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Re: lens flares

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  • Tom Casey
    Since I m just sitting here waiting for a final last few frames on an eight month project to finish, I thought I would further this thought... Although I will
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 20, 2011
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      Since I'm just sitting here waiting for a final last few frames on an eight month project to finish, I thought I would further this thought...

      Although I will agree with Ryan on most of his post, examining things further really brings up a lot more questions about what we are trying to do in fulldome. Yes, we are immersing our audience in an environment, but to say it is "just like being there" is far from a true statement except for the marketing folks. There are so many "learned" processes going on in the minds of our audience that they may say they feel as if they are immersed in a real scene, but it's really a huge lie.

      I remember reading about a study years ago where researchers went to African tribes who were so removed from civilization that they had never seen any sort of captured imagery. When the researchers set up small movie screens and projected moving imagery, the viewers could not connect, recognize or identify that the people seen on the screen were even people... all they saw were moving textures. Their reality had no way of making the jump from real to movie-real.

      So if you consider what we are doing in our domes, the only reason we have any sort of "realty" is a long process of learning from watching film, television, etc. There is the ongoing debate of wether one continuous camera move as opposed to cutting between scenes is appropriate. Where should the viewer be looking in fulldome is a learned process from traditional theaters, just watch how most people don't turn their heads during a show. The speeding up of time to do a powers of ten move out into the cosmos, the narrator's voice booming out from nowhere, and any scene transitions we need to make are a few other learned storytelling techniques. Just dimming the lights and fading up our first scene is a learned process.

      So what I am saying is that in reality, our reality in the fulldome environment is quite unreal... Sometimes called suspension of disbelief, the immersive quality we aim for is just one more trick our audiences have learned to leap into and accept as "reality."

      Tom



      On Oct 20, 2011, at 12:54 PM, Ryan Wyatt wrote:

      > I would ask Aaron a different question, though: if the dome �isn�t necessarily about immersion for everybody,� then what is it about? I thought the idea behind immersive media was, well, to immerse.

      ************************************************
      H o m e R u n P i c t u r e s

      Tom Casey
      President & Creative DIrector

      100 First Avenue - Suite 450
      Pittsburgh, PA 15222
      Studio: 412-391-8200
      mailto:tom@...
      http://www.homerunpictures.com
    • Aaron Bradbury
      Hi Ryan, ... necessarily about immersion for everybody, then what is it about? I thought the idea behind immersive media was, well, to immerse. Sorry, I
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 20, 2011
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        Hi Ryan,

        > I would ask Aaron a different question, though: if the dome "isn't
        necessarily about immersion for everybody," then what is it about? I
        thought the idea behind immersive media was, well, to immerse.

        Sorry, I should have said 'isn't necessarily about reality for
        everybody'.

        The idea that we shouldn't have lens flares because they detract from
        reality suggests that domes should only be used to represent real
        environments. I found myself immersed in an incredible world of
        tripnotic 2D fractals just a couple of weeks ago for a Domeheads event
        at Think Tank in Birmingham. I would have given anything to have been
        pulled back into reality after being sucked into the inescapable vortex
        of the Mandelbrot, I'm not sure a lens flare would have helped me. ;)

        This doesn't mean I'm against real environments, everyday we're pushing
        the team to create more believable environments, this is what most of
        our shows require... and... occasionally we use lens flares. Perhaps
        some people overdo the lens flare effect in places where it isn't
        appropriate. My suggestion would be to use them if they add to the
        believability of a scene if that's what the scene requires.

        Regards,

        Aaron Bradbury

        -----Original Message-----
        From: fulldome@yahoogroups.com [mailto:fulldome@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of Ryan Wyatt
        Sent: 20 October 2011 17:54
        To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: Ryan Wyatt
        Subject: [fulldome] Re: lens flares

        I agree with Rob: lens flares in the dome are not for me. But hey,
        kids, knock yourselves out!

        That said, don't kid yourself by claiming that you're enhancing the
        "reality" of the image. You're making use of a trope, a CG shorthand
        that feels "real" only by training. By using a lens flare, you're
        providing a visual cue to your audience that actually doesn't occur with
        most modern camera equipment. To me, the visual cue screams, CG trying
        to look "real."

        (On the other hand, if you're talking the lens flares in the latest
        "Star Trek" film, those rock! As Abrams said, "I love the idea that the
        future was so bright it couldn't be contained in the frame.")

        I would ask Aaron a different question, though: if the dome "isn't
        necessarily about immersion for everybody," then what is it about? I
        thought the idea behind immersive media was, well, to immerse.


        Ryan, a.k.a.
        Ryan Wyatt, Director
        Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization
        California Academy of Sciences
        55 Music Concourse Drive
        San Francisco, CA 94118
      • Ryan Wyatt
        ... Just to be clear, I never stated that we as fulldome producers “shouldn’t have lens flares,” nor did I state that fulldome should only depict
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 20, 2011
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          On Oct 20, 2011, at 10:42 AM, Tom Casey wrote:

          > So what I am saying is that in reality, our reality in the fulldome environment is quite unreal... Sometimes called suspension of disbelief, the immersive quality we aim for is just one more trick our audiences have learned to leap into and accept as "reality."

          And on Oct 20, 2011, at 11:40 AM, Aaron Bradbury wrote:

          > The idea that we shouldn't have lens flares because they detract from reality suggests that domes should only be used to represent real environments.

          Just to be clear, I never stated that we as fulldome producers “shouldn’t have lens flares,” nor did I state that fulldome should only depict reality.

          I simply wanted to point out that a) one should not rationalize the use of lens flares by suggesting they enhance the “reality” of the scene and b) I and presumably others will find the use of lens flares sad, tacky, and distractingly bogus.

          I just don’t want y’all reading too much into my statements. That’s all. :)


          R.
        • Amr El-Laithy
          I agree with you tom , and i think the reality issue can be defined just by the audience experience . i remember a situation from Jurassicpark Visual
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 22, 2011
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            I agree with you tom , and i think the "reality" issue can be defined just by the audience experience . i remember a situation from Jurassicpark Visual effects supervisor ( Mark Christiancen ) said about the dinosaur scene they made that Steven Spielberg ask them to change it more than 20 time or more just because he can't feel the DINOSAUR is " REAL " , i don't think Steven have ever seen one " mark said " . i think that is the same . what was in steven head or imagination to introduce to the audience is what we can call the STORY REALITY . there is a contract signed between the filmmakers and the director says that the film is not really happened but you gonna believe that .


            Amr


            ________________________________
            From: Tom Casey <tom@...>
            To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2011 7:42 PM
            Subject: [fulldome] Re: lens flares

            Since I'm just sitting here waiting for a final last few frames on an eight month project to finish, I thought I would further this thought...

            Although I will agree with Ryan on most of his post, examining things further really brings up a lot more questions about what we are trying to do in fulldome.  Yes, we are immersing our audience in an environment, but to say it is "just like being there" is far from a true statement except for the marketing folks.  There are so many "learned" processes going on in the minds of our audience that they may say they feel as if they are immersed in a real scene, but it's really a huge lie. 

            I remember reading about a study years ago where researchers went to African tribes who were so removed from civilization that they had never seen any sort of captured imagery.  When the researchers set up small movie screens and projected moving imagery, the viewers could not connect, recognize or identify that the people seen on the screen were even people... all they saw were moving textures.  Their reality had no way of making the jump from real to movie-real.

            So if you consider what we are doing in our domes, the only reason we have any sort of "realty" is a long process of learning from watching film, television, etc.  There is the ongoing debate of wether one continuous camera move as opposed to cutting between scenes is appropriate.  Where should the viewer be looking in fulldome is a learned process from traditional theaters, just watch how most people don't turn their heads during a show. The speeding up of time to do a powers of ten move out into the cosmos, the narrator's voice booming out from nowhere, and any scene transitions we need to make are a few other learned storytelling techniques.  Just dimming the lights and fading up our first scene is a learned process.

            So what I am saying is that in reality, our reality in the fulldome environment is quite unreal... Sometimes called suspension of disbelief, the immersive quality we aim for is just one more trick our audiences have learned to leap into and accept as "reality." 

            Tom



            On Oct 20, 2011, at 12:54 PM, Ryan Wyatt wrote:

            > I would ask Aaron a different question, though: if the dome “isn’t necessarily about immersion for everybody,” then what is it about?  I thought the idea behind immersive media was, well, to immerse.

            ************************************************
            H o m e  R u n  P i c t u r e s

            Tom Casey
            President & Creative DIrector

            100 First Avenue - Suite 450
            Pittsburgh, PA  15222
            Studio: 412-391-8200
            mailto:tom@...
            http://www.homerunpictures.com
          • Rob Spearman
            Bob: I was talking about gratuitous lens flare special effects. That is not the same thing as blooming , which is a familiar and natural technique for
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 22, 2011
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              Bob: I was talking about gratuitous lens flare special effects. That is
              not the same thing as "blooming", which is a familiar and natural
              technique for showing bright objects in HDR scenes.

              I just wanted to get people thinking twice about taking extra effort to
              add something that can clearly detract from the experience. Ryan put it
              well when he wrote:

              "I simply wanted to point out that a) one should not rationalize the use
              of lens flares by suggesting they enhance the reality of the scene and
              b) I and presumably others will find the use of lens flares sad, tacky,
              and distractingly bogus."

              The discussion of audience expectations and social norms is interesting,
              but it seems rather limiting to intentionally dumb down this medium to
              meet all the received 'wisdom' from cinema when it could be so much
              more.

              Rob


              --
              Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc. tel 360.616.8915
              P.O. Box 2976 fax 360.616.8917
              Bremerton, WA 98310 http://digitaliseducation.com
            • Aaron McEuen
              Some thoughts. From day one, motion picture was defined as repeated illusion that happens every 24th of a second. It has always been an illusion . That is the
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 24, 2011
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                Some thoughts.

                From day one, motion picture was defined as repeated illusion that happens every 24th of a second.

                It has always been an "illusion". That is the business we are in.

                One might think that Radiosity might be an exageration of our reality, or Raytracing to 16 steps of reflection can mislead our reality. It is all exagerated when we need to push levels to 1000% in our digital world, just to get the "edge" when we need to illude what we think the reality should be.

                One of the challenges that I think about is, how do we "teach" our viewers to watch a recreation of their world, of their "3D" environment that they have first hand experience living in? People are accustomed to seeing our world reproduced on a flat 2D screen, that in turn keeps getting bigger. This is what people have been trained to see as a recreation of their reality. I feel that a mold needs to be broken and that is, again, what we are up against.

                A thought on lens flares, well, they were a reality at one time with generating the 'illusion'. These are the kinds of byproducts by regenerating our reality that we taught people to see. I sometimes look at my world and figure in my own lens flare, or 2D post process plugin, or whatever. Sort of like “I love the idea that the future was so bright it couldn’t be contained in the frame.” I like looking towards this brightness. I always thought of how cool it would be to have HDR eyes!

                My 2¢

                Aaron
                www.starlight-prod.com
                http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Starlight+Express+Earth&aq=f

                On Thu, 20 Oct 2011 16:32:02 -0700, Ryan Wyatt wrote:

                On Oct 20, 2011, at 10:42 AM, Tom Casey wrote:

                So what I am saying is that in reality, our reality in the fulldome environment is quite unreal... Sometimes called suspension of disbelief, the immersive quality we aim for is just one more trick our audiences have learned to leap into and accept as "reality."

                And on Oct 20, 2011, at 11:40 AM, Aaron Bradbury wrote:

                The idea that we shouldn't have lens flares because they detract from reality suggests that domes should only be used to represent real environments.

                Just to be clear, I never stated that we as fulldome producers �shouldn�t have lens flares,� nor did I state that fulldome should only depict reality.

                I simply wanted to point out that a) one should not rationalize the use of lens flares by suggesting they enhance the �reality� of the scene and b) I and presumably others will find the use of lens flares sad, tacky, and distractingly bogus.

                I just don�t want y�all reading too much into my statements. That�s all. :)


                R.
              • Jason Fletcher
                It is balance between personal taste and your mission statement. Some people loved the outer space lens flares in Star Trek (2009), and some really disliked
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 24, 2011
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                  It is balance between personal taste and your mission statement. Some people
                  loved the outer space lens flares in Star Trek (2009), and some really
                  disliked them.

                  --
                  Jason Fletcher
                  Charles Hayden Planetarium


                  On Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 1:36 PM, Rob Spearman <rob@...>wrote:

                  Bob: I was talking about gratuitous lens flare special effects. That is not the same thing as "blooming", which is a familiar and natural technique for showing bright objects in HDR scenes.

                  I just wanted to get people thinking twice about taking extra effort to add something that can clearly detract from the experience. Ryan put it well when he wrote:

                  "I simply wanted to point out that a) one should not rationalize the use of lens flares by suggesting they enhance the reality of the scene and b) I and presumably others will find the use of lens flares sad, tacky, and distractingly bogus."

                  The discussion of audience expectations and social norms is interesting, but it seems rather limiting to intentionally dumb down this medium to meet all the received 'wisdom' from cinema when it could be so much more.

                  Rob


                  --
                  Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc. tel 360.616.8915
                  P.O. Box 2976 fax 360.616.8917
                  Bremerton, WA 98310 http://digitaliseducation.com
                • Tom Casey
                  I m glad to see this response! I was disappointed to see words like clearly detract, tacky, bogus, dumb down, etc . in the previous post. We should
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 26, 2011
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                    I'm glad to see this response! I was disappointed to see words like "clearly detract, "tacky," "bogus," "dumb down," etc . in the previous post. We should not be prejudice towards or limit any creative approach used to do storytelling in our domes. Our medium needs to experiment in all areas of production as it grows.

                    As for all this realism debate... in truth, our domes can never match the HDR of reality since we are reflecting off of a surface. Hence, the need for cinematic tools to create more effective suspension of disbelief.

                    Let's not put any attempts down.

                    Tom


                    On Oct 24, 2011, at 3:26 PM, Jason Fletcher wrote:

                    It is balance between personal taste and your mission statement. Some people
                    loved the outer space lens flares in Star Trek (2009), and some really
                    disliked them.

                    --
                    Jason Fletcher
                    Charles Hayden Planetarium

                    On Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 1:36 PM, Rob Spearman <rob@...>wrote:

                    Bob: I was talking about gratuitous lens flare special effects. That is not the same thing as "blooming", which is a familiar and natural technique for showing bright objects in HDR scenes.

                    I just wanted to get people thinking twice about taking extra effort to add something that can clearly detract from the experience. Ryan put it well when he wrote:

                    "I simply wanted to point out that a) one should not rationalize the use of lens flares by suggesting they enhance the reality of the scene and b) I and presumably others will find the use of lens flares sad, tacky, and distractingly bogus."

                    The discussion of audience expectations and social norms is interesting, but it seems rather limiting to intentionally dumb down this medium to meet all the received 'wisdom' from cinema when it could be so much more.

                    Rob


                    --
                    Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc. tel 360.616.8915
                    P.O. Box 2976 fax 360.616.8917
                    Bremerton, WA 98310 http://digitaliseducation.com
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