Selected Courses on Digital Art-UOWM

14 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

“bullet time”-Matrix digital rain

Filed under: Notes — admin @ 10:15

Matrix digital rain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A screensaver named XMatrix in XScreenSaverrepresenting the digital rain

Matrix digital rainMatrix code or sometimes green rain, is the computer code featured in the Matrix series. The falling green code is a way of representing the activity of the virtual reality environment of the Matrix on screen. All three Matrix movies, as well as the spin-off The Animatrix episodes, open with the code. It is a characteristic mark of the franchise, as the opening crawl is for Star Wars.




In the film, the code that comprises the Matrix itself is frequently represented as downward-flowing green characters. This code includes mirror images of half-width kana characters and Latin letters and numerals. The effect resembles that of the older green screen displays, since the letters leave a fluorescent trace on the screen.
The 1995 cyberpunk film Ghost in the Shell, a strong influence on The Matrix,[1][2] features opening credits similar to the digital rain.
No official version of the code’s typeface actually used in the Matrix trilogy and in the website for the game Path of Neo has been released. Several imitations have been made.

[edit]Fictional concept

In the films, a few people can understand what happens inside the Matrix by looking at the code on computer monitors. Operators from Zion, unable to enter into the Matrix, concentrate on ways to read the scrolling code, or “rain”, and infer data from it such as the location of a person in the City, possible exits, and so forth. As the character Cypher explains in the first film, the programming of the Matrix is so advanced that it is impractical to view an image translation, as “there’s way too much information to decode the Matrix.” The complex “Matrix code” of raining green characters and pictograms allows the Matrix program to be concisely represented and thus read more easily. The character Neo is the only human that can see the code of which avatars are composed while in the Matrix, and is therefore able to see their “true” digital form. By contrast, some programs are not seen as part of the green code, but as golden code (e.g.,Seraph).

[edit]Cultural impact

Because of the popularity of the movies, the effect has become noted in itself and a part of pop culture. It has influenced other franchises and has been used in new-tech advertisements, TV spots, video-clips, posters and appeared in other high-tech topics, such as flash intros of cyberpunk related websites.

[edit]See also


  1. ^ Joel Silver, interviewed in “Scrolls to Screen: A Brief History of Anime” featurette on The Animatrix DVD.
  2. ^ Joel Silver, interviewed in “Making The Matrix” featurette on The Matrix DVD.

[edit]External links

The film is known for popularizing the use of a visual effect known as “bullet time”, which allows the viewer to explore a moment progressing in slow-motion as the camera appears to orbit around the scene at normal speed.[21]



Bullet time (also known as frozen timethe big freezedead timeflow motion, or time slice)[1] is a special and visual effect that refers to a digitally enhanced simulation of variable-speed (i.e. slow motiontime-lapse, etc.) photography used in films, broadcast advertisements, and video games. It is characterized both by its extreme transformation of time (slow enough to show normally imperceptible and unfilmable events, such as flying bullets) and space (by way of the ability of the camera angle—the audience’s point-of-view—to move around the scene at a normal speed while events are slowed). This is almost impossible with conventional slow-motion, as the physical camera would have to move impossibly fast; the concept implies that only a “virtual camera“, often illustrated within the confines of a computer-generated environment such as a virtual world or virtual reality, would be capable of “filming” bullet-time types of moments. Technical and historical variations of this effect have been referred to as time slicing, view morphingslow-motemps mort, and virtual cinematography.
The term “bullet time” is a registered trademark of Warner Bros., who first used it in March 2005, in connection with the video game The Matrix Online.[2] The term had previously been used in the promotion of the 1999 film The Matrix,[3] and in reference to the slow motion effects in the 2001 video game Max Payne.[4][5]
For many years, it has been possible to use computer vision techniques to capture scenes and render images of novel viewpoints sufficient for bullet time type effects. More recently, these have been formalized into what is becoming known as free viewpoint television (FTV). At the time of The Matrix, FTV was not a fully mature technology. FTV is effectively the live action version of bullet time, without the slow motion.
In The Matrix, the camera path was pre-designed using computer-generated visualizations as a guide. Cameras were arranged, behind a green or blue screen, on a track and aligned through a laser targeting system, forming a complex curve through space. The cameras were then triggered at extremely close intervals, so the action continued to unfold, in extreme slow-motion, while the viewpoint moved. Additionally, the individual frames were scanned for computer processing. Using sophisticated interpolation software, extra frames could be inserted to slow down the action further and improve the fluidity of the movement (especially the frame rate of the images); frames could also be dropped to speed up the action. This approach provides greater flexibility than a purely photographic one. The same effect can also be produced using pure CGImotion capture and universal capture. It is thought that the opening sequence from the late 1960s Speed Racer cartoons partially inspired The Wachowskis to incorporate the bullet time effect into The Matrix.[citation needed]


In 1980, Tim Macmillan started producing pioneering video work[8] in this field while studying for a BA at the (then named) Bath Academy of Art using 16mm film arranged in a progressing sequence of pinhole cameras.
The first music video to use bullet-time was “Midnight Mover”, a 1985 Accept video.[9] In the 1990s, a morphing-based[10] variation on time-slicing was employed by director Michel Gondry and the visual effects company BUF Compagnie in the music video for The Rolling Stones‘ “Like A Rolling Stone“,[1][11] and in a 1996 Smirnoff commercial the effect was used to depict slow-motion bullets being dodged.[12] Similar time-slice effects were also featured in commercials for The Gap[3](which was directed by M.Rolston and again produced by BUF),[13] and in feature films such as Lost in Space (1998)[1] and Buffalo ’66 (1998).[3]
It is well-established for feature films’ action scenes to be depicted using slow-motion footage, for example the gunfights in The Wild Bunch (directed by Sam Peckinpah) and the heroic bloodshed films of John Woo. Subsequently, the 1998 film Blade featured a scene that used computer generated bullets and slow-motion footage to illustrate characters’ superhuman bullet-dodging reflexes. The 1999 film The Matrix combined these elements (gunfight action scenes, superhuman bullet-dodging, and time-slice effects), popularizing both the effect and the term “bullet-time”. The Matrix‘s version of the effect was created by John Gaeta and Manex Visual Effects. Rigs of still cameras were set up in patterns determined by simulations,[3] and then shot either simultaneously (producing an effect similar to previous time-slice scenes) or sequentially (which added a temporal element to the effect). Interpolation effects, digital compositing, and computer generated “virtual” scenery were used to improve the fluidity of the apparent camera motion. Gaeta said of The Matrix’s use of the effect:
For artistic inspiration for bullet time, I would credit Otomo Katsuhiro, who co-wrote and directed Akira, which definitely blew me away, along with director Michel Gondry. His music videos experimented with a different type of technique called view-morphing and it was just part of the beginning of uncovering the creative approaches toward using still cameras for special effects. Our technique was significantly different because we built it to move around objects that were themselves in motion, and we were also able to create slow-motion events that ‘virtual cameras’ could move around – rather than the static action in Gondry’s music videos with limited camera moves.[14]
In 2003, bullet time evolved further through The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions with the introduction of high-definition computer-generated approaches like virtual cinematography and universal capture. Virtual elements within the Matrix Trilogy utilized state-of-the-art image-based computer rendering techniques pioneered in Paul Debevec‘s 1997 film [15] and custom evolved for the Matrix by George Borshukov, an early collaborator of Debevec.
Following The Matrix, bullet time and other slow-motion effects were featured as key gameplay mechanics in various video gamesCyclone Studios‘ Requiem: Avenging Angel, released in March 1999, features slow-motion effects.[16] Remedy Entertainment‘s 2001 video game Max Payne contains a slow-motion mechanic that allows players to view the paths of bullets, an effect explicitly referred to as “Bullet Time”.[4]
Bullet time was used for the first time in a live music environment in October 2009 for Creed‘s live DVD Creed Live.[17]

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