New Mars Needs Moms Trailer And Picture Get Me Thinking About Performance Capture

A lot of emerging film technologies seem to be dismissed, most typically as gimmicks. It’s happening with 3D, it’s happening with performance capture, and I expect it will happen with high frame-rate cinematography, as James Cameron is exploring for Avatar 2 and 3. I tend to feel the responsibility to jump and defend these devices and techniques because it’s just obvious to me that they’re tools, and tools with great potential.

So often this is confused for me praising the works so far made with these tools. It’s almost like people can’t make the distinction between painter and paintbrush at times.

Up above is a new promotional image for Mars Needs Moms, and below is the film’s second trailer. This is the latest performance capture film from Imagemovers, Robert Zemeckis’ production set-up that pioneered the tech with Polar Express.

YouTube Preview Image

It’s obvious that the Imagemovers films have played an important part in advancing performance capture technology, but at the same time, they’ve contributed to audience apathy. Express met criticism for its sometimes very awkward representations of humans and their movement, and it popularised the notion of the “uncanny valley” in the mainstream, at least in respect of CG movies.

But then, Monster House looked like it was taking a stylistic swerve off in a more immediately profitable direction. While our capability to easily render truly photorealistic CG is still ahead of us, why not go for something more… cartoony? It certainly sidesteps all of the “uncanny” issues.

Without continued attempts to master “realistic” CG images, of the kind that Polar ExpressBewowulf and now Mars Needs Moms and were striving for, then we’ll never get there. There’s real potential – aesthetic, artistic, narrative – to be unlocked in mastering this tech; it just seems that we’re going to have a bumpy ride for a few more films (at least) as we try to get there.

If the ultimate goal is complete freedom, and the possibility of creating any image as required by the story, tone, themes or just the director’s whims (I’ll support the first three, not so much the last), and in any fashion that the filmmakers can understand and control, then performance capture technology could prove to be a very useful tool indeed.

Fires & Murmur And Umbra From Dover Books Squeak Out As Drew Ford Leaves

Savage Plays A Long Game In A Preview Of Next Week’s Legends Of Tomorrow

punisher_main

Netflix Orders Punisher Series

Concern Over Titan’s UK Reprints Of DC Comics Titles

Rewriting Jason Todd’s Origin Back To Stealing Batmobile Wheels In DC Rebirth

Where Will Stan Lee Be On Free Comic Book Day?

Control02-Cov-A-Oliver

Advance Review Of Control By Andy Diggle, Angela Cruickshank And Andrea Mutti

The Team Plans A New Attack In Clip From Tonight’s Legends Of Tomorrow

Symmetry issue5page20

Exclusive First Look At Raffaele Ienco’s Art For Symmetry #5

Alicia-Vikander

The New Lara Croft Is Alicia Vikander