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Friday, May 01, 2009

PerfCap + Real Time Live Action = Robert Zemeckis' ROGER RABBIT 2... in 3D?

**SAME DAY UPDATE: Check out this new affordable motion capture technology from MIT - Second Skin!

Jim here. Just a quick note to make sure you guys know that Robert Zemeckis hinted at going back to ROGER RABBIT with a second movie using today's tech - which he is undoubtedly referring to 3D perfcap.

Here is his quote to MTV: "I’ll tell you what is buzzing around in my head now that we have the ability—the digital tools, performance capture—I’m starting to think about ROGER RABBIT."

Moreover, the fine investigators over at MTV went further and contacted Michael Lantieri, the special effects supervisor on the original ROGER RABBIT. What Michael told them had my eyes wide open with anticipation: "He talked about how very soon filmmakers will be able to combine performance capture with outdoor, real-time photography."

Hello. I had been hoping for some time now that this eventuality would take place sooner rather than later and here we go! This means numerous things, but for ROGER RABBIT it most likely means being able to introduce real-time, live action backgrounds, actors and objects into a performance capture 'Volume' feed to the director for shooting AND final processing.

Imagine a perfcap Volume scene with say Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant riding a motorcycle with an actor in a perfcap suit playing Roger Rabbit - Zemeckis can see this happening on his monitors WITH a real time, live action bar fight taking place on another set IN HIS BACKGROUND. He can order his real time actors and set design around to suit his perfcap action needs. As he adjusts his virtual camera throughout the Volume, it is coordinated with the live action set cameras in real time!

You can bet that Michael Lantieri would return for any ROGER RABBIT sequel.

I don't know about you, but I personally love seeing this technology being born in our generation. We are witnessing the beginning of a cinematic revolution; nothing short of the introduction of sound and color. Take part in it. Relish in all these movies and don't let the naysayers ruin the experience for you - in 10 years it is they who will say: " I should have stopped and watched." Watched guys like Cameron, Spielberg, Jackson, Burton, Scott and Zemeckis play in a brand new sandbox.

I welcome your comments on how this new technology could be used for upcoming movies. Do you think Cameron has already done something like this with AVATAR?

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Jim Dorey
Editor-in-Chief
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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