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Nine-course Marzipan Meal

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • January 17, 2014 - 12:45 PM

A comment says “I got no words. This is one of the greatest videos I've seen in my life.”

He’s right. It is. Go here.

It’s strange that I feel constrained against embedding it, since it’s ART, pictures from museums, the finest products of human civilization. But it shows that all you have to do is animate a few details of the great paintings, and hello: NSFW. Nothing is added, but everything is revealed. It’s as if the stopper was removed and the essence of the images poured out after centuries of imprisonment.

Leaving aside the technical wizardry and exquisite editorial judgment, there’s something else about the video that makes you stop: you’re seeing the next generation of computer-animated movies, if someone is smart. Compare the realism of the paintings to, oh, the Croods.

We’re used to this cartoony style; fine detail on plants and fur equals “realism,” but it’s a plastic style that relies on perfection to convince. Even Pixar, with their remarkable new tools for rendering light, looks utterly fake compared to this -

A movie in this style would have to confine its running time to under an hour and a half, because it would be a nine-course meal comprised entirely of marzipan, but it would be unlike anything anyone had seen.

While we're on the subject of manipulation, here's some Inception-style dream fodder:

Via Colossal, it's a piece on Victor Enrich, a photographer who manipulated the same building 88 times.

Ran across that link after watching THIS, which made Mesmer himself say “now this is precisely the sort of thing to which my name should be attached, even though no one will remember who I was.” The photographer shot subway platforms with a 50 fps camera, and slowed it down. All these strangers, auditioning for oblivion.

Still around? C'mon. Go watch. 

TYPE WARS You don’t associate font makers with bitter legal fights and nasty public sundering, but Fast Company says:

Hoefler & Frere-Jones--perhaps the world's most renowned type foundry whose fonts have been seen everywhere from the pages of GQ to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign--is splitting up. And it's a nasty parting--the legal equivalent of a knife fight in the street.

If it’s all true, and a popular font name gets sullied, will it join the ranks of fonts whose creators had troublesome reputations? It's hard to use Gill Sans these days without thinking that the least of Mr. Gill's sins was his relationship with his dog. 

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