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Slashback: ClonesMAX, Animation, Dislaimers 282

Slashback with a reader review of the IMAX version of Star Wars Episode Two,the continuing courtship of AIM and ICQ, episode 408 of Futurama, and more, including How to go around the world without going anywhere at all. Read on below!

Give me IV any old day. Rupert writes with a review of the newly IMAX-ified Episode II of the Star Wars saga:

"Since it was my wife's birthday today, last night I took her to see Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones: IMAX edition. Notwithstanding the overuse of colons, this is a movie worth seeing, even if you think you already saw the movie.

If you haven't already seen AotC, you no doubt have your reasons, and there isn't anything in this edition to make you change your mind. Likewise, the plot still has gaping holes and Anakin is still moody, so if those were enough to make you hate this movie, you won't want to see it again. The action sequences gain little from the new presentation, as objects move too fast across the large screen to follow.

On the other hand, if you want to see the pores in Natalie Portman's skin, or the individual hairs in Christopher Lee's beard, this is the movie you've been waiting for. I suspect that some time was spent re-rendering the digital characters. Yoda, Wattoo and Jex Dexter stood out in close up, looking more real than the human actors.

Some scenes were cut from this edition. Some I didn't miss, such as Ani and Amidala frolicking in the meadow with the giant bed bugs. Others, such as almost all the scenes in Palpatine's office, and many of the Jedi Council made it even harder to follow what was going on.

You might be wondering where you can see the movie."

Always cut with the Groenig. ari_j writes "It looks like Fox is giving us a new season of Futurama. From the page, "Season Premiere Sunday, Nov. 10th at 7PM/6C". Sure enough, my local Fox affiliate is carrying it as stated. From '"Crimes of the Hot", Episode #408.
Al Gore's head holds an emergency summit in Kyoto, Japan, to deal with global warming caused by robot emissions.'"

This does not look good on a resume. nautical9 writes "As a follow up to Henrick Schon's dismissal from Bell Labs last month for falsifying data, many of his former co-authors are retracting their articles from the AAAS's prestigious Science magazine. It's apparently the largest retraction for the journal ever. Bell labs is also pulling six different patent applications of his. Here's the Wired article."

Is this the basket you ordered for all your eggs? With regard to the AOL / ICQ integration CowboyNeal mentioned the other day, nxtw writes "At this moment, ICQ users can send messages to AIM users, but AIM users cannot send messages to ICQ users or be seen on your buddy list. However, AIM automatically postpends any screenname or group consisting of all numbers with -ICQ when added to your buddy list. (This applies to the beta AIM 5.1.3009 client.)"

They're in Australia, of course they have flying dreams. VileScum writes "Back in May a reader posted this story of an Australian Guy who built a 747 Sim in his garage. As reported in the Sydney Morning Hearld The builder and a group of his friends are now doing a round the world sim flight for charity. The full story can be found here. The details of the actual flight can be found here."

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Slashback: ClonesMAX, Animation, Dislaimers

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  • Futurama (Score:5, Informative)

    by jimmcq ( 88033 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:04PM (#4596396) Journal
    Note that the "new" season of Futurama isn't quite new... The show is still just as cancelled as before.

    Fox just has a few un-aired episodes that were produced a while ago, but still haven't been shown yet.
    • Re:Futurama (Score:2, Interesting)

      but this is just policy...if you have a surplus of episodes, you terminate the show, and air all the episodes you have. if ratings are high enough, you hire the animator back to create new shows. it's crappy in human interaction sense, but i guess it's smart business. we can only hope that new episodes will be comissioned..this all depends on ratings, so watch futurama guys! ;)
      • Re:Futurama (Score:5, Informative)

        by WankersRevenge ( 452399 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @11:03PM (#4597167)
        Actually, it's not smart business sense. Here's the deal - if the show does wonderfully well and they decide to hire everyone back - now they got to wrangle all the original creative talent who will probably want way more money who are most likely committed to other projects. It'll probably take a year or longer to produce new episodes. And by the time those new episodes have hit the market, chances the public will have since long moved on.

        My girlfriends father is an animation producer and this exact scenario is happening to him.
    • Re:Futurama (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Masem ( 1171 )
      It should also be pointed out that this may be preempted in your local area for football games, one of the reasons why there's still a backlog of Futurama episodes left.

      Don Del Grande has made a handy list of what football games are where this season, and thus what the chances of Furutama (being the first show on the block, and most likely to be run into by long games) will be shown are. That post is here from google's archive [].

      Most likely, your best chance to catch these shows is when it goes to Cartoon Network come next year (5 times a week).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:04PM (#4596398)
    With the formerly-missing musical number, "Blame Amidala."
  • ATOC...argh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BZArcher ( 598958 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:06PM (#4596410) Homepage Journal far as I can tell, this edition removed all the political intrique and vague sense of plot, poured in more closeups of scenes we already either liked or hated, and ruined all the somewhat fun explosions and action scenes by running things so fast acrost the screen you can't see them?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:08PM (#4596418)
    If there's one thing wrong with movies today, it's the frame-rate.
    • by Osty ( 16825 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:36PM (#4596586)

      You moderators mark him as funny, but he has a point. Modern movies show in 24fps (most theaters double-shutter, so you get an effect 48 fps, but each frame is doubled). This is extremely noticeable on any pan. And before anyone jumps in with the, "Human eyes can only see 24fps anyway, so what's the point?" argument, let me just say you're wrong wrong wrong. 24 frames per second is near the bare minimum required for the human eye to distinguish motion rather than individual frames. I've never seen a study claiming a maximum value, but I'd expect it to be much higher than even the 60fps some people suggest. If that were the case, then nobody would be able to tell the difference between 60Hz refresh rate monitors and 100Hz refresh rates. Movies can get away with this because of intrinsic "artificats" like motion blur, that help create a better sense of motion in fewer frames. (Incidentally, that's also why 24fps in a video game feels really jerky, while 24fps in a movie is usually pretty smooth -- video games tend not to have motion blur, because it requires lots of computational power. It's easier to push out more frames for a smoother look, rather than add motion blur.)

      Will we ever see > 24fps in the movie theater? Possibly, but it's going to take some time. I wouldn't expect it until TV broadcasts have switched completely to 720p (60 full frames per second, not 60 fields or half-frames), and DVDs are encoded at the same (rather than the current 480i encoding, and relying on special hardware to do 3:2 pulldown conversion for progressive display). Until then, the 24fps movie is too entrenched, I think.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2002 @09:19PM (#4596743)
        What? Double the frame rate to 48 fps? 60 fps?

        My GOD, boy, are you trying to kill the movie industry? Film is expensive! The material costs would would be enormous.

        A typical film runs what, about $70M? Take out the fees for crappy actors who need all that money for hookers and you are left with about $1200 for the film. Once you start using more film, the studios would be bankrupt.

        Phfff... it's never gonna happen.
        • Ha. Films have been made in under a million. Star Wars (the 1977 one) cost $7 mil (or maybe it was $11 but its budget was 7...). Monty Python and the Holy Grail was ~$5 mil. Material costs wouldn't be more than a few hundred thousand per movie max. For movies with $100 mil budgets, that's nothing for a better picture.
      • by NearlyHeadless ( 110901 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @09:20PM (#4596749)
        Will we ever see > 24fps in the movie theater? Possibly, but it's going to take some time.

        Roger Ebert has been praising [] a system called Maxivision48 [] which is 48 fps (and can dynamically switch to 24 fps to save money).

        Also, Douglas Trumbull's ShowScan system has been around for a while, but has only been used for a few specialty attractions. I've read comments that said that ShowScan was too realistic and not "cinematic." That reminds me of the CD vs. vinyl debate.

        I've never seen either system.

        • by JosiKlaki ( 606484 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @10:23PM (#4597028) Homepage
          Check out CML [], the cinematography mailing list. There this has been a holy war for many years.

          Many believe that the higher frame rates of video subconsciously tell us that something is "real" and that good ol 24 fps film tells the subconscious: "You are watching a story"...

        • The problem with shooting at 48fps as opposed to 24fps is that you cut the amount of light hitting the film in half. This means you need brighter light sources, or you need to open up the aperture more. In many cases this is just not possible (an overcast day, etc.).

          Never mind that the cost of the actual film and processing would double.

          People who complain about flicker and suchsort when going to see a movie are probably watching the movie in a shitty theater with a substandard projector. The first time I saw Spider-man it looked flawless. I saw it a mere 3 days later, at a different theater, and there were all kinds of problems (wobbling, a bit of flicker, etc.).
      • by Anonvmous Coward ( 589068 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @09:24PM (#4596778)
        "Will we ever see > 24fps in the movie theater? "

        I can't remember the name of the company, but somebody is fishing the idea around Hollywood of 48 fps film. Saw it on Ebert about a year ago.

        I predict that soon after theaters are equipped with digital projectors we'll start seeing >24fps movies. There's technology you can get today that uses morphing algorithms to expand 24fps all the way up to 60 fairly convincingly. As a matter of fact, Lost in Space used that technology quite a bit to slow some scenes down. I bet one day they'll take movies and re-process them up to 60fps.
        • There's technology you can get today that uses morphing algorithms to expand 24fps all the way up to 60 fairly convincingly.

          So, that's what I do at work [].

          It's pretty cool. There are some really large unsolved problems with it though - the biggest is that it's really tough to detect when objects go in front of each other (occlusions). If you don't detect them correctly, then you get really bad results. Of course, you can do things with a little human intervention, which lets you get almost perfect results, but the time that that takes is proportional to the number of source frames.

          That's why you see those kind of effects for slow-motion (in Lost in Space or the Matrix) which has relatively few source frames, but I doubt we'll see it any time soon to increase framerate in movies, because 24fps for a whole movie is a whole lot of frames to manually tweak.

          • Yeah I know what you mean. I did some frame expanding on an explosion once, the result was.. uh.. interesting but not realistic. :)

            Ever hear of 'Icarus'? It's a camera tracking package. Part of me wonders if the technology there would help. Although it's not perfect either.

            Oh well. Maybe they'll rerender Toy Story for us. =)
      • Comparing 24fps film to 60hz video is unfair, IMO. Film frames are projected in their entirety, since you've got one giant light shining through the picture. Video is drawing with a scanning beam, so in reality only a small chunk is onscreen at a given time. A 24hz video display would be next to unwatchable, whereas I never have problems with projected film.
      • Like another poster has already pointed out, it really is more of a CD vs vinyl thing. From what I've heard about Trumbull's Showscan format, the 60fps motion freaked everyone who watched it out.

        If 24fps makes people feel like they're watching a movie at the theater as opposed to watching the local news, then that's what everyone (aside from the news, probably) will use. It's all about perceived quality - just because we can create a 200fps playback system doesn't mean we should, especially if everyone is already happy with 24fps! (see also: how most people don't care about the difference between standard- and high-def.)

        The only high-def stuff that's being done in 720p these days is sports. Everything else is moving towards 24p, which means 1920x1080 @ 24 frames/second (the "p" means progressive scan.) Even live stuff is starting to get shot at 24p - the recent MTV video music awards were a good example of this.
      • by doi ( 584455 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @10:17PM (#4597001)
        Actually, most motion picture projectors use a three-bladed shutter, which result in 72 flashes per second with a 24 fps film. This reduces the flickering of the image. I'm not sure about IMAX projectors though, as they are custom-built around a specialized film format, but they do run at 24 fps.

        As far as higher frame rate projection, IMAX also used a 48 fps system for some productions, but it seems to have been discontinued, probably due to the need for more specialized equipment and for practical reasons (used too much film and was more troublesome)

        There is also the MaxiVision format. It uses standard 35mm motion picture film, but with a special frame size that's larger than the typical film frame, and can be filmed and projected at either 24 or 48 fps. The image quality at 48 fps is substantially better, even greater than the difference between regular video and HDTV. I can only imagine what IMAX at 48 fps would look like!

        And last but not least, there was the Showscan process, which used 70mm film exposed and projected at 60 fps with a single bladed shutter. The image is much crisper and brighter; the faster frame rate reduced motion blur and also provided more image information (and the 70mm film image has higher definition). The image was smaller than an IMAX image though, but the quality was at least as good.

        When Douglas Trumbull was developing the Showscan process, he had extensive tests done to determine the optimal projection rate, up to at least 72 fps and possibly 100 fps. 60 fps was found to be the best rate; anything higher had very little improvement in image quality or perception of motion, and would merely use more film than necessary. I've read articles that some scientists have experimented on determining the "frame rate" of human vision, and it seems to be close to the rate used by Showscan (can't remember the exact number, but it was around 60-70 fps, and very few people could perceive anything higher than 80 fps)

        Sadly, Showscan never caught on as well as IMAX did and the Showscan corporation went into receivership. If you never got to see it, it was extremely impressive: I saw the Niagara Falls film and it's pretty amazing to see single individual drops of water in the Falls in 70mm at 60 fps! HDTV (and by extension SW:AOTC) looks like an old Super 8 home movie in comparison. It truly was more vivid than being there...the theater was located a few hundred yards from the Falls themselves so it was an easy comparison to make. The only thing close to it would be to see IMAX at 48 fps, but even IMAX's new DMR process is simply up-rezzing 35mm and HDTV images. While it's pretty damn good (I saw Apollo 13 and it was amazing, I'm sure AOTC will be too) it doesn't quite capture the exquisiteness of an original 70mm IMAX or Showscan frame.

        With all of the impetus towards cutting costs, using digital production techniques, and consolidating on lesser-quality but universal digital formats, it's unlikely that anyone will continue to produce films in special, high-quality film formats, especially since most of them require special projectors and/or theaters.

  • The IMAX experience. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jaguar777 ( 189036 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:08PM (#4596421) Journal
    I would have to agree with the submitter. Yeah it was nice to see a few of the things larger than life, but motion blur was much more noticeable and I was miffed that they cut scenes out of the movie. During the drive back home me and my girlfriend spent more time talking about why they might have cut scenes out of the movie instead of talking about the "incredible IMAX experience".
    • Scenes were cut out because of a limitation of the IMAX reels. 120 minutes is the maximum running time for an IMAX movie.

      By the way they cut scenes from Apollo 13 (IMAX) for this same reason too.
    • by Target Drone ( 546651 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:26PM (#4596521)
      The reason the scenes were cut is because the original AOTC was 143 minutes but an IMAX flick can only be 120 minutes (although apparently AOTC is 128 minutes so they must of crammed a few extra feet onto the reel).

      This article [] has the details.

  • art (Score:5, Funny)

    by prockcore ( 543967 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:09PM (#4596430)
    One of my old art teachers used to say "If you can't make it good, make it big"

    I think George Lucas was in my class.
  • by ALoverOfPeace ( 586114 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:10PM (#4596438)
    Even if these are unaired previously created episodes, Fox is still clueless as to why people were not watching Futurama.

    The football game preceding Futurama is not over til 7 PM. I would guess that at least 50% of the games cause Futurama to be delayed. In addition, they expect people to sit through shows in between new Futurama and new Simpsons that are not new episodes of either. I don't care what they are, they suck, and many people will not want to watch Futurama at 7 and have nothing to watch for 30 minutes. 7 PM is also very early, and I see no reason why Fox doesn't just air new episodes from 8-10 rather than air 4 new shows and 2 reruns between 7 PM and 10 PM.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @10:25PM (#4597035) Homepage
      It is very common for network programming to be laid out based on nielsen data. Even though it is very easy to make a show popular by placing it in a "golden spot" those are always reserved for the new expensive moneymakers.. Simpsons is known to be a cash cow and the viewers will go out of their way to watch it... so abusing your viewers in order ot gain higher ratings for a new "pet" show is very common. Futurama is a mystery to them... it's not the "magical show" that is typical of fox (of old fox, yes... new fox? no way... they want to be NBC not fox) and is therefore not wanted nor expected to do well, yet here's a large fan base in spite of the fact that they placed it in a suicide slot.

      Enterprise is in the same boat with UPN... always preempted by a sports event. (sorry, but a sci-fi fan is usually a sporting event hater, espically the jokes like American Football and Baseball.... Hockey on the other hand is good :-)

      Being in the televison media business I see a few things that look really boneheaded... and it's not because of anything like really really stupid executives approving the lineup.. It's all about money and viewership ratings coupled with image.. Fox wants the NBC image and is trying desperately to get there (and losing lots of viewers in the process) While little networks like UPN are clobber them in the long run.

      Futurama was doomed because the Exec's wanted it to fail and they tried really hard to destroy it... It's a testament to Matt G. and his crew that it survived as long as it did... That in the face of engineered doom by the exec's they made it as long as they did...

      Look at any show that doesn't meet the $$$ demographic model... it is preempted for some silly group of millionare's playing a game and moved around to ensure that any viewers trying to get interested in it will give up.

    • Sounds like what happened to Battlestar Galactica. Misunderstanding of the time slot.
  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:16PM (#4596465) Homepage
    It's understandable that they would retract the articles, but why pull the patent applications? It's not as if any one at the USPTO is going to notice a little thing like falsified data.

    I'd sell the patents to one of those outfits that collects submarine patents and then uses them to extort money from small companies.
    • I suspect that the falsified data in the bleeding-edge fields that Schon was working in have now cast doubt on whether or not these patents will even work at all. So why would Bell Labs want to waste a lot of money patenting something that doesn't work? Before someone jumps in with "patenting isn't that expensive", remember that the corporate patent process is somewhat different. Corporations like to draw out their patent application with lawyers and whatnot so that their 20 year stranglehold on a patent will last longer.
  • by Dthoma ( 593797 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:17PM (#4596471) Journal
    ...if I recall correctly, the IMAX equipment can only handle films =2 hours in length. Just so you know.
  • by JediTrainer ( 314273 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:25PM (#4596516)
    Notwithstanding the overuse of colons, this is a movie worth seeing

    Not worth seeing is another misuse of a colon [] - a link which I would recommend against visiting to those fortunate enough to have escaped seeing it. Please don't click on the link, but allow the unfortunate of us to laugh knowingly (and nervously, with nausia at the memory).
  • Regarding Futurama (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Note that the "new" season of Futurama isn't quite new... The show is still just as cancelled as before.

    Fox just has a few un-aired episodes that were produced a while ago, but still haven't been shown yet.

  • by DeadBugs ( 546475 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @08:33PM (#4596564) Homepage
    If you skim the review about the IMAX Star Wars movie too quick like I did you may only pick up on quotes like:

    "Since it was my wife's birthday today".
    "Notwithstanding the overuse of colons."
    "the plot still has gaping holes."
    "Yoda, Wattoo and Jex Dexter stood out in close up"
    "Ani and Amidala frolicking"
    • And after the movie she put on the Princess Leia slave-girl costume and I whipped out my light saber and ...

      Well actually we picked the kids up from the kind folks who were babysitting at short notice, went home, dealt with getting the kids into bed 2.5 hours past their bedtime, then got into bed and went straight to sleep.

      I should have done like John [] did, and gone at noon. He also got the benefit of an empty theater, whereas the 6:30pm showing was sold out.

      Oh, one more manner in which reality departs from the fantasy that began this post: I look far more like Jabba than any of the leading characters.
      • Sadly I have not been to an IMAX movie since I was Yoda's height. Maybe now that more mainstream films are showing up there, I will make the pilgrimage (at least an hours drive).

        Maybe for Episode III.
  • And they laughed at my snackrifices to El Chupa Negre!
  • by nuckin futs ( 574289 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @09:12PM (#4596722)
    because of this line:
    On the other hand, if you want to see the pores in Natalie Portman's skin, or the individual hairs in Christopher Lee's beard, this is the movie you've been waiting for.
    I wanna see an IMAX-ified porn!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2002 @09:18PM (#4596740)
    So your wife was kind enough to go see a new Star Wars flick with you on your birthday? I wish I had a wife that'd do that. Oh, it wasn't even new? Damn, you got a helluva wife. What do you mean it wasn't even your birthday? You said it was someone's birthday, I heard it loudly and clearly. What... why did... are you saying..?

    It was her birthday?
    Segmentation fault
    core dumped
  • Even when watching the digitally projected version of AoC, I noticed that during the large digital sequences the actors looked fake. It's really ironic that we are at a point now that digital looks more real than reality.

    Perhaps for Ep III they can develop cameras that will have the same resolution as the renderer that they use. (Maybe something like a digital IMAX, which doesn't exist to my knowledge)

    • They tried to pass off Yoda as a digitial character. He was obviously fake. In this case YODA != old yoda. The old Yoda was vastly superior to this Yoda.
    • And only at 1000p HTDV resolution. That might look nice on your TV at home, and it might look nice in a standard movie theater, but the fact is that's pretty low res for movies. It's lower then regular 35 millimeter film.

      OTOH, all they had to do was re-render the digital graphics at a higher resolution, which as someone else who's also seen it, seems to think they did.

      If they had filmed this on regular film, or at, say 5 or 6 megapixles, you wouldn't have felt that way.
  • Imax Advice (Score:5, Informative)

    by Joey7F ( 307495 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @09:39PM (#4596827) Homepage Journal
    I got back from seeing AOTC in an Imax dome (very cool!). I sat about just shy of the half way mark and found myself needing to turn my head to see all the action. I recommend that you sit at the top so the center is 10 to 15 degrees below your horizontal eyeline.

    The Coruscant chase was made for IMAX!

    Oh, and if you have friends that still haven't checked out this awesome flick, you may want to show them the DVD first (Nov 12). Because this movie is not exactly straightforward anyway, and with the cuts, they make the story harder to understand.

  • You can check out Episode #404 right here [].
  • ...Episode II. Besides Natalie Portman (yum) am I missing anything? Heck I didn't even see Episode I until many many months after it hit the theaters. There were only a handful of folks in the audience. Wait, maybe that was opening day...
  • by Bora Horza Gobuchol ( 585774 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @10:04PM (#4596939)

    I saw it a few nights ago here in Calgary, and have been meaning to write up a review. Seems I was beaten to it... Aside from the cuts, there's a few things that readers have thus far failed to mention.

    First, while I was worried about the digital transfer on the far larger IMAX screen ("pixels as big as fists pummeling your eyes!") the picture looked very nice and clean, with a couple of exceptions. On the very rare occassion, very thin lines that are close to horizontal or vertical get a distinct case of the "jaggies", where one can see the staircase effect of pixelisation. (This is most evident during the Lucasfilm logo at the opening and at a moment during the descent of Senator Amidala's ship to Corsucant).

    Second, the sound is incredible. Those who haven't heard a well-tuned theatre - and IMAXi are amoung the world's best - will get a kick out of that aspect of the movie alone.

    Last - a traditional IMAX movie focuses on vistas - grand sweeping praries and the like - and where Episode II is most like this, it works very well. At other points - closeups of actor's faces, in particular - the IMAX image can be too revealing, much as the higher resolution of HDTV is acknowledged to reveal the flaws of those appearing on television. There are other scenes - that of Anakin next to the Jawa sandcrawler while searching for his mother on Tatooine, for example - that the framing of the scene is just "off".

    To those intending to go, I would recommend arriving early and getting seats near the center of the theatre, for the most compelling experience - again, big vistas work well from most any viewpoint, but not head-shots. For me, it was more than worth the price of admission.

  • by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @10:09PM (#4596966) Homepage Journal
    Just sit on your ass and wait a day. Duh.
  • I saw Star Wars IMAX on Saturday and didn't know until the end of the movie that they had removed the scenes. I seriously thought I had lost my mind after the library scene with Obi Wan was missing. Then after the dumb scene in Naboo was missing (the CG sucked) I thought I had fallen asleep or something! It made me crazy until I found out what happened!
  • Regarding the IMAX movie, does anybody know what scenes exactly were cut, or was it just little things here and there?

    Regarding the ICQ/AIM "merger," who the hell cares? Honestly, I don't know one perosn that I've met in real life that uses ICQ. And in this day and age, who cares what platform you're using? Programs like Trillian can use them all at once, and you'd never know you were connecting to completely different servers!

    And when you think about it, it all boils down to the users. What's the difference between AIM, ICQ, MSN, and Y!? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just the subscribers. I know, I have AOL/TW as much as the next, but I don't have any qualms with using their servers and eating their bandwidth while chatting on Trillian without ads!

  • by Burdell ( 228580 ) on Monday November 04, 2002 @10:28PM (#4597050)
    I saw AotC Friday night in the US Space & Rocket Center's Spacedome theater (it is an Omnimax dome), and I was underwhelmed. The print seemed too dark (which I don't think was the fault of the theater or projector; I've seen lots of movies in this theater and never seen that before), making some scenes like the chase on Corescant very difficult to follow (most action scenese tended to blur and be difficult to follow). I sat near the center (just a couple of seats from the projector), and it was just too big - when two people were talking on the screen, I had too look back and forth too much.

    However, the scroll at the beginning looked like it was going straight up a wall, which was kind of cool. :-)

  • Counselling (Score:2, Funny)

    by antic ( 29198 )

    Since it was my wife's birthday today, last night I took her to see Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones: IMAX edition.

    I recommend counselling. Seriously. By all means, see the film, but for your wife's birthday?!?

    • Like I said elsewhere, my wife is a wonderful woman, who understands geeks, without being geeky herself.

      OTOH, maybe she's a baking geek. She loves kitchen gadgets, and trying new recipes, modifying the source until the finished product is to her satisfaction.
  • Jeez... The guy can build a frigging 747 simulator in his house but he can't resist using... The BLINK tag! ...
  • Rendered vs. Real (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jonr ( 1130 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @01:18AM (#4597575) Homepage Journal
    "I suspect that some time was spent re-rendering the digital characters. Yoda, Wattoo and Jex Dexter stood out in close up, looking more real than the human actors."
    Now, this I could belive. If you have watched the trends in digital imaging, the cameras today are already at the resolution limit of the lenses. Take for example the 2 biggest: Canon 1Ds & Kodak 14n, they are already shotting at 11 & 14 megapixels! Now, maybe I am wrong, but you are going to need seriously expensive glass to go with that resolution.
    So, the reason why real actors will look fuzzy and CGI generated will look super-sharp is that Mr. Jackson Puss has gone through 8-15 pieces of glass, while digital Yoda only has gone through... ugh, probably none. May Pixar programmers should add lens fuzzyness to the sunlight flair and other defects? :)
    • Nooooo Noooo Noooo Noooo. The biggest problem is that damn CGI artists don't know what the word 'focus' means.

      Just think about it... Even if Yoda is way the hell in the background, he will be perfectly in focus. Obviously that is not something that looks real... Focus gives us depth-perception in movies. Without it, everything feels flat (*cough* *cough* *cartoons* *cough*). Now, when they start spending a litte money on putting the CGI characters in foucs, our movie effects might start looking as realistic as they had before CGI.
      (yes, cheap CGI looks better than cheap classic effects, but expesive classic effects looked MUCH better than CGI does.)
  • by Ececheira ( 86172 )
    The theater [] I went to is a part of a furniture store. Yes, a furniture store has a 3D IMAX theater!

    The best part though was the vibrating seats whenever there was an explosion or other low-bass sound... That and the seats were made from Tempurpedic [] material, so they were ultra comfortable.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling