Sunday, July 23

Line is destiny

Saw A Scanner Darkly tonight. It was, as I had hoped it would be, amazing. I had this stupid grin slapped on my face the entire time, my eyes just swimming in shape and color. And oh, the antics. How I love Rory Cochran and Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson. Keanu and Winona, not so much. I've already shared my feelings about them.

But this movie isn't even really about them. Any of them. This movie is all about the animation. God, it's fantastic. Surprisingly more sophisticated and consistent than in Waking Life. I mean, I'm sure that was deliberate to a point, since Waking Life was animated by lots of artists doing their own stylistic interpretations, and I adore that movie for just that reason. Scanner established a style and pretty much stuck to it the entire time. Apparently the rotoscoping software was updated and streamlined for the Scanner production, and the animators (the second wave, after the staff shake-up) were given strict guidelines and styles to follow to eliminate the animation discrepencies between artists.

It's a distinct pleasure to watch live action broken down and reimagined as animation — blocks of color sliding about, independent, their relationship merely spatial and not all that logical. Broken down, each shape gets its own life. A whisker will flicker and twitch independently of the face to which it's attached or the beard in which it nests. A crease in a T-shirt will thicken and fade with every movement.

And, really, this stuff happens in Real Life, but on such a micro level that it goes largely unnoticed. Animate it — turn it macro, emphasize the whole from scattered parts — and you can notice the life in every shape and get giddy about it like a dumbstruck kid.


Blogger newscoma said...

I really am very eager to see this. It looks amazing.

Mon Jul 24, 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Run, don't walk!

Mon Jul 24, 11:33:00 PM  

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