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Zoom in on the X-Axis!
December 18, 2009 4:49 AM   Subscribe

Let's Enhance - a montage of 'image enhancement' scenes from TV shows by Mefi's own dunk.

Also, read about the magical Enhance Button at TVTropes, and see the Ask Mefi post that kicked it all off.
posted by adrianhon (50 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Enhance.
posted by rand at 4:52 AM on December 18, 2009


Is that Kevin Costner footage from No Way Out?
posted by pjdoland at 4:55 AM on December 18, 2009


Tsk, tsk. Very nice, but incomplete without this scene.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 5:05 AM on December 18, 2009 [17 favorites]


My favorite is the one from Blade Runner where the enhance button allows him to look around a corner.
posted by goatdog at 5:21 AM on December 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


This video is kind of like setting up a timelapse of a cat's day: you always knew it was lazy, but never knew just how lazy.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:27 AM on December 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


My favorite is the one from Blade Runner where the enhance button allows him to look around a corner.

Yep. "Turn right. Now sniff. Do you smell that? Enhance sniff. She was cooking chicken."
posted by pracowity at 5:47 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


It doesn't actually show the enhancing?

Also, the saddest part of this was that the worst technobabble was from St MacGuyver. :(
posted by DU at 6:00 AM on December 18, 2009


Hah, I remember that MacGuyver one, it was awesome -- MacGuyver teaches this professional board operator guy guy how to "bitmap" stuff, and then at the end of the episode when his producers want a closer zoom for whatever show, he's all, "Don't worry, mon, I'll beetmop it for you!"
posted by Jinkeez at 6:37 AM on December 18, 2009


Adjacent frame analysis for video is beginning to make these sorts of scenes a leetle bit more, er, plausible.
posted by bz at 6:54 AM on December 18, 2009


Adjacent frame analysis for video is beginning to make these sorts of scenes a leetle bit more, er, plausible.

If the original state of the art were located in New York and the current state by Chicago, then the state of the art presented in these clips would be outside of the observable universe (before enhancing).
posted by DU at 7:11 AM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like the one of Steve Martin saying "Zoooooom"

This little vid made me smile. Thank you for posting.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:12 AM on December 18, 2009


It started here.

My favorite example of this didn't even need any enhancement. Agent Cooper spots the "Hog" in Laura Palmer's eye with nothing beyond a VCR... TIBET!
posted by JBennett at 7:15 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


My favourite.
posted by ODiV at 7:25 AM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Defeated.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:39 AM on December 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


Is that Kevin Costner footage from No Way Out?

It was indeed.

The funny thing about that movie is the enhancement took a long time and still the final image came out rather fuzzy. It was probably the most realistic depiction of what computers could do back then.
posted by bwg at 7:58 AM on December 18, 2009


My favorite enhance was in an episode of Tekwar (IIRC) where they delete this guy in a photo so they can see the building behind him.
posted by bentley at 8:02 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've seen one fair enhance.
In Flashforward the had a video and spent some time using each frame to create a single sharper still image.

I teach Photoshop and spend a fair amount of time explaining that sample up doesn't increase resolution. At one point I tear a dollar bill in two, move the pieces farther apart and ask if that makes more money (not perfect, but you get the idea.)
posted by cccorlew at 8:02 AM on December 18, 2009


My favorite enhance was in an episode of Tekwar (IIRC) where they delete this guy in a photo so they can see the building behind him.

That will be ridiculous until your teenage daughter does it with a mashup of Google Goggles & Streetview.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 8:08 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


the eigenvalues are off!
posted by ubermuffin at 8:25 AM on December 18, 2009


Obligatory.
posted by brundlefly at 8:27 AM on December 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't mean to call anyone's baby ugly, but there was a lot of buildup in that video, and no resolution. It was sort of like an Academy Awards montage--nicely done, but it's just a succession of clips edited together with no arc.

The punchline, of course, should be that once they enhance the x-axis you can see goatse.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:27 AM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can't forget Rising Sun a movie whose whole plot revolves around image enhancement,
posted by travis08 at 8:28 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was surprised to not see Rising Sun in there.
posted by brundlefly at 8:29 AM on December 18, 2009


I've had an idea for some time now to fork my own Linux or BSD, and call it MovieLinux. The notion is that everything is over-GUIfied the way computer interfaces are in movies.

Text scrolls at 300 baud, but makes a tickety-tick or tweedily-twee noise. Windows don't dismiss and open, but shrink and grow like OS X on quaaludes. Everything makes a noise. Moving the mouse makes a noise. Sitting and awaiting input makes a noise. Everything flashes reverse video unnecessarily when active. All controls and windows are transparent, and the text is simultaneously unreadable, "computery" and convoluted but overly large enough to read at 4 metres.

Oh, and the palette is all amber or green on black, with pointlessly shaped windows and chunky frames. Windows steal focus constantly with obnoxiously large frames for simple things like notifications.

Come to think of it, I'll never get around to this project. Anyone want to run with it as a sort of conceptual art piece?
posted by clvrmnky at 8:36 AM on December 18, 2009 [21 favorites]


Great idea, clvrmnky. Also, when you open any file you see a bunch of equations and ones and zeros floating around in 3D space.
posted by brundlefly at 8:40 AM on December 18, 2009


I've had an idea for some time now to fork my own Linux or BSD, and call it MovieLinux.

There's no need to fork it. Just make a theme or at most a new window manager.

Also, the passwords should be required to be birthdays.
posted by DU at 8:55 AM on December 18, 2009


clvrmnky -- you should talk to Mark Coleran. He does the visual design of the user interfaces for lots of movies, including several that were mentioned here.

du -- birthdays or related to objects on the desk, traumatic events in the users' lives or 1-2-3-4-5.
posted by autopilot at 9:01 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a wonderful part of the Cthulhu spoof musical documentary "The Shoggoth on the Roof" that goes something like this:

Scene: a slightly fancy-looking studio in which some videotape is being shown on a screen.

Narrator-guy: Pause it, pause it. There, behind the fence, do you see that? Can you enhance that part of the image?

Lady Operating VCR: <Laughs> <pause> No. <Laughs derisively>
posted by gurple at 9:07 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


FlashForward has a great moment where they can enhance a ring well enough to see the engraved design, but can't manage to enhance the guy's FACE.

Also, yay for the brief moment of Zachary Quinto (0:38).
posted by desjardins at 9:14 AM on December 18, 2009


My favorite is the one from Blade Runner where the enhance button allows him to look around a corner.

Um... actually, I think he's looking into the reflection inside the beveled edge of an oval mirror, which by its very nature is going to be catching very odd angles of things around the room.
posted by hippybear at 9:38 AM on December 18, 2009


Blow-Up (1966)
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:43 AM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


@DU, some of the things I'd want to do to get this project just right go beyond a theme, and probably beyond a WM. For example, text consoles. I'm thinking that xterm or gterm or [blahblahblah]term might not do the stuff I want it to do.

Another option is to forgo the nasty X environment altogether (we hates it) and make everything a framebuffer interface, like the typical Linux graphical installer.

But I'm sure one could get a beta out with just a hacked WM and the right hardware. A proof-of-concept, if you like. But, the whole point of this project is to go completely, balls-out over-the-top with it. Half-measures simply won't do.

And that will take some egregious misuse of computing.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:57 AM on December 18, 2009


From the askme thread and all over the interet ..... CSI
posted by lalochezia at 10:17 AM on December 18, 2009


You know, there's other stuff going on in these scenes too. First of all, even if the zooming worked they are interfacing it wrong. What does "enhance 173 to 452" mean? Those two numbers aren't enough to specify the bounding box. They could have a mapping from 2D coordinates to integers, though.

And second of all, why is the person doing the commanding almost never (if ever) the person doing the driving? They always have a nerd sitting there doing the actual pointing and clicking. One potential answer is that the commander is too high-level--they don't handle the nitpicky details of manipulating mice. The reason that doesn't really work is that these same people handle the nitpicky details of running after the murderer or whatever. Don't you have underlings that can do THAT too?

It's like with Kirk. He's got a lot of responsibilities and yet he always beams down. But he never looks at a tricorder. He micromanages the fun stuff but leaves the drudgery to others.

And the reason that beaming down and running after murderers is the "fun stuff" but clicking on mice and checking tricorders isn't? Is "anti-intellectualism" too glib?
posted by DU at 10:21 AM on December 18, 2009


clvrmnky's OS should let people know how many letters of the password they got right.
posted by ODiV at 10:28 AM on December 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


And when they get it right a soothing female voice says, "Access granted."
posted by brundlefly at 10:29 AM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Raise your hand if, at 8, you tried to create clvrmky's OS by forcing your overburdened, underbowered Win 95 box to look like LCARS are something.
posted by The Whelk at 10:39 AM on December 18, 2009


Raise your hand if, at 8, you tried to create clvrmky's OS by forcing your overburdened, underbowered Win 95 box...

omg im old
posted by DU at 10:41 AM on December 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


I still want to add a theme to do all those twinkling beep beep beep sounds when I open a new tab, minimize a window, wait for a progress bar, rotating hourglass and shit like that.
posted by at the crossroads at 1:40 PM on December 18, 2009


People in the midnight showing of Avatar last night laughed out loud at the "enhance" scene. I suspect Cameron put it in there as a homage.
posted by Foosnark at 1:49 PM on December 18, 2009


Wow! I can't believe the response to this. I've been too busy today to keep up with all the comments on youtube and elsewhere, but just wanted to add:

I saw those clips from Super Troopers and Red Dwarf but they are already spoofs. I didn't want to make them less funny by including them. I guess Super Troopers at the end would have been a good punchline. Didn't realise what a big following it had. I will netflix it.

I missed a bunch of other movies and shows too. Sorry. Watch for them in the extended and enhanced dance remix. Maybe. One day.

Music is a quick garage band thing my brother did. His other music is great. Free album here.

Thanks again for your help finding this stuff. I really should post here more often.
posted by dunk at 2:08 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


When they try to match fingerprints or photos on CSI: Whatever the computer always displays each individual photo or fingerprint in its massive database on screen as it scans for a match even though (a) that's not how computers match images and (b) displaying information that doesn't match is useless to the tech. Wouldn't that go, oh, about a zillion times faster if it didn't update the visual display hundreds of times?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:08 PM on December 18, 2009


Raise your hand if, at 8, you enjoyed playing Lemonade Stand on an Apple II.
posted by The World Famous at 3:15 PM on December 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Raise your hand if, at 8, you enjoyed playing Lemonade Stand on an Apple II.

You mean on your C64, right?
posted by signal at 3:29 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nice clip collection but I had to enhance the video a couple of times to get a clear idea of what was going on.

No but seriously man I wish the clips actually showed what they were trying to enhance, as well as the results.
posted by m0nm0n at 3:50 PM on December 18, 2009


C64? No. I only knew one person who had one of those, and it seemed to suck at the time.
posted by The World Famous at 3:51 PM on December 18, 2009


why is the person doing the commanding almost never (if ever) the person doing the driving? They always have a nerd sitting there doing the actual pointing and clicking.

I sort of suspect that many of these are echoing the Esper scene in Blade Runner; there, you have Deckard talking to the computer itself. In these others, someone has to be saying something, so they say it to the techie. I suppose it's a way to tell the audience what you're doing, instead of having a guy sit there clicking on stuff with a mouse and not talking to anyone.

I imagine conversations between writers/technical advisers and producers sometimes ending with the producer whining, "But that's boooriiiiing..."
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:51 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


You mean on your C64, right?

TRS-80.
posted by DU at 4:22 PM on December 18, 2009


Zork; Kaypro 2.
posted by ErikaB at 5:13 PM on December 18, 2009


Raise your hand if, at 8, you'd never seen a fricking computer because they cost a billion zillion dollars and filled a room and they didn't let little kids anywhere near them.
posted by octothorpe at 4:41 PM on December 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


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