Monday, March 19, 2012

Tintin, mocap

Tintin has just been released on blu-ray, and I'm watching it.
Is it just me, or is this the most realistic mocap/CGI movie released yet? For sure it's a quantum leap ahead of A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey. While that one couldn't fool anybody, I have to wonder how many people go into the Tintin movie innocent, and never glom onto the fact that it's not live-action. It's amazing, both humans and scenery looks Real, and there's nothing of that weird fakeness of movement which earlier came from motion capture (counter-intuitive as that is).

It may not quite have knocked down the fortress of ultra-realism in CGI, but it sure has taken down a couple of the outer walls, and shaken the foundations!


Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Even Tintin himself looks amazed in that picture. :-)

I've been saying it for a long time: nowadays, with what CGI computers and their default programming can do on their own, what defines a good movie is the animation, and this still depends on the talent of the people. Just look at how masterfully Disney's scribblers have been doing it by hand since 1937! (Admittedly, Snow White was insufferably maudlin in her every gesture and mimic, a perfect stereotype of the Thirties' "feminine ideal", but still highly "alive" and fluid.) A bit like human intuition in chess, rendering motion remains pure art. Hence why even scientific gadgets like motion capture aren't enough. Today's videogame characters tend to always lack some natural-feeling inertia (okay, save for the boobies, muchas gracias Dead or Alive, and the gameplay was ace too). In the old days, kept alive by contemporary ports of Super Mario Bros, it was the opposite: the character was annoyingly hampered by its need to accelerate from a still position, caising a good part of the game's difficulty.

No matter how much you (can) rely on computers and fancy programming, hi-res textures, ray-tracing, yatta-yatta, you need gifted people behind all that to make truly good stuff. But then again, Tintin was produced by Spielberg, who's not exactly famous for the shoddiness of his work!

I remember when I watched Hulk, with an evidently CGI "creature". (Trust me, you no want to call Hulk a "monster", because Hulk smash, and Hulk is strongest one there is!) "Evidently", because no Lou Ferrigno or Schwarzenegger ("hah! puny humans") could have provided such a cornucopia of muscle and body frame. I did feel he moved with a certain... "lightness", but after all, Hulk has incredible strength, so inertia of his own mass isn't supposed to slow him down when he's not heaving an object weighing several tons! On the other hand, the flexibility of his muscles in motion was excellent, IMO. Reminded me of Conan the Barbarian running: when a very muscular guy makes a moderate effort, there's inertia of all the uncontracted flesh, and this was beautifully done in Hulk.
Now, for us heteros out there, we need a sequel starring a topless She-Hulk!!! ;-)

It seems I've missed the chance to watch Tintin in 3-D at the Lebanese cinemas. But I undoubtedly plan to purchase the double-version blu-ray and an appropriate TV some time in the future. When 3-D images are perfectly synchronized, from what I've seen in mall demo screens there's still room for polishing.
Note to self: remember to win the lottery. Because I also need me a 4x4 car, the winters are getting darn snowy in the Lebanese mountains. (See my blog for more details.)

Ironic, isn't it? Hergé designed a blank-looking character with barely a face at all, to help the readers project themselves into him, and the name Tintin means "nada, zilch, niente, nothing", as in "from this whole deal we got tintin". But today it sure looks like something awright! ;-)

Todd Bridges said...

and never glom onto the fact that it's not live-action

Probably no one. The people in it don't look real and aren't meant to.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think these guys were supposed to look real - whch is why it worked and why stuff like that Jim Carrey movie or The Polar Express didn't.

t seems I've missed the chance to watch Tintin in 3-D at the Lebanese cinemas.

when I first read that I thought it said Lesbian cinemas.

Ricky said...

A part of me is waiting till the porn industry gets the money...and see what they come up with ...

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

The interesting thing is that all the things which are illegal now in porn (like animals) will still be illegal in virtual porn! And they will complete bury the fact that it's now a victimless "crime" to the second degree.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Lesbian cinemas in this country?
Well, now I've got a new wild daydream to indulge into. Thanks, Dave! :-)

Dang, these new captchas are really annoying to decipher. And where the Ragnarok has the "receive updates by e-mail" option gone? (Oh, to say nothing of my little dog.♫♪)

Re. virtual pr0n : even Rule34's website has recently started sorting out some of its more "touchy" content... and there might be more to come, even if it's utterly stupid and pointless, because "bottom line is, we have to follow the law".
Even if the Joker's running Arkham. :-(

(Guess what? After playing Lego Batman long enough with the ickle 'uns, I've obtained Dr Jeremiah Arkham as a bonus character. Sorry Eo, but that's in the NDS version!)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

"And where the Ragnarok has the "receive updates by e-mail" option gone?"

It's gone for you too? (I only had one answer to my query about that. Shame on you guys.)
It is friggin irritating, that service was so useful.

FOK political-correctness laws!

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Yeah, it's genuine seal wadding. In french : ouate de phoque.

And what about their new, almost-imposible to decipher verifs?
"nglotha deverst" : sounds like an unholy incantation to Cthulhu demons...

Like, if it ain't broken, don't fix it yo foo'!
It can't possibly be just us introverts who hate seeing our routine habits fiercely shuffled overnight. I'm sure lots of, erm, "normal" people out there are pee-owed as well.

I'm finding myself utterly unable to revert to the OLD online version of Yahoo! mail... and for a few days now, the already sluggish "new and improved" version completely stopped being functionally compatible with my Firefox. [epic facepalm]

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I've written a complain to Blogger about the missing comments-notice feature, and I hope many others do.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Tou hast been heard this day, huzzah! Callooh, callay, pip pip, and that sort of thing.