the end for the movie industry?

Let’s start off with some screen­shots of the latest cutting-​edge game Crysis. You know our tech­nol­ogy is really pretty advanced when you see this kind of graph­ics in a com­puter video game:

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The fact that it is the cap­tured from within a com­puter game means that the com­puter can render about 30 images like this per second! That’s a pretty shock­ing number if you asked me.

The not so obvi­ous rev­e­la­tion is prob­a­bly that com­puter graph­ics are going to replace tra­di­tional cin­e­matog­ra­phy. Take the 2nd screen­shot above as an exam­ple. To pro­duce a flam­ing scene with wreck­ages lying around on a sink­ing ship deck requires prob­a­bly mil­lions of dol­lars, which mul­ti­plies if there are some unfor­tu­nate NGs. I didn’t even bother to men­tion the imprac­ti­cal­ity (impos­si­bil­ity?) to pro­duce the robotic spider in the middle of the screen with­out the aid of CG tech­nol­ogy. The final prod­uct is prob­a­bly sev­eral min­utes on screen of a movie that is not guar­an­teed to have a pos­i­tive return.

Now, com­pare that with the com­puter graph­ics ver­sion, which is what is seen in the above screen­shot. It would take a team of tal­ented com­puter graphic design­ers a week or two to pro­duce, bun­dled with infi­nite number of free NGs, fine-​tunable details such as how the smokes should behave, cam­eras at impos­si­ble angles, etc. All better with a lower cost.

This is not nec­es­sar­ily the end for the movie indus­try as the title sug­gested, as the cur­rent tech­nol­ogy for characters’ actual acting such as facial expres­sions, little body lan­guages still can’t quite match their human coun­ter­parts. Nev­er­the­less, I cannot see a single reason why the so called big-​production shouldn’t get real and embrace com­puter graph­ics for their totally unnec­es­sary spend­ing on those extrav­a­gant seconds-​long shots.

That may be very harsh and prob­a­bly down­right insult to people who’ve con­tributed their lives to the arts of cin­e­matog­ra­phy. But then again, this is a very real fact and the tech­nol­ogy is prob­a­bly going to blow today’s in the coming years. How will you guys in the movie indus­try cope with this? I can only say “let’s see what happens”.

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