Lee shared this article and photo from Gizmodo today, and it resonates:
On the left, Lucas surrounded by a ton of stuff from the first Star Wars trilogy, which ended with 1983′s Return of the Jedi. On the right, Lucas surrounded by the only object that mattered in his second Star Wars trilogy, finishing with 2005′s Revenge of the Sith: A green chroma screen.
I’ve been thinking about this in terms of television shows lately. On the one hand, using CG and green screens is so much cheaper that it allows shoestring indie productions to look as good as big studio stuff. (See the indie-to-SciFi show Sanctuary for an example.) On the other hand, green screens make it harder for actors to get involved, and there are lots of ways to get the visuals subtly wrong.
So here’s my question: do we actually need the green screen anymore? There seem to be lots of “extended super special restored director’s cut” editions of existing shows and movies now, and plenty of YouTube remasters of even the crappiest pre-digital video. None of that stock had green screens or motion dots or matchmove data, so why can’t we shoot new video without all those things?
As an intermediate step, would it be possible to dress a set the way you might for a stage play, then fill in the screen-quality props and sets digitally? Can actors look out a cardboard window at a black cloth with stars painted on it, but viewers see a porthole with galaxies whizzing past? That way, you don’t have to make the decision between the on-stage prop and the virtual one until you’re in the editing room. Who knows? You might just decide to leave the cardboard in.
UPDATE: CSS Naked Day is over, so the site is back to its stylish self. If you missed it, the home page looked something like this:
Are things lookin’ a little 1994 in here? That’s because it’s CSS Naked Day 2009, a day when people around the world strip their sites bare so you can see what’s underneath.
The idea behind this event is to promote Web Standards. Plain and simple. This includes proper use of (x)html, semantic markup, a good hierarchy structure, and of course, a good ‘ol play on words. It’s time to show off your <body>.
Since Global Spin looks pretty good even without CSS makeup, I decided to join in the fun. Enjoy the nostaligia; tomorrow we go back to the 21st century.
Upon seeing Project PUMA, the new joint venture from unlikely partners GM and Segway, you might have thought of me. Specifically, you might have wondered, “What would Chris think of this?” And so I’m going to tell you a little story…
What? Okay, maybe not.
I thought, “What the hell are they thinking? Is there really a problem this solves, a problem so compelling it required someone to figure out how to balance a two-person vehicle on two wheels in city driving conditions?”
Seriously. Who is their target market? Prospective Smart car buyers who would jump for something that popped more wheelies? All those Segway owners longing for a dorkmobile built for two?
No, I think this is something much simpler: another publicity stunt by GM to try to associate themselves with progressive “green” thinking without the risk of producing a product that might displace the automobile. Can’t you just hear them talking about it in the boardroom? “I mean really, this one practically kills itself!”
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a celebration of women in tech. Ada was a mathematician and the world’s first programmer; in the mid-19th Century she wrote technical documentation and programs for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.
This year, Suw Charman-Anderson made a pledge: “I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.” Over 1,800 people agreed, and so here you are. Continue reading
[from my GeekDad post]
Lest we take the modern GeekDad for granted, I submit for your attention this comic strip from 95 years ago regarding the exploits of a ‘lectric-obsessed child and his less-than-supportive father. (Click through for the rest of the comic.)
This was before the first personal computer, before the Nerds took their Revenge, before Superman first flew. There was no Bill Gates to emulate, no William Yuan to envy, no Starfleet Academy to aspire to. Words like internet, blog, and cosplay had yet to be coined, and there were no words spoken in Klingon, Elvish, or Huttese at all. There was no Xbox. There was no Wii.
So in this context, perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on young Henery’s father. The white-fringed, mustachioed man doesn’t realize he’s trying to hold back the tsunami of geek inevitability with a wooden paddle. He might have lived to see his son’s “fool inventions” land ships on the Moon and recanted, apologizing for putting a pack of cigars and a good night’s before his son’s passion for creating.
Even if he didn’t, he can serve as an example to us, and we can feel good to be GeekDads.
(image from Modern Mechanix, a source of much old-timey awesomeness)