Sunday, September 18, 2005

digital digital digit it all.

This relates to the last lecture on digital advancements.
Digital effects are pervasive, not just on just big budget movie screens.

I was at work today, putting away cd roms when I came across one intriguing little software programme.
This was, as the title suggests, a cd rom which you put into your computer that provides you a virtual make-over.
You take a photo of yourself, either with a digital camera, or scan in a photo of yourself, and upload it onto the computer. Then, using the digital software, you choose different hairstyles, hair colours, makeup options, facial hair(this includes you ladies, thinking about joining a circus anytime soon?). Due to it's private and discreet medium of cd software, the user can choose looks they would otherwise be too scared/shy/embarassed about trying. It's interesting that a piece of digital software, can guide you to your real life choice of appearance.

I am only judging from what I saw on the packaging, but the digital effects looked terrible. Granted, it was quite a few years old, but they did not look life-like at all. The hair was, although having attempted to appear full of life and full of glossy strands, very block like and solid. I'm not sure how flattering any of the effects could have been, and I would hate to think how many people have decided on a hair option having seen the style, had it styled and cut only to realise there is a huge difference in appearance in 2d, and 3d.

It got me thinking to how far animation has come. Do you remember about 7 years back when pokemon first appeared
on these shores? I had a big problem with the animation and the lack of life-like characters(whereas friends I know adored the animation(anime?)). As digital animation came more popular, cartoons became more and more life-like. Aside from the various 'mon' cartoons, which have stayed true to their convention.

Recent animal and human characters in computer generated animation have fur that looks incredibly lifelike, fragile and easily manipulated by the wind. Yet, as much as these characters appear real, I still miss hand drawn cartoons.I can't help but feel that a hand drawn option of the different hair styles/make-up looks for the virtual makeover manual would be more realistic, but would not appear anywhere near as professional. Images on screen and in pixel can be differ so greatly to that of the real world.


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