Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Power of the Green Screen

Update 2: Still correcting some font problems.

I recently saw James Cameron's new movie, Avatar.  It is a tour de force of computer animation and special effects.  Unlike many sci-fi and action films, this one actually had a decent (if predictable) story.  Movies like this really blur the lines between special effects and reality.

In quite a different way, the use of so-called Green Screen (or more correctly, Chroma Keying) technology is doing much the same thing for movies set in actual locations.  It is getting so that you can hardly tell what has been shot in the studio and what is real.  The video below from Stargate Studios shows with amazing clarity what can be accomplished with this superposition technology.

Stargate Studios Virtual Backlot Demo from Stargate Studios on Vimeo.

Of course, another possibility that emerges from all this technology is the idea so popular with the conspiracy theorists who believe that, along with other major news events, the Apollo moon landings were staged. Hopefully, my paranoia is under control but it does bother me that I am not so sure that any of us can know what is real when we see it on the screen.

Worth a Look:  I saw this video on one of my favorite blog sites, Open Culture, which does a terrific job of highlighting web-based cultural opportunities (along with a host of other great features).  Check it out.

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