18 January 2009

200 Cameras, 2.5 million frames and 20,000 Gigabytes worth of Toshiba Magic

Although we've seen this effect used since The Matrix in numerous advertisements, films and spoofs, this example reveals in its reduced, contemporary aesthetics the object-oriented nature of the hypercubist revolution on its way. The subtle interplay of the different players in this "time sculpture" (as the ad agency people call it) reveals the short-comings of 2D compositing while also hinting at an entirely different image world.

Of course my contention is that the methodology used in this process is already theoretically obsolete. I predict that the scanning technologies of the future should be able to yield clouds of photo-realistic data without the necessity of 200 distinct video cameras. Nonetheless, state-of-the-art Californian motion capture company MOVA is also using a highly complex strobing multi-camera system together with phosphorescent makeup.

Their white paper on volumetric cinematography is a great quick read, written in accessible, non-scientific language, and resonates strongly with my own hypercubist theory.

These developments surely must be fascinating for the early pioneer of blue-screen proto-hypercubism, Zbig Rybczynski. His 1980 film Tango was an essential forerunner of such object oriented imagery.

The concept sketches, diagrams and film still from the finished composite of Tango reveal a direct hand-crafted analog predecessor of the Toshiba spot;

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