Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sintel in 4K is traveling to 4K Fest

I was recently contacted by 4K Fest to see about screening Sintel in 4K at the event.  We're working with them and Ton at the Blender Foundation to make this happen.

Semi-related to this are my efforts toward capturing 4K time-lapse clips.  So far I've just been grabbing scenes.  The plan is to eventually edit together a narrative of some sort.  For now the videos that I've created and tagged as 4K are on YouTube at 4K.  Sadly the option to playback at 4K seems to have disappeared, so the best you get is HD.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Book to Recommend

Well, I finally finished reading Hitchcock/Truffaut and it was a real treat! If you have a chance to read this, do so and posthaste. I'll quote two parts that I found particularly interesting:

Rear Window (pp. 219, 222)
FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT. You open up with the perspiring face of James Stewart; you move on to his leg in a cast, and then, on a nearby table, there is the broken camera, a stack of magazines, and, on the wall, there are pictures of racing cars as they topple over on the track. Through that single opening camera movement we have learned where we are, who the principal character is, all about his work, and even how it caused his accident.
ALFRED HITCHCOCK. That's simply using cinematic means to relate a story. It's a great deal more interesting than if we had someone asking Stewart, "How did you happen to break your leg?" and Stewart answering, "As I was taking a picture of a motorcar race, a wheel fell off one of the speeding cars and smashed into me." That would be the average scene. To me, one of the cardinal sins for a script-writer, when he runs into some difficulty, is to say, "We can cover that by a line of dialogue." Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms.
WOW! So simple and so powerful. Hitchcock began his career as a title card painter in the silent movie business and learned to tell a story with imagery rather than dialogue. Here's another piece of conversation that jumped out at me on page 334.
F.T. Are you in favor of the teaching of cinema in universities?
A.H. Only on condition that they teach cinema since the era of Méliès and that the students learn how to make silent films, because there is no better form of training. Talking pictures often served merely to introduce the theater into the studios. The danger is that young people, and even adults, all too often believe that one can become a director without knowing how to sketch a decor or how to edit.
I've worked on two near-silent movies: An Ancient Pond and Manila Envelopes. I've been thinking about making a fully silent movie since starting this book and having just read this part of the conversation with Hitchcock, I'm thinking it's a really good idea.

Now, to write a script....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Building a quasi-3D Blu-ray for "An Ancient Pond"

So I'm using my first of three thesis projects as a guinea pig for packaging all of my 3D movies so people can enjoy this 3D goodness in the comfort of their homes.  I'm currently transcoding the Blu-ray image for An Ancient Pond for burning to a BD-R on campus later this week.  Since I don't have access to a true MVC Blu-ray 3D encoding suite, I'm going with the next best thing.  An Ancient Pond is being encoded on the disc in three different formats:

  • Left eye only for folks without a 3DTV setup and no desire to use anaglyph glasses
  • Red/Cyan anaglyph encoding for 3D fans who have a 2DTV
  • Side by Side squeeze for people with a 2nd generation 3DTV than can process SxS media

This was you can choose your method of viewing and have a 2/3 chance of doing it in stereoscopic 3D.  Ideally I'd be able to encode in full resolution MVC, but that'll come later.  I have a thread over on Creative COW asking people about how to best achieve this without forking over $4000+ for the MainConcept MVC encoder.