Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 04, 2016, 02:23:20 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: A Scanner Darkly  (Read 5629 times)

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,888
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
A Scanner Darkly
« on: July 27, 2006, 04:06:25 PM »
Not my cup of tea, and I'm not really the movie-going type anymore, but the technology is fascinating, so I though I'd post it here...

...the first 24 minutes courtesy of IGN:
http://media.filmfor...0/670907/vids_1.html



Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2006, 04:11:45 PM »
I don't really care what the movie is about, I want to see it just because of the artistic style! If only they used this technology for long boring movies like Wuthering Heights or Pride and Prejudice!  ;D :P :-[ :Thmbsup:


zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2006, 08:56:28 PM »
I've seen this done in a couple of commercials and I don't like it. It's not a movie, it's not a cartoon. Make a decision. Looks good, though!

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2006, 01:33:44 AM »
I rather liked it. Fairly provocative, dark but inviting, and surprisingly well acted by lead Keanu (the cartoonery probably helped :D).

- Oshyan

tinyvillager

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 444
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2006, 05:00:29 AM »
I wanted badly to see this movie,actually the only movie i've cared seeing so far this year but they put it in limited release and i can't find a theater within a reasonable distance (50 miles) that shows it.

I guess i'll twindle my thumbs til the DVD comes out. :(


Thanks for the link Edvard.

BTW,if anyone wants the direct link to first 24 minutes
http://ffmovies.ign....s_070706_flvhigh.flv

Careful,it's a 198 mbytes :o
« Last Edit: July 28, 2006, 05:42:29 AM by tinyvillager »

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2006, 07:22:16 AM »
Looks interesting - I wonder how much is simply a CEL Shader filter on real video source, and how much they've created by hand... and I wonder if Keanu finally shows some acting skills? :P (he was perfect in Johnny Mnemonic... 'acting' this guy with no personality, huhu).
- carpe noctem

tinyvillager

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 444
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2006, 08:57:58 AM »
The techique is called Rotoscope,i heard it took 500 hrs a minute (seriously)

Yeah from a critic point of view Keanu is only good for certain rolls,Matrix part one,Speed.Dracula was a good movie,but he sucked in it,hard to shake that surfer dude thing ala Bill and Ted's excellent adventure.

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,888
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2006, 11:32:24 AM »
I remember seeing Keanu's first films "Rivers Edge" and "The Prince of Pennsylvania" and thinking he was a good actor as long as the role was something along the lines of who he naturally is, much like Christian Slater who, in my opinion, has the same problem. They're both really good in certain roles, but Dean Jones or Gary Oldman they ain't.

Yes it is Rotoscoping and I heard that they used special technology to create the first frame renders that were then edited (at 500 hours/minute, eek!). Why do it, you may ask? Probably save a few grand on props and lighting, and if the special effects turn out cartoony, all the better!
I wonder... how would a home-brew version look? Like if you ripped a few seconds of your favorite video out to bitmaps, traced them with say, AutoTrace, Flash, Xara Xtreme or some such, and re-compiled them to video. It probably wouldn't look as good, but sure would be a cool experiment.

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2006, 12:13:25 PM »
Hm, it doesn't look like rotoscoping to me (the kind used in, for instance, the classic animated "The Hobbit" movie). The Scanner Darkly clip looks like something that could have been done almost automatically with a decent CEL Shading filter.

But okay, wikipedia says rotoscoping is now also used to refer to all-digital conversion. And CEL Shading is probably only to be used for describing a special rendering mode for 3D models (that gives sorta the same effect, though).

Can't see how it would be 500 hours per minute, though, if using mostly automated filters?

- carpe noctem

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,888
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2006, 03:17:25 PM »
BTW it's all vector... and a WIRED article says it's all hand traced.
Looky there, somebody did my experiment already- this digg article links to a tutorial using quick time pro.
And here's the word on the technique: http://en.wikipedia....kly_(film)#Animation (including the reference to 500 man-hours per minute...)
Looks like they only traced "key frames" and had their little proggy fill in the, um, filler. I remember stuff like this happening in 80's era cartoons where certain frames were drawn to represent scenery and character placement at specific time intervals and later the in-between cels filled in at outsourced foreign animation factories. This is why 80's era cartoons look stiff compared to earlier stuff (Why does bugs bunny only move his arms when he talks? How come G.I.joe never ducks?)
Anyways... fascinating.

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2006, 03:43:21 PM »
Christ, why handtrace these days? I would've thought people could've come up with decent automated routines for something that doesn't look more fancy than A Scanner Darkly does...  :-\
- carpe noctem

tinyvillager

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 444
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2006, 07:11:51 AM »
http://compression.r...onizer/index_en.html

A VirtualDub MSU Cartoonizer Filter
(Converts Movies into Cartoons)

Haven't used it,looks neat though.
I have used VirtualDub,and it's a very nice tool for editing video.

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2006, 03:41:10 PM »
Super cool VDub filter. I'd say it looks just about as good as A Scanner Darkley - so as f0dder said, why hand trace? :P

- Oshyan

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2006, 12:31:47 AM »
looks like a nice filter to play around with but you can see the difference in quality when comparing against the technique in a scanner darkly.

the main problem is with the result you get on the faces - the cartoonizer filter looks ugly.

perhaps this is a little clue as to why it took so long for each frame of scanner to be done - automation isn't intelligent enough to provide a final image that looks 'nice' when it comes to details like faces. there still needs to be human intervention and esthetic judgements on how the keyframes should look otherwise you end up with ugly squiggly lines where you would rather not.

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2006, 03:15:53 PM »
nudone: *shrug* - the cartoonizer doesn't look like it has a big movie company backing it... or, in other words, the big studios with lot of financial backing should be able to do something better.

Sure, even with a very good filter, it might need a bit of human intervention, if nothing else at least some QA. But 500 hours per minute of film? Thats, what, 20 minutes per frame if we're considering 24fps? (Sorry if the math is wrong, I'm tired :P)
- carpe noctem

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2006, 03:23:56 PM »
i agree, 500 hours per minute seems ridiculous. maybe the majority of that time was spent with several people standing around the computer discussing what to exclude and include in each of the frames. they probably had to fire off several emails to other people before any firm decisions where made.

that was sort of meant to be a joke but i wouldn't be too surprised if that is what happened.

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2006, 06:26:20 PM »
Well, if you've seen the movie you'll also notice that a lot of stuff seems explicitly, intentionally changed - objects grow or shrink, perspective is skewed, etc. That was surely all done with the guidance of an art director or perhaps even the director himself at times. So yes beaurocracy or who knows what could be factored in. But I tend to agree with f0dder - generally speaking if an "amateur", fairly simple and *freely available* filter can get results that immediately close to the movie, surely with some tuning it would require very little human intervention. In other words I find myself wondering if a coder couldn't just take that existing filter, tune it a bit more, and then work on a low budget film project and whether the audience could really tell the difference.

What's particularly interesting about that is the processing would tend to reduce or all but eliminate the traditional cues that something is shot on film vs. DV/digital or even traditional video or hell a frickin digital camera movie capture. If that's true and the audience accepts this as a valid visual style for mainstream work, or at least with particular thematic qualities, it might be a very interesting option for lower-budget film makers...

- Oshyan

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,406
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2006, 07:14:14 PM »
Quote
What's particularly interesting about that is the processing would tend to reduce or all but eliminate the traditional cues that something is shot on film vs. DV/digital or even traditional video or hell a frickin digital camera movie capture. If that's true and the audience accepts this as a valid visual style for mainstream work, or at least with particular thematic qualities, it might be a very interesting option for lower-budget film makers...

jj this was exactly what i was thinking as well -
these post production filters like this could be a godsend to low budget film making.

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2006, 08:16:38 PM »
Yeah, the key is getting it accepted by the general audience in a major film like this. So ASD may be ground-breaking for that reason if no other. Waking Life did similar stuff with the "rotoscoping", but it had less stars than ASD - not sure if ASD will end up more popular though.

- Oshyan

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2006, 08:53:29 PM »
Back on focus again :)

ASD certainly looks interesting, and I'll want to watch it when it's done. I like the visual style a lot, and the plot seems interesting.

I don't think it will be viable for a lot of films to get processed this way - it'll end up feeling cheesy in the "bah, be original" way.
- carpe noctem

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2006, 09:23:03 PM »
Quote
I don't think it will be viable for a lot of films to get processed this way - it'll end up feeling cheesy in the "bah, be original" way.

That could be true, but people make the choice to make an animated movie all the time, so clearly alternative styles of presentation or "film" creation are acceptable. Entirely computer generated films are now commonplace and widely accepted. Although this isn't directly reflective of any other style or technique that has already been accepted, I do think people can get past a presentation style as being representative of one movie or genre if it's used enough. That seems clear from the CG example, starting perhaps with Toy Story (not being the first to do entirely CG, but being one of the most popular early ones).

The early adopters might have a tough time with it as far as public reception, I don't know. On the other hand novelty could get people to go see an otherwise unremarkable film. I'd be willing to bet a lot saw ASD because of the look, not knowing who Philip K. Dick is.

- Oshyan

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2006, 12:31:44 AM »
i'm all for automation and i'll admit that i don't honestly know what's possible with effects or not - the things that are done with 'flame' http://www.creationm...s/may_02/flame.shtml (best link i could find) absolutely astound me.

i still get the feeling that there is more human intervention required to get the final result than it first appears. the 'style' is perhaps just a little beyond automation at present. if you've ever played around with adobe illustrator's live trace filter you'll appreciate how much guidance it requires to obtain something that looks good. i'd even go as far as saying it's not even worth using because of the amount of tweaking that is required to put it right - okay, it's fine if you want your result to look like it's been through a filter (and so will look like every other image that went through the same filter) but if you want your image to look like a real person created it then i'd say the filter isn't really doing you any favours.

i watched the clip of a scanner darkly from it's homepage and i was pleasantly surprised with what they've done. i can't think of anything else that looks like it (other than static vector based images) and i'm now looking forward to seeing the full film.

has anyone read the original story? i've read other p. k. dick stuff; do android's dream of electric sheep is quite removed from blade runner and should be appreciated as a separate thing altogether i'd say. his short stories, that i read, didn't really live up to my expectations. i've heard that 'a scanner darkly' is meant to be a 'classic' - anyone have any opinions?

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: A Scanner Darkly
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2006, 05:46:51 AM »
Quote from: nudone
has anyone read the original story? i've read other p. k. dick stuff; do android's dream of electric sheep is quite removed from blade runner and should be appreciated as a separate thing altogether i'd say. his short stories, that i read, didn't really live up to my expectations. i've heard that 'a scanner darkly' is meant to be a 'classic' - anyone have any opinions?

Oh!

So THAT'S who the guy is :P - nope, never read any of his stories, but watched blade runner.
- carpe noctem