Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mova's Contour: Volumetric Cinematography

The President of Mova and inventor of QuickTime, Steve Perlman has been working hard on digitizing the world and providing a new paradigm shift that will move us from traditional "POV Cinematography" into a realm where the actor provides a performance that can then be modified completely in post production. The technology will even allow other actors faces to be placed over the original actors performance. This camera and digitizing technology also allows for greater control over angles and closeups that have predominently been the realm of pure 3d animated films. The technology can be seen in the videos below and further referenced at the Mova website; however in this post we are going to explore some of what this will do to the industries where your looks and acting abilities are your key to success.

This technology would allow you to scan a naked super model's body in complete photo realistic detail and then dress the digitized version in any clothes you want and place it in any pose you want within any environment you want. You could also have the digital body interact in a digital environment and thus "act" out whatever the director wished. Now, what does this mean for the super model? Does she or he get paid large amounts up front and then have rights to get paid any time the digital version is used in media? What does this do to the photographers? Do they lose their jobs to desk jocky graphic artists? Make-up people would need to learn to apply digital makeup to digital people on a computer screen instead of getting touchy feely with the real flesh and blood person. Think of the sustainability and remote working opportunities. You wouldn't have to build real sets or use all the lighting and other materials usually needed. People wouldn't have to drive or fly to the photo shoot because they could all do their jobs at home on their computers.

Now imagine the movie industry which has been stuck for over a hundred years with the same point of view world. Now directors and editors can change the angle of the camera at will and if they don't like the lighting, they can shift it around. Good bye grips and gaffers. If you think the acting was a bit off and you weren't getting the facial expression you wanted, you could tweek the over 100,000 individual 3d points that are captured on the actors face and digitized within the computer. If you wanted them to smile instead of smirk, that would be within your abilities.

Actors and models would provide the basic "humanity" from which to build upon and tweak. Their digital bodies could be used in various ways throughout the production of the film even if they were, say, in a car accident and died. The digital version could continue on with the help of other computer technologies that are coming up that are able to recreate the sound of a persons voice through text to speech software.

Now the darker side of this would be in the news and other areas where truth is becoming harder and harder to discern from fiction. It would be easier with this technology for reality to be shifted to the point of view of someone who wanted to sway the public into believing in something that didn't really occur. And could you imagine the president being too busy to make an announcement to the people so they just throw his digital representation up on the screen and let him talk to the little folks while he does something else in person? Could you imagine the fun that tabloids would have with this if they were able to get a digital version of Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt?

Anyways.....look for this to be yet another world changing technology.

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