Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Computer Generated Crowds

One of the reasons for the success of films such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the relentless onslaught of technological progress allowing intense battle scenes featuring thousands of characters to be filmed with hundreds or even dozens of extras. The days of films such as Gandhi using in excess of 100000 extras for a scene are consigned to the same bin as men in rubber suits pretending to be Tokyo-saving lizards.

Barely 5 years since the Return of the King hit the big screen, and that technology has already filtered down into the hands of the little guy. Or in this specific case, four guys armed with a video camera, some World War 2 uniforms and four days on Omaha Beach. Throw in some explosives, a green screen, and some time behind the computer, and you have a film that would have cost Steven Spielberg millions to shoot. Just awesome.

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