Image Courtesy of iXL Digital Video Group
Using just three still cameras instead of one hundred, iXL Digital Video Group senior visual effects artist Doug Dimon parodied the trademark freeze-frame effect from THE MATRIX for a new Comedy Central TV FUNHOUSE promo. In "Puppets," an urbanite sitting in his chic living room with a plate of sushi, stares dumbfounded at his television, listening to a voice-over, "when you were a kid cartoons were on Saturday morning and TV puppets were friendly, caring and kind. You're not a kid anymore." Suddenly a 180-degree camera move reveals that he is watching TV FUNHOUSE. "Comedy Central wanted a wrap-around camera move that orbited the room quickly, moving behind the actor to show what he's watching on TV," explained Dimon. "A true camera-array effect, as seen in the film THE MATRIX, involves as many as 100 separate still images. We managed to recreate the effect with just three photos." The digitized images were brought into Discreet Logic Flame where Dimon added motion blur and morphing effects. "It got a little more complicated because the client wanted an on-screen, 'You're not a kid anymore' graphic to rotate simultaneously with the live-action," noted Dimon. "To make them rotate simultaneously involved a considerable amount of finessing. In the end, everyone was quite pleased with how well the effect worked, looking cool and remaining within budget."