Thursday, October 25, 2007

Beyond Bullet Time?

I'm taking a CG animation course this semester and many of the people in the class were resisant to the rule of 180 degrees when filming. A few students brought up the filming techniques used in The Matrix and how that "broke" the 180 degree rule. The professor for the class patiently tried to explain how that was different since the continuous 360 shot didn't have any cuts, but it got me thinking about CG animation and the totality involved with that kind of filming.
In many CG films and shorts (not usually video games, though), and entire world is created and then the camera is moved though the world. When animating, many objects are created that will never be seen or examined closely. What does this mean for totality? Is the potential for a 360 total view (since the entire world "exists") greater than with live action filming (where the "world" of the film is created just in front of the camera)? Does this matter if CG films never show the rest of the world to the viewer?
Furthermore, temporality is different in CG. How does time exist? Of course, the computer is keeping track of "real world" time and using its own clock to regulate its functions, but that is not the time used in CG animation. Unlike live action filming, the actions of the characters can be slowed down through slower animation-- they can be slowed down by the animator in real time. Actors can not slow down their actions-- this must be done in the editing room. This CG world can be examined in (infinite) multiple time frames. How does this affect totality? Again, does it mean anything if we as the viewers are never allowed access to this world with the ability to animate it?

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