what some people might be thinking, this is the work of a self-taught guy with an Athlon 1.4 Ghz, 3ds max (high end *commercial* 3D software) and a lot of patience. (See interview linked by Chunking Express)
posted by magullo at 6:56 AM on May 10, 2004


Hands are tough -- isn't that what Bladerunners used to determine real from artificial?

No, in Blade Runner, subtle psychological tests were used to distinguish between human and replicant. Of course, as the replicant process improved, the tests became more difficult.

Perhaps you're thinking of The Invaders. In this television series, the aliens were unable to manipulate the little finger of their ersatz human bodies. That was the giveaway. (One of them, anyway.)
posted by SPrintF at 8:34 AM on May 10, 2004


The face was wonderful. The rest was stilted. And the that must have been Rosemary's baby. 12+ hours without food?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:23 AM on May 10, 2004


No, in Blade Runner, subtle psychological tests were used to distinguish between human and replicant.

Right, I remember that part ("tell me about your mother..."). But there was some movie where you could tell if the person wasn't human because their hands weren't quite right. It might be Terminator, or maybe it was Aliens. Gaaah, this is gonna be bothering me all day.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:08 AM on May 10, 2004


C_D, you may be thinking of the fine film They Live, in which Rowdy Roddy Piper is there to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and he's all out of bubblegum. ISTR that the creepy-crawlies in that flick didn't quite get the hands right.

Oh yeah, MARRY AND REPRODUCE.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:37 AM on May 10, 2004


the story and the music were written by oversized *teen yr old journals
posted by Satapher at 12:11 PM on May 10, 2004


YES!!!

Thankyouthankyouthankyou... My productivity at work can now commence.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:12 PM on May 10, 2004


Thinking about it now, that has absolutely no relevance to this thread. Damnable brain.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:12 PM on May 10, 2004


When I saw the stills, I thought "Wow, nice Maya work". And seeing the movie, it is nice Maya work. Technically, I saw problems, but considering that he wasn't running a bank of rendering boxes, it was good.

The story however was slower than death and I'm not sure it ever resolved to a point. I suppose there might have been one sometime after my eyes glazed over. My response after slogging through the tedious, over the top, drawn out music and scenes was "What. The. Fuck?"

That said, the guy has a good future at an animation house...but if he chooses to stay solo, for the love of god, hire a writer.
posted by dejah420 at 12:35 PM on May 10, 2004


you know what? generally speaking i'm sick of people's attitudes around here. why is it that when someone takes on something for themselves-- a project like this or whatever-- and it gets linked here, why does everyone have to diss it? suddenly it's like everyone's a CG expert, everyone's a storytelling expert, everyone's a business expert. where's the work *you're* doing? how come we don't see *it* here, open for the anonymous world to pull apart and criticize?

you know what? it is what it is. It doesn't have to be perfect CG, it doesn't have to be a resolved story, it doesn't have to have any point beyond the fact that it just is. It's one guy's personal project that happens to be pretty damn amazing.
posted by miscdebris at 12:53 PM on May 10, 2004


Very beautiful CGI, but soooooooooooooooo boring! Why so boring?!
posted by eperker at 12:57 PM on May 10, 2004


The fact that one guy can teach himself to do this much on a not-even-state-of-the-art machine, that's what's cool here.
posted by kindall at 1:33 PM on May 10, 2004


where's the work *you're* doing? how come we don't see *it* here, open for the anonymous world to pull apart and criticize?

Matt doesn't like selflinks ;-)
posted by magullo at 1:35 PM on May 10, 2004


i'm sick of people's attitudes around here

Metafilter : Stark Naked Anonymous Critique circa 1999
posted by Satapher at 1:49 PM on May 10, 2004


It doesn't have to be perfect CG, it doesn't have to be a resolved story, it doesn't have to have any point beyond the fact that it just is.

This guy is obviously trying to make something as close-to-reality as he can. And he does a very, very good job at it. People pointing out flaws is a good way for him to decide where to spend extra time on his next project. If he didn't care about public opinion, he wouldn't release it to the world. But thanks for sticking up for him, I'm sure he really appreciates it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:50 PM on May 10, 2004


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