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Getting closer

I love this thing. Meet the Venus of Cupertino. Here she is an iPad docking station — and she can be yours for £150. She and a companion are soon to be in the lamp biz. You can follow her adventures by signing up for her newsletter.

The artist is Scott Eaton an anatomist who works mostly in the 3D modeling program ZBrush. He teaches what looks like awesome anatomy classes, online and in IRL, to people like the character developers at Valve software.

I so would like to take his anatomy class. For that matter, I so would love my very own copy of ZBrush. Oh, why are my wants cost so many moneys?

Anyway, you guys don’t have Galaxy chocolate in the States, do you? So you probably haven’t seen this TV ad. Go watch it. I’ll wait. (Assuming it’ll play outside the UK).

We’ve seen this kind of thing before, I know. But this one is eerily good. I assumed, like earlier such, this was cleverly stitched together modern footage and classic film.

Nope. She’s a computer model. Well, she’s an actress with a computer model attached to her face. Eaton sculpted her head and the people at Framestore did the rigging (and all the rest of production). Very worth reading about.

Dead film star resurrection day — that we have been promised for so long — is on hand at last.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 10, 2013, 9:54 pm

Notice in the Framestore article, any mention of Audrey Hepburn has a TM after it, and there’s a © 2013 Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti. All rights reserved. at the beginning of the film and the end of the article.

So we trademark our dead relatives now, I guess.

Comment from surly ermine
Time: September 10, 2013, 10:16 pm

I always thought Audrey was hot. I like a gal with brows, not cro-magnon mind you but I hates the over-tweezed creepy look popular today.
Just sayin.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 10, 2013, 10:42 pm

I’ve always wondered who dreamed up those eyebrows. It was so…counterintuitive. Waif with giant black Sharpie strokes for eyebrows.

You know where she got that figure? Starving in the Netherlands during the war. Brrrrr.

Comment from AliceH
Time: September 10, 2013, 11:00 pm

I love the Venus! Sculpture is a peculiar thing. A thousand variations of tear drop like blob get produced only to yield “eh”, and then Brancusi stretches out some brass, calls it a bird, and oh man you can hear it sing.

I know I’ve seen that Galaxy ad before… just can’t remember where.

I rather like this Back in Black Gap ad, which I actually saw on actual television. (Link is to the 32 second one – there’s a longer version out there but it gets silly, I think.)

Comment from scottthebadger
Time: September 11, 2013, 1:13 am

Since you are the only banjo play of my aquaintence, I will ask you if this is accurate.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: September 11, 2013, 1:23 am

I keep saying they need to remake Looker, its such a great concept and every month that goes by it becomes more relevant. Problem is after his last book, Chrichton became persona non grata in Hollywood.

Comment from AliceH
Time: September 11, 2013, 1:38 am

scottthebadger: That is hilarious!

Mandolin players spend half their time tuning their mandolin and the other half of their time playing their mandolin out of tune.

Good stuff.

Comment from scottthebadger
Time: September 11, 2013, 1:47 am

Golly, I had forgotten how pretty Audrey Hepburn was.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: September 11, 2013, 2:27 am

That romantic stuff worked in the 50s. Today, if someone looking like Audrey Hepburn got into a strange car driven by a strange man in a place like that – well, you know the lede on CNN that night.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: September 11, 2013, 2:41 am

As Bob Seger `sang`: “Is that a woman or a man?”

Comment from Anonymous
Time: September 11, 2013, 4:09 am

Dead film star resurrection day – that we have been promised for so long — is on hand at last.

Something much bigger is coming.

With the ability to wrap a synthetic face around an actor, the actor’s own appearance will disappear. This will remove a factor that audiences have had to deal with since the earliest days of theater: making the mental twist to see the recognizable actor as the character. It’s a brutal suspension of disbelief, and it isn’t always possible.

Many many dramas are effectively spoiled by the appearance of a well-known actor in a role. It’s an unmistakable giveaway that the character will be important, not die or otherwise vanish from the plot. In many cases, it’s a giveaway about the character’s qualities.

In the new cinema, that mental twist will be unnecessary. It will be as radical a change as the addition of sound or color – perhaps even more radical.

Pre-avatar film may become a historical curiousity, as silent film did after sound. Those who come of age after the change may wonder how anyone could view a pre-avatar film as more than a joke.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: September 11, 2013, 4:28 am

Possibly the third coolest thing ever.

Fade to Bluegrass: A tribute to Metallica

Comment from Christopher Smith
Time: September 11, 2013, 5:08 am

Too bad we can’t resurrect dead scriptwriters…

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: September 11, 2013, 5:34 am

I think history will write Avatar down as one of those event films that nobody can figure out why it was so amazing and popular at the time, like Love Story.

Comment from scottthebadger
Time: September 11, 2013, 11:15 am

I agree with Christopher Taylor. I think that people will feel the same about James Cameron. I went to Titanic, because I wanted to watch the ship sink. When I saw it on TV, later, and had to actually watch the plot, as the special effects were just not the same on a 24″ screen, I thought, “This is absolute dreck! Was it written by a female high school sophomore?”. Still, enough people like his work to make him a very wealthy man. That is a very sad thing to say about our society.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: September 11, 2013, 3:28 pm

People watch the old silent movies, not because they’re curiosities, but because they were better done than the awful dreck that passes for cinema now-a-days. You couldn’t just fill the screen with two people babbling about what they’re feeling or thinking, the actors had to actually act. The earliest talkies still have it, too: M (1931) uses sound about as well as could possibly be done.

There’s a similar parallel with colour: composition was extremely important in black&white: you couldn’t just have a guy in a red suit standing on the lawn shot from above, you had to make sure he was actually visibile in the shot. The earliest colour movies actually use the colour to portray things (Dorothy coming from grey Kansas to the brightly coloured Oz, as one example).

The limitations are vexing, but they also are what makes Art, rather than just some kids with a camera filming shit & yelling out stupid jokes.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: September 11, 2013, 3:28 pm

Amazing. Well, when they have human female robots that look as good as that, sign me up for the Nicole Kidman model, please. About age 30, with slightly larger, uh, decorations up front.

By the way, the convertible looks like the same model of Mercedes (the “Ponton,” as it’s known) we saw Cary Grant and Grace Kelly driving in “To Catch a Thief.”

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 11, 2013, 5:36 pm

I agree with annoymous that ultimately this may be a good thing – Capt Ahab won’t look like Gregory Peck, and no one will look like Barbara Striesand. For a while we have to put up with a sim that looks like Nicholas Cage, but at the sim may have some acting ability. There are many movies that are distorted by the “What the Hell is John Wayne doing in a sailor’s cap’ effect. One of the reasons I had traditionally liked Meryl Streepcis that she disappears into her roles. That is,when watching her as Julia Childa I wasn’t constantly thinking of Meryl Streep.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: September 11, 2013, 7:45 pm

That’s my main concern with Batfleck. Ben Affleck can act, the problem is he’s always acting like Ben Affleck. And when you put him in a role, you see Ben Affleck. That’s just distracting, Nick Cage is the same way. he’s not a terrible actor, he’s just always Nick Cage.

Comment from AliceH
Time: September 11, 2013, 10:45 pm

In the future, all roles will be played by Gary Oldman.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: September 12, 2013, 1:47 am

In the future, all roles will be played by Gary Oldman

and I am extremely ok with that happening.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: September 14, 2013, 4:06 pm

A couple of decades ago I wrote a short story about dead actors being reanimated; best thing about it, IMO, was the title: “Thy Victory, Thy Sting”.

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