Friday, May 01, 2009

A great article on "TRON"

While looking for pictures of a recognizer from the movie Tron, I found this article. Some interesting trivia:
lisberger wanted to correct a rumor that peter o'toole was to play sark. o'toole wanted to play tron! he said he interviewed o'toole in a hotel room and o'toole was jumping back and forth between two beds to prove he could do the part.
That would have been awesome if Peter O'Toole had been in that movie. I think the dialogue was pretty lame, though, so I don't know if he could have overcome that. Here's another thing I didn't know:
while discussing how they as actors were the first to do what is commonplace now, act on a blank stage with characters that aren't there, bruce mentioned that jeff was flynn. jeff was always playing the battlezone video game they had on set. lisberger added that jeff got so good at the game he took it places it's designers never intended.
CGI was a lot harder back then:
bill kroyer gave the following example illustrating of how difficult what they were attempting was: no one in visual fx at that point could do motion and everyone's software was proprietary. they had no way to see the cgi shots in motion. they would calculate in cartesian space (x,y,z), the angles of the lightcycles, the recognizers, the camera, etc., and write down these coordinates for each of the 24 frames per second. they'd create lists of numbers, which they'd then fax over to the vfx house, who would input the numbers by hand into the computer. the vfx house would render out the images and print them to film, and the first time they'd see the results of their numbers would be when watching the dailies on 70mm projection! there was no watching an animatic on a computer or making a quicktime. as a vfx person myself, that's friggin' amazing.

bill also told the story of how recently he was at a conference and a kid using lightwave recreated in one day a scene from the lightcycle/recognizer chase that took them months - and it looked exactly the same.
I can't believe they were "flying blind" like that. That's amazing.


OpenID ai-meilian said...

Haven't had a chance to read the article, but yeah -- back in the day most CGI was done by math, not with all the WYSIWYG software available now. And it's still helpful to have an understanding of coordinates and how to read a graphics file; I've had to troubleshoot a few things that way in my day.

4:53 PM, May 01, 2009  

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