December 5, 2011 report
Sony hints at holodeck future with captivating videos
(PhysOrg.com) -- You have to hand it to the imaginative people at Sony, or at least those they partnered with at Studio Output and the Marshmallow Laser Factory; together the three have produced three videos that are likely to evoke feelings of nostalgia, even as they stir yearnings for more. The three videos, commercials, essentially for Sony’s Playstation Video store, show what the future may soon hold even as they remind us of what our collective imagination can inspire, the awe-inspiring holodeck of Star Trek fame.
In the videos, which all involved claim were made with just one take and no postproduction work, a person is seen sitting on a couch experiencing what many a science fiction fan would give up many a day’s pay to experience for themselves; a true holodeck.
But the videos aren’t about the guy on the couch, they’re about showing off what can be done with simple existing technology and some old fashioned film-making trickery. To make them, the team used the Playstation Move, a Steadicam an EyeToy camera and some guys dressed in white body suits, girls with fish poles and other extras to manipulate various other objects such as tentacles.
The videos were made to advertise the immersive effect buyers will find if they will only rent movies for download from the Playstation store; though they will likely not find that out from the videos themselves, as those, sadly, demonstrate what’s possible for the future, not what’s available now.
At any rate, in the videos a guy sits on his couch and the room around him changes as 3D imagery is projected onto all the surfaces around him, including the guys in the white suits. In one scene, the guy is morphed into a rocket and flies over a cityscape. It’s all very impressive stuff, perhaps even more so when taking into account that no fancy post-editing was allowed to insert computer generated imagery, or to remove stuff, such as the strings that held dangling objects. Also impressive is the fact that it was all done using a Steadicam, which had not been done before. The fact that the camera recording the videos is able to move about adds to the three-dimensional effect; something movie-makers and those that make commercials for television are likely to want as soon as possible.
After all is said and done though, the coolest part of the whole project for those not a part of it, is just watching the videos they’ve produced, free of charge.
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