Every Frame a Painting

The filmmaker Tony Zhou is the author of an ongoing series of fascinating essays on analyzing film form: Every Frame a Painting. Covered in 5 to 10mn with a critical and passionate eye, his topics vary between directors, actors or single film scenes.

Every single one of them is worth watching, but my personal favorites are the study of the scene when Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter meet for the first time in The Silence of the Lambs, the analysis of Mickael Bay’s intense visual style, and the presentation (and praise) of Edgar Wright’s use of visuals to support comedy.

Those essays can be found on Youtube or Vimeo, with additional comments on tumblr and Facebook. Interestingly, they can also be supported (as in, financially) on Patreon.

The camera work in the game Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a 2D shooter with an outstanding visual style (and this is where my description ends since I am yet to try this game, even though I already bought it). In this 10mn video, Ryan Meyer explains how the camera system he wrote for the game works.

The Art of Framing Primer

In a much less detailed way than the cinematography analysis I previously mentioned, yet still very interesting, the film-making site Mentorless covers the visual composition used in the independent film Primer. The article, The Art of Framing Primer, outlines in particular how simple techniques allowed to make up for the extremely low budget (the film was completed for $7000).

The cinematography of The Incredibles

On his blog, director Ron Doucet presents a thorough analysis of the visual constructions in the Pixar animation film, The Incredibles. The articles include breakdowns of complete scenes in term of visual components. It is a great read on how the picture can be designed to support the storytelling.

How to use light to make better demos?

This is the third day at Revision, and my contribution this year is the talk I gave yesterday. Unlike last year, this seminar is not technical at all but focused on the design aspect and, to some extent, how it relates to the technical one. The context is demomaking, but many ideas are still valid in other media.

There were some issues with the recording unfortunately, which means some elements are missing (you will notice some blanks at the beginning). In particular after 5mn, there is an important point which was completely cut out. The text was:

Throwing a new technique at whatever you’re doing is not going to make it any better. It’s only going to change what you can achieve. There are two sides of image creation: the technical one and the artistic one. Different techniques allow to do different things, and the more techniques you master, the better you understand what you can and cannot do with them, and how to do it. Technique becomes a tool that changes how you can express yourself.

Here are the slides with notes (~5MB), or a low quality version (~1MB).

For more demoscene related talks, here is the full list of seminars at Revision 2013.

An image in the rain

A typhoon passed over Japan a couple of days ago, causing, at least in Tokyo, no more trouble than some serious rain and a couple of broken umbrellas. It was also an opportunity for photographers to catch some interesting scenes. This image in particular grabbed – as in, took and refused to give back – my attention.

Vertical version - 90度回転

With the kind permission of its author, Héctor García (aka. kirai / kirainet)

A real gem.

I have to disagree with the author when he argues the result is marred by the unbalanced composition (see the description on the Flickr page). I think on the contrary it makes the scene more vivid, more intense and in a sense, more fragile, bringing back the movement and life the high shutter speed froze away. It would have been so less interesting if it was perfectly aligned and balanced.

On a side note, also notice how the lines draw the attention on the model as the vanishing point is out of the frame. If it was within it, the feeling would be very different as the attention would drift toward the end of the street.

Last but not least, look at this light! Look at the warm reflections, the rim on the arm, the scattering through the drops…

This is exactly the sort of light I was referring to when I chose the title of this blog.

Update: Kirai made the following video out of some of the shots taken during that session.