Beta Build

Ok this more like a Late Alpha build, Had to move out of a apartment and had a final to study for so i wasn’t as up to date as i desired to be.

Also take notice, no design is going to be done until the actual content is finished. So its basically going to look like crap until Monday or Tuesday.

Way of the Voice, Thu’um

One of the biggest… no not biggest. One of the absolute worst offenders of this would be the prequel to 1982’s John Carpenter’s the thing which came out in 2011. That is nearly thirties years of advancement in computers and effects and they look worse in every single way. The 1982 versions effects have aged nearly flawlessy… Scratch that they have not aged at all they still look great. Their secret?  They are all done in practical effects.

“For 1982, the special effects featured throughout John Carpenter’s The Thing are spectacular. Even to this day in a world full of state of the art CGI wizardry, the old-fashioned practical effects showcased here continue to shine. The creatures themselves are disturbing horrors conjured from the darkest corners of the most insane nightmares. The first glimpse we as an audience get of The Thing commences when an infected Husky dog finally decides to show its true colors. First the skin on this pooch’s face peels back, revealing a raw, alien façade. Then squirming from its body like writhing snakes burst a bundle of tentacles that proceed to latch onto a group of surrounding dogs. Then before you know it, we’re looking at an unholy abomination, tentacles bursting in every direction and skin all but missing. It’s a gross sight to behold, but one that’s unquestionably unique and imaginative.”

That is what we are dealing with here, The new versions effects just don’t look right. Nothing has a sense of weight it, everything feels like it’s made of air instead of meat (I mean seriously its actually made of something even less substantial then air when you think of it but whatever).

I don’t think this is a beautiful example of how i want it look, but its uhh not a terrible now is it? I’ve found rereading some of my work that it comes out research papery at times. I really want to avoid that for a variety of reasons. The first, The first is this; i hate reading and writing that type of crap soo i uhh really don’t want it sound that way so ill probably edit it to sound alot more conversational after the rough draft is done. I think that of everything i want out of this project a conversational tone is this the most important. I don’t want to some jackass sitting on their stupid freaking pedestal spouting rhetoric about my subject. What i want is to sit down with who ever the hell is reading this and have a discussion, not an argument mind you, arguments are for pundants and bores who have nothing better to do then try to convince people to their way of thinking instead of not being an asshole and leaving them alone. How is a discussion any different, Well its only as different as i make it in my mind. To me a discussion is this, we are both talking about it because we are both already interested and if someone changes their mind over the course of it no big deal, there is no winners or losers, just two people talking about a mutual interest.


I left that as a blockqoute for now just because i wasn’t sure what i really wanted to do with it beyond that i liked how he put it, and he has more to say on the subject later on so ill probably have a few more things that dude was saying throughout my “the thing” analysis


Lets keep this short and sweet shall we? I chose to house my project on google sites. I felt it was easily customizable and unlike other websites I had looked at it did not overly hold my hand; So I could actually experiment with it at my own pace instead of being forced into a pattern.

There it is. As of now i haven’t really done anything with it beyond ordaining it to be the future bearer of my illustrious, glorious, awe-inspiring project.

Partial Draft Assignment

As of Now I have not found a different place to hold my final assignment so this will have to do for now.

Since the early Nineteen-Ninties there has been an explosion in the use of computer generated graphics in films, television and other media. Prior to this period of time they were either prohibitively expensive or non sufficiently advanced to warrant use to create an effect. But since then due to shrinking costs and rapidly improving quality they became more and more common. And by nature of CGI becoming more prominent other forms of effects such as stunts, make-up, and other forms of visual effects have receded in popularity. Other forms of effects peaked in the 1980’s due to them having reached their most advanced point without being over shadowed by CGI

The issue with a significant amount of research is that it ignores what is lost when you replace an older technology in its totality with a newer one. It also in general focus far too much on where CGI has succeeded in creating visuals and not enough on where it has failed. This is important because its hard to really argue  against something when its only achievements that are ever acknowledged are its triumphs and its failures are ignored.  Most of the research is also fairly shallow, with no real focus on any one source; I intend to have a large focus on singular films as examples instead of cherry picking scenes from dozens of movies. Why? simple, a more in-depth look is really needed to understand why some things fail and others succeed.

This is what I claim, what I stand with, what I am telling you is true. CGI has become overused, for a variety of reasons, but still overused to the point of ridiculousness. Some research says its more popular now because its cheaper, which is generally not true. It’s also been said that  because that’s what audience demand, the real reason though is it has just become the paradigm because of rapid advances leading to a fad diminishing, which is not to say its all bad because it’s not. And finally I say that both CGI and other forms of Visual effects are used to their full potentially only when they are used in a complementary fashion to each others; instead of on their own.

The increasing reliance on CGI as the sole generator of effects is not a good thing, and there is many, many reasons why. To start with it is frequently used in a fashion to create something that could have been much easier done in the real world, such as a wound being covered in blood, or a car crashing into a cinder-block wall. Frankly it is also frequently a much more costly substitute for these effects costing much more to create what would of cheaply been done with other forms of effects

While costs and ease of creation are obviously important there are more important reasons why using CGI as the default tool for visual effects is not always the right choice. CGI  has issues with portraying an event in a realistic way that  stem from it not being a physical thing that other forms of effects do not suffer from, and by using it the way it has been this feeling was lost. Another great reason the over use of CGI is harmful to Media is because of this; it ages poorly; What was once cutting edge and realistic looks fake within a few years after a much more advanced visual has been created, essentially dating what ever it was to a moment in time and aging it the day it’s created.

Research Nugget #7


Why Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion effects were more real than CGI. (n.d.). Boing Boing Why Ray Harryhausens stopmotion effects were more real thanCGI Comments. Retrieved July 16, 2014, from

Link: Here

This part Obituary for Legendary special effects designer Ray Harryhausen and part argument for why his work was still relevant today. Almost the all of the Article is linked to discussing how because old crappy special effects were actaully something real (As in physical ) that had some tactile quality to them that has allowed them to still hold value.

Harryhausen’s trademark action sequences featuring animated model figurines — always pictured interacting with, or more often, fighting with human foes, or crushing them, or biting them in half or flying away with them — might seem clunky and old-fashioned when measured by today’s standards. But in their day, the effects Harryhausen pioneered were cutting-edge.

he shot sequences through a partially-masked glass pane. Live footage would later be superimposed on the masked portion of the frame, and voila, the creature or creatures seemed to exist in the midst of “real” human-scaled action, or even appear to move in front of and behind “live” elements. Harryausen also carefully controlled lighting and color balance to make sure the image quality of his animated sequences matched the quality of the live action. His effects were more convincing than the standard use of optical printing and mattes. This was before green screen, folks.


Look, Ethan Gilsdorf (perfect name for this type of article) is really just explaining how things were done in these two quotes, and in a way that’s all that matters. The main Argument of his entire article is based on something being lost in the transition from stuff like Ray created to CGI. I don’t entirely agree that extremely old stuff such as Clash of the Titans is something I would like to go back to, I don’t it looks terrible to my eye, but as for something being lost? Yea I agree, there is some corporeal tangible quality to these things that is hard to duplicate with much more advance technology and technique. And While I don’t think this is necessarily the best way that this argument could of been made it has heart to it and I care about that. Also seriously like 14 academic articles I found on Academic search complete were Physical copies only so I got extremely frustrated and went fishing for a non-academic one.

Gilsdorf really just is saying that things need to have a gravity to them, and air or realness. That ethereal undefinable characteristic that is only generated when something moves how it should within its environment. Unlike most of the previous authors I have looked at Such as Barbara Robertson in her “Dark and Light” story, this man thinks that at some point we will be able to move past that as the realism increases, but currently that material quality remains lost.

Concept Experiance #6

It has been shown through research that feelings displayed on Facebook are contagious. If you see more positive posts than negative posts, then you start posting more positive posts as well.-

The second link is extremely irrelevant, no one cares about some woman’s musings on the differences between contagious, give us a website that gives hard definitions or serious explanations. The first link is not really “Bad” but at the bottom it says its taken from a different source, it would probably of made sense to just use that one instead… but if it was the same information who cares; so its really not a big deal.

There have been studies done on Facebook and all the emotions related to posts. “We have enough power in this data set to show that emotional expressions spread online and also that positive expressions spread more than negative.”-

Wording is not strong with this one. After re-reading the whole thing a few times it really doesn’t tell you anything because the quote is a poor choice.The links in this second chunk are even worse, the first one is just a link to facebook. I just got a “log into facebook ” prompt when it was clicked, this link was worthless. The second is just another link to that stupid blog about contagious Vs Infectious; but this time it was made worse by not even being an appropriate link to words that were selects. What does Positive Expressions have to do with contagious? Nada, Nil, None, Naut, Zip, Zero, Jack-freaking-shit. 

Researchers in a new study have found that feelings displayed on Facebook are contagious. They found enough data to show that “emotional expressions spread online and also that positive expressions spread more than negative.”-

In all honesty, this does not really offend my sensibilities, with the exception that it is rather short. Another sentence or two and maybe an additional relevant link and it would be completely benign. Maybe they could of linked the actual study as well, but that dun’t botha me nun.

In a new study, researchers from University of California, San Diego have found that feelings displayed on Facebook are contagious. Publishing a paper in the journal PLOS ONE, the team analyzed over a billion anonymous status updates from more than 100 million Facebook subscribers across the United States and found that positive posts beget positive posts and negative posts beget negative posts. They said that while both are common on the site, the positive posts are more influential. They concluded, “We have enough power in this data set to show that emotional expressions spread online and also that positive expressions spread more than negative.”-

Before I begin, the hyperlink for this post did not work, perhaps in the future at the bottom of an assignment there could be a backup Hard Link IE just the web address in its fully messy glory posted as plain text.

Anywho, Something that immediately becomes apparent is that this author went through the trouble to find the true source of the study and not just a second tier article speaking about it. The signalling phrase used for the hyperlink is excellent as well. The second hyperlink doesn’t do anything for me, I don’t care about their academic standards, but I also don’t care about –Anyone’s– academic standards. I feel it would of been better left out, with that caveat however the link was put upon an appropriate signal phrase. The quality of description is greater in #4 then #3; the details of the research are actually mentioned other than in the link. I’ll make this point brief, Beget? Really? That’ sounds so pretentious to my ear. What is this the Simarillion?  Just say cause, or create or.. or… I don’t know something. The only thing that separates The Third, and the Fourth, example is depth, Which four has more of. From a writing voice standpoint I actually prefer Three. 

Alan Kay Research Nugget

Perhaps I am an idiot, but I already have a research nugget 6, so uhh yea, this is its own things.

Several professional animators wanted to be able to draw and
paint pictures which could then be animated in real time by
simply showing the system roughly what was wanted.
Desired changes would be made by iconically editing the
animation sequences

A pretty short paragraph: No? I mean not to cop out here but this more or less relates to any bit of research that has anything to do with CGI that i have done. Because that’s all it is, drawings in a computer being animated. For instance in Dark and Light the author about just creating a bridge on a computer instead of shooting on one that already existed. Another good example would be “Is it Real of is it fake” which is all about creating characters on a computer and super imposing them over human movements on the film. And anything thats not basically practical effects only this type of information comes into play in

Research Nugget 6, Is it real? or is it fake?

Citation: Freedman, Y. (2012). Is It Real…or Is It Motion Capture? The Battle to Redefine Animation in the Age of Digital Performance. Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal Of Film & Television, (69), 38-49.


The claim is this; There is an increasing amount of motion capture being used in films; replacing more traditional forms of animation (computer generated or otherwise) and the author looks to see who deserves credit for the effectiveness as a medium.

” The definitions of both animation and live action, there-fore, hinge upon how we understand motion capture. The technology may have advanced to the point where raw motion-capture data can constitute a performance, but the images still require significant manipulation before they are considered viable for exhibitions”

“Bird was insistent that motion capture was only as good as the additional artistry layered on top of it. “if you don’t muck with mo-cap” he claimed, “you don’t get the nuance of real actors and you don’t get the selective caricatures of animation. The best mo-cap that I’ve seen has all been messed with by animation, in much the same way the best rotoscope done in Disney’s time was really mucked with”


Ok before delving into the nuggets that were torn asunder from Yacov Freedman’s text, let them be summarized in a most brief fashion.

The good scholar duth explore the depths of how motion capture is created, and implemented by its creators. Yacov continues by comparing it to its ancestor Rotoscoping (drawing a picture over a model) and how it was begot from that most exalted practice. finally it is spoken upon how even the greatest of mo-cap’s requires the hand of a skilled artist to guide it to greatness.

And that my friends leads into what Freedman says in those nuggets. Both of these nuggets deal with the limitation’s of motion capture technology and how it needs to be later enhanced by a visual artist for it to truly be realized in its full glory. I like this for two reasons, one it shows the limits of a form of CGI i had not really looked into before. Secondly Practicle effects are also only at there best when they are altered in post production. This creates a tentative link that both forms of visual effects are flawed and require extra work to be brought to their full potential.

Interestingly enough, this state of needing touch ups agree’s with some of what Barbara Roberston said in her article Dark and Light. In a lot of area’s the effect was created, such as the flying Bat mobile thing, and something needed to be taken out to make the shot believable. Such as the car that it was basically nailed to the top of, or the crane that was lifting it off the ground.