Quick D: Dancing Phantoms
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Quick D: Dancing Phantoms

August 17, 2019


When you’ve analyzed
as many trick videos as I have, you develop a sense for it. That’s simple wire removal, that’s just a thing that happens
when you do that, and this is, of course, a person in green
keyed out from under plastic… hmm. Well, you can see the second guy
through the first one, and you can kinda see the underside
of the sheets with no one there, which is not something you can just—
and the whole thing is happening in a real, moving shot. For the first time ever, I’m at a complete loss as to
how in the world this could’ve— Oh, okay, I got it. I got it. Um, but I can’t really explain it to you. See, this isn’t just some gag
by a kid on the internet. It’s part of a whole series
of legitimate video art by a digital artist
with a Star Wars–worthy name of Kiyan Forootan, and to break down the super-advanced
techniques he used to create this, I’d have to basically first give you
an entire background fundamentals course in computer graphics. So let’s do it. [clears throat] [piano music]
Points connected by lines form a polygon, which defines a flat surface. Many polygons interconnected
at various angles define three-dimensional structures
in the computer so efficiently that a 3D model of this fake cap
could totally fit on a floppy disk. Ah, crap. That was an antique. Of course, it would look
like total garbage unless it’s shaded. Through various algorithms
to smooth out polygon edges and calculate how light would interact
with surfaces in the real world, we can mix a bunch of textures
and make the models look very realistic. The resulting image files are much bigger, and the time and processing power
it takes to render them can overwhelm even computers like this— Ah, [bleep]. That was brand new. To make the models move like in all your favorite animated films
and games and… game-films, we have to puppeteer them by hand,
but virtually, like stop motion, but better. But also we don’t have to. Sometimes we can just make human monkeys
jump around in the real world and capture their motion. Real human monkeys are prone to forming overly high opinions
of their own performance, but motion capture data
is humble and low-maintenance and can be applied to anything, like a monster house! Or all the surreal dancers
in this Major Lazer video. But not this dancing baby from the ’90s. This wasn’t done with motion capture.
Stop thinking it was. And sometimes the animation
can be procedural, where we make math do all the work
by simulating real-world dynamics. There’s particle dynamics,
rigid body dynamics, soft body dynamics, and cloth dynamics. Congratulations, you now understand everything about
computer-generated images, with the exception of a few minor details. Now, let’s reexamine
the Dancing Phantoms clip with your new, educated eyes. Kiyan filmed a real background,
tracked the camera motion, and placed generic
human 3D models into it. He then threw virtual sheets over them
using cloth simulation. To make those look real,
he also probably photographed a spherical panorama of the location
so that the environment cast light and reflections
onto the sheets. And finally, he just…
turned off the humans. But the most important element
of this whole thing is, of course, the motion-captured dancing,
and to recreate that, I spent a few thousand dollars
on a state-of-the-art active marker optical
performance capture system that can… wait, I’m being told now
that you can actually download all kinds of motion capture samples
for free from the Internet. That’s probably what Kiyan did. But it makes me wonder. If the dance motion capture is pre made,
and the sheet behavior is simulated, and each of theses phantom clips
is set to commercial pop songs, [“U Can’t Touch This” plays] Then what part of this is the actual art? Is it the shiny colorful plastic? I guess the shiny colorful sculptures
of Jeff Koons are considered good art and so are the infantile scribbles
of Robero Britto, but Jeff Koons has been known
to copy other creative works and has been sued for it. And Brito sued others
for copying his style, and that Major Lazer video
isn’t a Major Lazer video at all, it’s an intro for an awards show
made by Method Studios, and even though Kiyan Forootan is nowhere
in the credits of this project, the stylistic similarities are striking. And guess which predates which. [chuckles]
The art world is terrible. I’m glad I’m on YouTube.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Loved this video except when he called that dudes name a “Star Wars” name. Super common Arabic and Persian name. Not necessarily racist just kinda cringe, def wouldn’t go down well in real life if you said someone’s name sounds fictional.

  2. Damn captain, I love you ♥ Best and most entertaining tutorials out there – I wonder why the algorithm never told me about you before in all these years.

  3. This is the next video CD made after the one with the homages to Tom Scott, VSauce, CGP Grey, Bill Wurtz, etc. So at 2:44 … is that a brief ContraPoints tribute?

  4. I wouldn’t really call this advanced digital effects it’s just more sophisticated than the normal take something out by filming two takes and adding some camera shake

  5. Look I like how smart he is and how he breaks stuff down and explains it, but damn be a little more optimistic in ur tone sheesh

  6. It’s funny, I graduate next month with a degree in Computer Animation and everything you just said in a few seconds took me 2 years to learn, and it’s gonna take me even longer to master. I completely understood what you were saying, and it’s crazy the kind of stuff you can do. I’m in my motion capture class right now, and those mocap rooms are no joke, I got to record in one.

  7. 4:28 "guess which pre-dates which: the independent artist"
    I don't get it, if the artist was first then the major VFX company is at fault for ripping off the artist.
    So why is the art world terrible then?

  8. 3:14
    CD: he turned off the humans
    Humans: why am i no longer horny– what is going o– i'm turning to dus–

  9. Dude, you earn my subscription by the first video I watched 😀 Brilliant! CG-artist-high-five, also.

  10. When I Saw The Video I Was Like Hmmm… I Think They're Wearing A Green Screen T-shirt Or Blue T-shirt Or Something Like That

  11. Everything NASA does is Fake. Proof here if You have the "Balls". Green Screen & Wire Harness FAILS. https://youtu.be/YDK5v8YkYJ4

  12. Don't worry! From the height the floppy fell and when you take in consideration its weight, it didn't break. It's actually fine

  13. No No No… Stop motion is not better than CGI… Nothing beats having having a physical presence on screen. Sure use puppets and stop motion then clean it up with computers, but full on CG? Never. Just look at the Star Wars prequals… Just look at Jurassic Park, widely regarded as the movie to start the whole CGI thing. But in the whole film less there's than 15 minutes of CGI. And that's why it still holds up to this day and looks better than any of the newer ones.

  14. Once I develop some more I might challenge Captain Disillusion with some Anti-hero based Theme idea taunts ^^
    Puzzle and challenging potential just popped.. Mr. MisIllusion. (TBA). I might be a bit of a wordsmith, with.. tools in the form of google, which turn out to be OP when you use it sneakily. But first.. to learn some more about artwork &.. video stuff. ALL research material to me currently 😀

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