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The Impact of Evolving Technologies

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The Impact of Evolving Technologies

Computer generated imagery has spanned the verge of acceptability. “CGI frequently plays an essential role in the creation of the believable alternate reality necessary for the enjoyment of a film” (Goodyer, 2012). The animation cartoon looks is replaced with subtle distinction of movement and expression. “Motion capture represents a wholly new form of filmmaking, one that cannot and should not be limited by our previously held definitions of synthetic versus recorded cinema” (Freedman, 2012). The once was a drawing, that was made into several to produce a cartoon seen in films, times have changed with technology, now it is becoming more realistic and believable to audiences. “But no matter how impressive the trappings used to surround the audience–all the tricks of lighting and make–up and acting and computer–generated imagery–the root of all movies is the story, and without it, nothing else matters. If a story works, if it engages the audiences for two hours, then there is no wrong way to tell it. If the story doesn’t work, then the opposite is true” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2011).

Avatar (2009), was an American Science Fiction film set in the 22-century. “Avatar cost somewhere between $250 million and $500 million to make, yet weeks after its release, it had already grossed more than $1 billion worldwide for the Twentieth Century–Fox Film Corporation” (Gray, 2010). While to create such a costly movies was a big risk for James Cameron, who directed, wrote, co-produced, and co-edited the film, clearly with a proven track record such film as Titanic, The Abyss and Terminator 2, he knew how to make a blockbuster film. “Avatar was more than a science fiction film; it was itself a product of centuries of theoretical and applied science” (Benitez & Wallin, 2011). When Cameron was asked about what the movie Avatar meant, he described it as “an incarnation of one of the Hindu gods taking a flesh form. In this film what that means is that the human technology in the future is capable of injecting a human's intelligence into a remotely located body, a biological body” (IMDb, 2014). Development for Avatar started in 1994, with filming was to take place after Titanic in 1997, with a planned release in 1999, but the necessary technology had not been created so it was delayed and was not released until 2009. “James Cameron used technological breakthroughs to make the nonexistent seem real (Benitez & Wallin, 2011). With the film Avatar Cameron made technology breakthroughs, never done before. “James Cameron and his team inverted the traditional concepts of computer-generated imagery. The simulcam, a new virtual camera system, allowed filmmakers to capture the performances of actors wearing sensors in a space that they called, “the volume.” The camera carried an array of sensors that captured the images of the actors’ performances along with their movements and positions within the space. The images were subsequently transferred in real time to a computer model of a virtual character. The inversion of this process creates new possibilities for filmmakers in both the real and virtual environments” (Benitez & Wallin, 2011). The use of photorealistic computer generated imagery with advanced motion capture imagery was used in Avatar, which was way ahead of our times. “Avatar is a testament to the fusion of science and art and the impact that such creative endeavors can have on a society that seeks both entertainment and dreams”. (Benitez & Wallin, 2011). Without these advancements that Cameron brought to the film Avatar we would have never believed the story as well, the characters, although computer generated, looked real and believable and I believe this gave a strong hold to making us believe this film even more, had they not been used, it would have not been as believable and probably would not have been considered a blockbuster film.

References

Benitez, J., & Wallin, M. (2011). Rethinking the Silver Screen: Science, Film and, Art after "Avatar". International Journal Of Science In Society, 2(3), 45-54.

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

Goodyer, J. (2012). SCI-FI ON A SHOESTRING. Engineering & Technology (17509637), 7(8), 36-37.

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). Film: From Watching to Seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Gray, B. (2010, January 11). Weekend report: "Avatar" obtains more records in fourth outing. Retrieved from http://boxofficemojo.com

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