Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Rotoscope From Hell

I'm so old I remember when these strange creatures were hand-drawn. And mo-cap was but a fever dream.

Not that the latest turtles movie is a runaway hit, but one thing about motion capture is increasingly clear. A movie with 100% mo-cap is seldom embraced by movie-goers. A Christmas Carol and other Zemeckis motion capture features (with the possible exception of The Polar Express) fell flat at the box office.

But mo-cap combined with live-action? That's an Avatar of a different color. The public likes it, mostly because the uncanny valley is less in evidence. There's something real on which eyeballs can glom. And audiences are lots more comfortable watching digitally constructed actors who often seem like glassy-eyed zombies pulled from a psycho's basement lab when they are paired with Sigourny Weaver.

Such has been the case with the Planet of the Apes features (partial mo-cap), while total mo-cap motion pictures such as Spielberg's Tin-tin have fallen on their computer-generated faces.


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