Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Media

Final Fantasy: The Movie 206

Posted by Hemos
from the looks-pretty dept.
Epiphani writes: "It's been known for quite some time that Squaresoft was in the process of making a full length CG movie, however I never imagined it would be like this. 'Next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean, Square has selected Harbor Court in downtown Honolulu as the home to more than 150 computer graphic artist from all over the world, including Hollywood, Tokyo and Europe. There, surrounded by state-of-the-art computers and software programs, artists are able to transform their vision into reality set on a computer screen.' Square has really outdone themselves this time, with an amazing voice cast and unbelievably realistic CG -- this one is sure to be a hit considering Square's emphasis on plot. Be sure to check out the featured trailer (req. quicktime)."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Final Fantasy: The Movie

Comments Filter:
  • I have a feeling this will look a little better than toystory. 01S woo
  • I never cared for any of this stuff. I'm glad tho to see better and better projects available for the rendering world. Perhaps in the future, they'll be the ones striking for higher wages, and hollywood will have to actually finish their beef with the Screen Actors Guild to atleast get *something* into their commercials.

    Rendering, I believe, is the next be dristibuted app. Of course, then we might have people sneaking in shout-outs into a frame or two... heheh

    ----

  • If we're lucky this will be just like Titan AE, except with a different plot and good.
  • as a long-time final fantasy- and Square-fan (anyone remember ff2 on the SNES?), I can't wait to see the result. it's gonna be like heaven again..

  • by Godai (104143) on Friday October 06, 2000 @08:39AM (#725845)
    Last thing I heard about this movie was that it was 2 years late and a few million over budget. Sure, the scenes look nice, but it seems it's taking them 6 months to do that single, break-taking scene. Uh, that is not good. Another thing: I like - rather, used to like - the Final Fantasy series quite a bit, but as much I think Square's got some killer CG artists, I can't see this flick doing all that well in North America. There are really only two audiences for this movie: fans of CG (geeks) and FF fans. Are there enough fans betwen the two groups to make Square back its investment? I'm not sure...
    Wood Shavings!
  • I hope they concentrate as much on the plot as they do in the RPG's. Sure, I play them for the graphics as well, but the main point to an RPG is to lose yourself in the ever-twisting plots and sub-plots. If this is used just as an excuse to show off their CG talents, it will be a visually stunning movie, with little to no entertainment value.
  • Waiting for this movie is right up there on my list w/ the new Star Wars and Matrix movies. 2001 may be a great year for movies much like 1999 was. 2000 has mostly sucked. :)
  • Yep, this has never [slashdot.org] been featured [slashdot.org] on /. before.

    Never mind the fact that the 'new trailer' has been up for months.

    Really guys, for all the flack we're giving the Patent Office for not checking into 'prior art', I think the /. crew should be checking prior art itself. This isn't meant to be a troll, or flamebait, but I for one am concerned at the frequency of old or repeated news on /. recently. It's crazy.
    ----
  • HahAaha! Mod this up.
  • by Zone5 (179243) on Friday October 06, 2000 @08:44AM (#725850)
    While I'm eager to see this movie, and I'm sure many other geeks are as well (be they anime geeks or FF geeks), I'm not sure how the general North American movie-going public will accept it. Let's face it, whenever a movie like Forrest Gump wins Best Picture while Fight Club is almost univerally hated, you have to question the average person's taste and capacity to enjoy something different. Square has always done a great job with warped plots, which should make this movie different enough to trouble the average nimrod who laid out $10 to see a pretty animated film expecting another Toy Story.
  • FF1, 2, and 3 were available on the 8-bit NES, not on the SNES. 2 and 3 were only released in Japan. I'm *pretty sure I'm correct here.
  • Sorry, folks... but regardless of the technical merits of the Toy Story series, they were just a bit corny. Same with Ants.
    I've been a fan of the Final Fantasy series for some time, and the last few releases for the PSX (VII, VIII, FF Tactics) had some amazing CG scenes... Finally, here's a movie that seems pretty appealing to adults and kids alike, yet light-years ahead of movies like Titan AE and Dinosaurs... sweet. I can barely wait for it to come out.
  • damn the boss walking on me during preview post...*sigh*
  • The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie is currently set ofr either 2001 or 2002, isn't it?
    ----
  • ah, but I was talking about the European FF2.. which is the Japanese FF4. very confusing, I know..

  • I have been waiting a long time for this
    (but as a news story, this a little outdated no?)

    I thought now that Square has shown a project like this is possible, there would be many that would jump on the bandwagon, but it doesn't seem to be the case...

    Are companies taking a 'wait-and-see' approach, or are other making total CG non-cartooinsh 3d movies?
  • It's about time that they decide to just make a movie. It's practically what their "games" are anyways, except their games have endless waves of non-sensical button mashing "fight" sequences. Fun for the whole family!

    Their tech for the movie looks really nice.

    Except in the typical wacky fashion of Square's marketing campaigns, they talk about how well they render the clothing on the models in the "character" section, and don't mention a thing about the characters. I mean, who cares what the movie is about when there's redering deformations to talk about.

    -- kwashiorkor --
    Leaps in Logic
    should not be confused with

  • by Sawbones (176430) on Friday October 06, 2000 @08:52AM (#725858)
    In reading the bits and scraps I've found about the movie for the past year or so I've only ever managed to find two interesting tidbits.

    1) The rendering horsepower was/is supplied by something like 2 full floors of sgi onyx boxes. That even with that it was limited to something like a second of film rendering per day and that they anticipated technological advances to be able to render the entire film in time.

    2) Square developed a few new algorithms to help with animation. Namely one for hair blowing in the wind (sort of interesting) and the way cloth folds and bends as a "actor" moves (very interesting).

    Anyone else with unsubstantiated rumor/facts? :) Or better yet, a more indepth site for details? :)
  • Final Fantasy IV (in Japan) was released in the US on the SNES as Final Fantasy II. Final Fantasy VI (in Japan) was released as Final Fantasy III on the SNES in the US. To further the confusion, they recently rereleased FFV (which was never released in the US on SNES) and FF6 for Playstation, preserving their original numbering. It wasn't until FF7 for the PSX that they resynchronized the numbering.

    BTW, FF1 was released for the NES but FF2 and FF3 (japanese numbering) were never released in the US at all (although this may soon change with Bandai's Wonderswan)
  • Someone's gonna post it, might as well be me.

    FF1 was released for the 8 bit NES in both Japan and the US. There were a few differences, but they were clearly the same game. FF2,3, 4 etc continued to come out in Japan for the NES, but were never released here. However, Square then ported one of the SNES games over here and called it FF2 (us). There's a lot more to it than that, but you get the idea.
  • It's a bit complicated, but here's a little chart: Japan: Final Fantasy USA: Final Fantasy. Japan: Final Fantasy II USA: Never released. Japan: Final Fantasy III USA: Never released. Japan: Final Fantasy IV USA: Never released. Japan: Final Fantasy IV Easytype USA: Final Fantasy II Japan: Final Fantasy V USA: Final Fantasy V (HORRIBLY TRANSLATED) in FF Anthology Japan: Final Fantasy VI USA: Final Fantasy III, and VI in FF Anthology Japan: Final Fantasy VII USA: Final Fantasy VII and the rest are the same. Also, here are some other "FF" titles that are interesting. USA: FInal Fantasy Mystic Quest Japan: Final Fantasy USA. (This is much like Mario Bros 2) USA: Final Fantasy Adventure Japan: Seiken Densetsu USA: Secret of Mana Japan: Seiken Densetsu 2 (yes, SoM is a sequel to FFA) Japan: Seiken Densetsu 3, USA: Not released, buty ou can get a translated version off the net. USA: Legend of Mana Japan: Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana. Seiken Densetsu means, essentially "Legend of the Holy Sword" by the way, as a reference to the Mana Sword. Final Fantasy Legend 1, 2, and 3, in the USA were originally "SaGa", which made it's way to the PSX in SaGa Frontier. FF Tactics is called FF Tactics in both Japan and North America. As for FF Movie, it's not really an FF movie - it's not really Final Fantasy in any sense, they're just using the name a bit more freely. But it will probably still really really kick ass, anyway. It's worth 7 bucks just to see the effects of 3D realism on a crowd.
    ----
  • This website should win an award!! I'd love to see internet applications that have such creative design!!
  • ...hollywood will have to actually finish their beef with the Screen Actors Guild to atleast get *something* into their commercials.

    Either that, or we're going to start seeing a lot of CG spokespersons in commercials from here on in...

  • by Tower (37395)
    Huh? It looks like it is all from the submission. The quotes line up. Hemos actually *didn't comment* (a first, I know). That's all...

    --
  • Actually, the Quicktime server software *is* free. Also, in going with Quicktime, you can get in on the Akamai action... anyone with a good connection probably notices how insanely fast a quicktime movie transfers even after its been slashdotted. Granted, it really would be nice if a truly open, cross-platform format became *the* standard for online video, but it just isn't the case yet. MPEG-2 is nice, but I believe it tends to be a larger file size in general (please correct me if I'm mistaken on this).
  • Ittl be good.. Honestly Have you ever been dissapointed with the plot in any FF game? I havent, and ive played them all (even the imports yay!)
  • by Julius X (14690) on Friday October 06, 2000 @09:02AM (#725867) Homepage
    I've seen the trailer for this, and I have to admit it looks beautiful. Even though, part of me is itching to say that it still doesn't look completely real.

    The fact is that CGI movies shouldn't look real. There is a certain magic that CGI can create in a film that makes it look...perhaps more than real... CGI can allow things to look real enough, but then allow us to go beyond what is actually possible, and then take us there.

    That is what I'm looking forward to about Final Fantasy. A movie that doesnt even pretend to be a cartoon, and a film that will take us past where reality has ever gone.

    -Julius X
  • oh c'mon it's not so bad. Not everyone reads /. every day. I don't mind the repetition that much if only because I may have missed something interesting in the past.

  • by webrunner (108849) on Friday October 06, 2000 @09:03AM (#725869) Homepage Journal
    Okay, let's try this again. Hopefully it'll actually work this time.

    It's a bit complicated, but here's a little chart:
    Japan: Final Fantasy USA: Final Fantasy.
    Japan: Final Fantasy II USA: Never released.
    Japan: Final Fantasy III USA: Never released.
    Japan: Final Fantasy IV USA: Never released.
    Japan: Final Fantasy IV Easytype USA: Final Fantasy II
    Japan: Final Fantasy V USA: Final Fantasy V (HORRIBLY TRANSLATED) in FF Anthology
    Japan: Final Fantasy VI USA: Final Fantasy III, and VI in FF Anthology
    Japan: Final Fantasy VII USA: Final Fantasy VII
    and the rest are the same.

    Also, here are some other "FF" titles that are interesting.
    USA: FInal Fantasy Mystic Quest Japan: Final Fantasy USA. (This is much like Mario Bros 2)
    USA: Final Fantasy Adventure Japan: Seiken Densetsu
    USA: Secret of Mana Japan: Seiken Densetsu 2 (yes, SoM is a sequel to FFA)
    Japan: Seiken Densetsu 3, USA: Not released, buty ou can get a translated version off the net.
    USA: Legend of Mana Japan: Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana.

    Seiken Densetsu means, essentially "Legend of the Holy Sword" by the way, as a reference to the Mana Sword.

    Final Fantasy Legend 1, 2, and 3, in the USA were originally "SaGa", which made it's way to the PSX in SaGa Frontier.

    FF Tactics is called FF Tactics in both Japan and North America.

    As for FF Movie, it's not really an FF movie - it's not really Final Fantasy in any sense, they're just using the name a bit more freely. But it will probably still really really kick ass, anyway. It's worth 7 bucks just to see the effects of 3D realism on a crowd.

    ----
  • The information is there, and do the italics really obscure the content that much for you? Sheesh!
  • by Tower (37395)
    Yup, and a couple of them don't even make any sense... like this one, where there doesn't seem to be anything wrong, or the other U PUNCTUATIN' U CAPITILIZIN' crap...

    He (the <=12 yr old doing this) could at least be relevant. OOG_THE_CAVEMAN was actually funny... this is crap.
    [please do not feed the trolls] (shoot! too late!)
    --
  • If so you can grab it from my University site:
    Here [washington.edu] It's a ziped AVI file using the Cinepak codec. Yes I know DivX ;-) would have been much better, but I don't have the option available right yet :)

    As for hating the embedded quicktime movies (I know the pain) - for $29 you can buy quicktime pro and make use of the little dropdown button that says "Save source as...". Greatest feature of it :)
  • You could never properly capture Sean Connery in CG.... Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton, yeah - I'll give you that, but not Sean.

    --
  • It looks to me like this movie could live up to the hype that something like episode 1 generated. I will definitly be in line for this one!
  • I was going to mention the Wonderswan but I haven't heard anything concrete one way or another about an american release. And these are more remixes then re-releases- they'll have SNES-calibre graphics on NES games, much like Super Mario All Stars.
    ----
  • In the credits for "A Bugs Life" I noticed that Pixar uses Sun Microsystems for rendering the final theatre quality version, however they use SGI workstations. I would imagine that Squaresoft has a similar setup. Pixar probably has several fully loaded Sun Enterprise 10000 machines that do their rendering. Imagine how quickly they could render using the new UltraSparc III processors...
  • Final Fantasy: The Movie never confessed to trying to be a game, you know. And it's not japanimation, it's being developped in CG in Hawaii, which is in the United States.
    ----
  • All right. QuickTime is not the movie player application, it is a set of libraries and an API. The player is just another application that calls them (and happens to be distributed with them). With the API, any programmer could create a Windows movie player app with standard widgets. Several such 3rd-party players exist on the Macintosh. So why don't you write one, or commission one. Or you could cry about it.

    --

  • No, I've never been disappointed with the plots in the FF "games". I simply can't call them games anymore because they "game" portion has all but been eliminated.

    I'm sure that the movie will be good, and I'm really happy that they are simply making a movie and letting me get to the good parts without having to sit on my butt for 60 hours in front of the tube performing advanced calculations on ever increasing hordes of hitpoints.

    -- kwashiorkor --
    Leaps in Logic
    should not be confused with

  • maybe you didn't see that hemos italicized the whole frickin page.
  • Americans think animation is for kids. And because the FF film will be animated, it will be regelated to a kids movie, but probably, knowing the FF series, a PG rating, which means NO ONE besides diehard nerds will probably see it. Only a few times has an animated movie (traditional or CG) ever made everyone sit up and take notice; Chicken Run, Toy Story and sequel, and some early 90s Disney are some examples. The fact that Oscars will finally give animated movies their own catagory next year is doublefaced; there must be at least 8 animated works to have this award given; typical year only sees 5 or so.

  • by dew (3680) <<gro.ylkeew> <ta> <divad>> on Friday October 06, 2000 @09:17AM (#725883) Homepage Journal
    There's one at Ming-Na's website (she's one of the lead vocalists) not on the main site (picture [ming-na.com]), another from Animation Artist here [animationartist.com]page [animationartist.com] for the movie).

    The dmoz [dmoz.org] category for the movie is here with a fair number of links to sites about the movie (like [dmoz.org]the GIA [thegia.com]).

    David E. Weekly [weekly.org]

  • You're not really stuck with the horrid QuickTime Player that comes with QT4. You can use the Movieplayer application from QT3 and get an interface so clean it makes Media Player 6 look like RealPlayer. As a matter of fact, any application can utilize QuickTime and make it look any way it wants.
  • by Tower (37395)
    Nope, never saw that... maybe he fixed it...
    --
  • Even if you don't, a lot of the people that read /. do. (Enough to warrant an anime news topic) Why not view this as an anime film based in the Final Fantasy universe rather than "the next entertainment transition" from the game? That's what I'm expecting of it. A good story with gorgeous visuals.
  • In case you haven't seen any yet (and you can't get on the site), you can get them here [rottentomatoes.com] and here [videoquarterly.com].

    (hmm.. the trailer is months old... how's that new?)
  • I've always wondered what the quicktime facination was. Maybe it's the Macintosh angle (this is the movie industry, after all), or the 'user friendlyness' of it. Maybe filesize? But really, quicktime is a lot slower than others. Plus, it doesn't /ask/ to change file associations and things- I have a SB Live, I don't want Quicktime software midi synthesis. And I have the 'free version' - I don't need to be reminded of "Pro" since I don't do anything that pro would want. I ended up pirating Pro just to get rid of the annoying nag screen that this supposed 'free' software has.

    ----
  • Offtopic, but id Software is selling on eBay the powerful SGI Origin 2000 system that they used to process all of the map data for Quake II and Quake III Arena.

  • Indeed. No computer can say "Mosht things in here don't react too well with bulletsh." like he can.
    Bell Labs [bell-labs.com] doesn't even have a Russian accent option.
  • by lispbliss (146952) on Friday October 06, 2000 @09:24AM (#725891) Homepage
    just had to point out that Square used Allegro Common Lisp for the movie. The link below has a nice discussion about why they chose Common Lisp and has a picture of the cool photo realistic computer graphics they have in the movie. http://www.fra nz. com/success/customer_apps/animation/squareusa.php3 [franz.com]
  • People say the same thing about digital movies. They look too real.

    We are used to seeing light projected through cells onto screens. Some say that film simulates the way the eye dissects images, so it looks better than digital.... Bunk.

  • Fortunately, Squaresoft isn't entirely in the 'movie business' for games. Other titles like FF Tactics, Vagrant Story, and Chrono Cross are much more interactive. In fact, Chrono Cross takes 'old school' a step further and even has a SNES/NES style 'gather elemental quest items' section.

    Sure, FF8 is as interactive as a petrified tree, but FF9 at least looks to reverse that a bit, and Square does have a lot of other games.

    Remember, it's SquareSoft, not FinalFantasySoft. "RedHat is not Linux" "Final Fantasy is not Squaresoft"

    ----
  • At least it's a video game referene. You don't see that too often.
    ----
  • by dmatos (232892)
    According to www.upcomingmovies.com [upcomingmovies.com]
    I hope they can get a voice as good as the radio broadcast one for Marvin the Paranoid Android!
  • Don't kill this movie by dubbing the voices horribly.

    I wouldn't want to spoil the visuals with ugly subtitles, but the voices in the beginning (james woods and ???) really don't do it justice.

    But knowing square, the soundtrack will kick some serious ass.
  • Uh, check the code...

    (req. quicktime)."

    It's closed. Normal Slashdot as usual, except for the fact that CmdrTaco didn't write a comment. (which, then, wouldn't be italized).
  • by SIGFPE (97527) on Friday October 06, 2000 @09:34AM (#725898) Homepage
    If you were at SIGGRAPH 2000 you may have seen a shot from this movie running *real time* at HD resolution on a Sony box consisting of 16 PS2's running parallel in one box. It was pretty awesome! The camera was movable by the viewer and the image quality was pretty much the same with wonderful lighting, texturing and hair dynamics.
    --
  • I see the point about it not doing well, but most of us /.ers go and see movies that not everyone will see (or understand for that matter).

    I think it'd be interesting to see what square does with the technology born out of this production. Would they draft up a dozen white papers and license out the technology (could help recoop for a poor box office turn out) or would they just open-source the whole shbang? I mean, yea, it's highly unlikely that they would, but it be pretty cool to see what a couple geeks with a nice size beowulf cluster could churn out.

    They give us a little taste of the tech talk with the character page about how the clothing is done, but I want to see more!

  • Looking at the trailer, doesn't it look more appropriate for a Starcraft movie than Final Fantasy? I know the most recent FF iterations (not counting Tactics) have really gotten away from the medieval feel but now it's gone completely sci-fi.

    Dammit, I want swords, magic, demons and CG chocobos!

  • How many times do they expect us to buy the same product, redone in as many ways as can be imagined?

    Perhaps you'd like to tell the guys at Eidos/Core that when they release the next _Tomb Raider_ game

    Haven't they realized that to sell stuff it has to be ORIGINAL?

    I have. I hate the fact that the _Star Wars_ series is just a retelling of various 'classical' tales of the great warrior turning to 'the dark side', of the young warrior saving the princess/galaxy/universe/yada yada yada.

    Is anyone but me getting tired of playing the same game over and over?

    Yeah, screw Quake 1/2/3/..., we already have DOOM. Programmers need to be more ORIGINAL!!!

    Wait, now here's the Ultimate Final Fantasy: They have removed ALL interactivity to provide the Ultimate Corny Japanimation Experience. Now you don't have to push any buttons at all, just sit back with your popcorn and watch as completely unrealistic characters do the most irrational things right before your eyes! And somehow it all turns out good in the end! I saw this coming, though. Each game takes more control away from the player. Each game concentrates less on strategy and real RP'ing and more on the ridiculously brain-dead dialog. And here's the climax.

    Oh, yes, I do agree that RPGs are becoming more linear in their plotlines, however, considering that it takes massive amounts of processing power and programming to allow players do everything in such games, it'll take a while for CRPGs to match the flexibility of Pen&Paper RPGs, unless you want a horribly drab, seemingly plotless 'RPG' that gives you shitloads of 'nonlinearity' in gameplay (ie The Elder Scrolls: Arena and Daggerfall).

  • by hkon (46756) on Friday October 06, 2000 @09:38AM (#725902) Homepage
    In the credits for "A Bugs Life" I noticed that Pixar uses Sun Microsystems for rendering the final theatre quality version, however they use SGI workstations. I would imagine that Squaresoft has a similar setup. Pixar probably has several fully loaded Sun Enterprise 10000 machines that do their rendering.

    You would think so, but I guess they got a better deal on E4000 servers, as they used 100 of them for A Bug's Life. See http://www.sun .co m/smi/Press/sunflash/9812/sunflash.981215.2.html [sun.com] for more info.
    Since then, they've got a new one, tho. 120 Enterprise 4500s, which are $223,000 EACH.... http://www. sun .com/smi/Press/sunflash/1999-08/sunflash.990810.2. html [sun.com]

    Someone mentioned that he thought the Final Fantasy people used Onyxes, but that'd really surprise me, since the Onyxes usually are used for realtime graphics things, and not rendering. It would seem kinda pointless to put a really high-end graphics system in a box that's gonna do cpu-intensive things only. Unless, of course these boxes can use some of their graphics hardware for rendering nonrealtime stuff as well. You'd probably want to have one Onyx to see quick previews without having to push it through your rendering farm, but that won't be production-level quality.
    --
  • What kind of crack are you smoking?! Fight club was the lamest movie I have seen since Eyes Wide Shut and Bring Out the Dead. I was so upset that I wasted my time watching them (and I didn't watch them in their entirety, either)!
  • Some moron actually moderated UP a Bob Jones anonymous post as FUNNY?

    Jesus Christ! It's the weekend and all, but I think you must have taken the entire day off to get that stoned by Friday night.
  • For those of you unfamiliar with Final Fantasy, here are a few resources to get you up to speed.

    A great Final Fantasy summary article [videogames.com] is available at videogames.com [videogames.com]
    ffonline.com [ffonline.com]: the best place to find out details about the console game series
    On usenet, the newsgroup alt.games.final-fantasy [newsalt.ga...al-fantasy] is useful for getting your FF-related queries answered.
  • by Hadean (32319)
    Uh, check the code...

    (req. quicktime)."

    It's closed. Normal Slashdot as usual, except for the fact that CmdrTaco didn't write a comment. (which, then, wouldn't be italized).
  • CGI News Anchors are a reality. Well one is, anyway: Ananova [ananova.com]

    Neat, but weird.
    -----
    D. Fischer
  • by Hadean (32319)
    Er, duh.. The /I was removed when I posted.. *sigh* Anyway, it's there.

    (and yeah, it's Hemos, and not Taco.. *sigh* Long day at work)
  • by Chemical (49694) <nkessler2000 AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday October 06, 2000 @09:42AM (#725909) Homepage
    I completely agree. I cannot understand how Quicktime became the standard for Internet video. The software is terribly bloated. The codec is overly proprietary. And you must use Apple's software to view movies, which is only available for Mac and Windows, with apparently no plans for supporting more platforms. The absolute worst part about it is that Nagware viewer. Every time I want to view a QT movie, I gotta see that goddamn nag banner, unless I want to pay to "Upgrade" to QT Pro. The Pro version, by the way, is a total ripoff as it simply adds a few features that Microsoft includes for free in WMP, and it still sucks.

    I cannot understand how something as open as the internet has adopted, with wide open arms, something as closed as QT. Maybe one of you could enlighten me because I can't figure it out. Does QT offer better picture quality? Not as far as I can tell. It looks no better than MPEG1. In fact Mpeg movies run significantly smoother on my system. Is the sound quality better? Maybe, but I can't tell. Better compression ratio? Not by a long shot. Divx;) offers nearly DVD quality video, much better video quality than QT, in a much smaller file. RealVideo offers very high compression ratio, and the picture quality is still fairly good. I know RealVideo very proprietary too, but at least their player doesn't constantly nag you to upgrade, supports more than Mac and Windows, and is actually good.

    If anyone cares to explain to me how Apple keeps their stronghold over internet video, please feel free. I would really like to know. I pray for the day when webmasters see the errors of their ways and start using Mpeg.

  • Don't forget about Lord of the Rings.

    -Kriticism

  • Apple would appreciate that if there are more systems available to view content generated by their systems

    Cept of course linux is a teeny tiny market. Obviously not having support for linux isn't hurting the use of quicktime, since just about all the videos on major web sites are in quicktime format (as you say you "keep running into stuff [you] can not look at"). These sites would not use it if they were concerned about a significant portion of their users not being able to see it.
  • I agree that most adults consider animated films 'kids' movies, but with that, the movies you mention are about the only ones capable of making people 'sit up and take notice'.

    Don't get me wrong, I love animated films, and have seen most of the US released animated films. But until the recent films from Dreamworks, most of the non-Disney animation has been mediocre at best.

    But now, with Chicken Run, Prince of Egypt, TS1, TS2, and the wonderful Veggie Tales [bigidea.com], "adults" are seeing more high quality 'cartoons' causing them to pay more attention to this genre of film.
    -----
    D. Fischer
  • You're right, my bad. They didn't use Onyxes, they used Octanes. I can't find the original site I got that info off of, but here is a paragraph from www.thegia.com [thegia.com]:

    In development at Square Honolulu, dozens of the world's top graphic artists are slaving away on SGI's hottest machines, rendering what may very well be the future of entertainment. Square, in fact, is the world's largest consumer of SGI machines, outclassing even effects shop Industrial Light and Magic. Over a year was spent in research and development before work on the film itself began. Entire floors are filled with artists -- each with the greatest rendering weapon known to man, a Silicon Graphics Octane. Even so, rendering is proceeding at the horrendously slow rate of only a few seconds a day. The end result, however, should be well worth it.

    The second-a-day part was right though :)
  • That sounds like the same thing I hear among audiophiles. "Digital recording doesn't give you good 'compression dynamics'".

    What they are really saying is that Digital recording doesn't change your sound as it's laid down. Non-digital will 'compress' sound as you hit the high end of the audio spectrum and make it sound 'flatter'. Personally, I've always felt you should go for the sound you want and hope the recording device can pick up exactly that sound. Don't rely on the recording device to compensate for something.

    Same principle to digital video. Use it and make your statements through the acting, expressions, and other elements of the film. Don't worry about looking or sounding 'too real'.

    Technophobes piss me off!
  • Wow, one more reason not to vote for the nutbar.
  • the A and B trailers (mere half second glimses) are updated regularly. However the 'featured trailer' - the REAL theatric-type trailer - has been up for a while.
    ----
  • Americans think animation is for kids

    I dunno... who do you think watches The Simpsons, Futurama, King of the Hill, and Family Guy?


    ---
  • Rendering will never be the next distributed app.

    One reason is the fact that companies do not want data files outside of the company. Imagine if you had the Toy Story scene files and all the fun you could have making your own scenes with Woody and company and posting them on the web.

    The second main reason is that it takes horsepower, memory and storage to render files. The frame sizes, depending on quality and resolution can result in several MBs. The memory required to make those frames can be on the order of 500 - 1000 MBs. Also, industry standard is an hour a frame for rendering film quality for CG.

    Third and the greatest reason is that the renderer is not free. They are either in-house solutions and will never leave the company or they are licensed from whomever makes it to that company.

    I have thought about this. I would love for fans to be able to render, heck, it would save us money on machines. Sadly though, I don't ever see it as a posibility.
  • Wow, that's some bad moderation. Who was Carbonite trolling? The large contingent of people who thought Titan AE had a good plot? The movie was pretty, even beautiful, but certainly not well-plotted.

  • "each with the greatest rendering weapon known to man, a Silicon Graphics Octane."

    HAHAHA. Hardly. The Octane is good for hardware renders and animating on, but not for render boxes. I use both Octanes and VALinux boxes. Give me the Linux boxes any day. The price/performance runs circles arround the Octanes.

  • 2) Square developed a few new algorithms to help with animation. Namely one for hair blowing in the wind (sort of interesting) and the way cloth folds and bends as a "actor" moves (very interesting).

    Knowing today's IP climate, they've patented the algorithms...

    Kevin Fox
  • Teenagers.

    And if you pay attention, that's the demographic they are going for.

  • I can name several animated films of late that have been 'looked over' by adults and only got mediocere outcomes in the box office.

    "The Iron Giant". See this ASAP. It flopped at the box office due to poor advertizing by the WB, but if it was advertized as well as it was made, it could have been an Oscar contender. It was *not* a kids movie ("Duck and Cover" is mentioned), but instead, better seen as a "animated sci-fi movie", even though the main character is a kid. But the WB advertized it that way, and it came off boy-centric, and basically flopped. But most animation buffs agree that is was better than any animated work this decade.

    "Balto" (hi matt!) had a few hokey parts, but for most matters, it was a good general (non-kids-only) movie with good effects and good story. Again, poorly advertized to audiences.

  • Though I certainly can't verify it.

    But the problem is that the FFMovie is at least a year, if not more, old. Someone knowledgeable know how long they've been working on it?

    I would hazard a guess, that at the time, an Octane would have been the price/performance leader-that, or at least some other non-Linux box.

    Think 2 years ago, what was a top of the line system on the Intel world? Probably some sort of P2, 300MHz. An Alpha would have been the preferred render box, perhaps, though at the time SGI was certainly a very popular choice. Jurassic Park, for example. Though I do remember hearing that Linux boxen were used for some movies. Anyone with more information? Maybe I'm misremembering my history.

    It may very well be that they switch over *now* to Linux boxen to do their serious number crunching/rendering. Say, beowulf clusters of Athlons in a supercooled and controlled chamber? Regardless, you may be right about Octanes. SGI is not something I know much about.

    The nick is a joke! Really!
  • It's not "bunk". Film caputres light on a logarithmic (it takes four times as much light get twice the recorded brightness) scale, which is similar to the way the retina sees light. Video cameras, on the other hand, see light on a linear scale (twice as much light gives twice as much recorded brightness). That's what gives video its tell-tale look. Film really is closer to the way we see.

    I've never actually heard anyone say video looks "too real". I've just heard proponents of digital video claim they've heard people say that. I've yet to actually meet someone who said it first-hand.

  • I hope they concentrate as much on the plot as they do in the RPG's. Sure, I play them for the graphics as well, but the main point to an RPG is to lose yourself in the ever-twisting plots and sub-plots

    No offense intended, but the plots in Square games are what you expect from an angst-ridden high school girl. They're so overwrought, so pointedly attempting to be all-encompassing and full of meaning, that they can only be taken seriously by people who haven't done much reading. And then actual gameplay involves pigtailed schoolgirls fighting wiggling, oversized cartoon frogs and foodstuffs, following the all the usual video game cliches (big dumb boss monster every so often, etc.).

    Realistically, the Square's plots don't hold much water if you look at them outside the scope of video games.
  • The original skewwed number started when Squaresoft was finally able to create an English localized copy of Final Fantasy IV. They hadn't done so with FF2 and FF3 for a variety of issues (mostly because the NES was nearing the end of it's US life when they were released, if I'm not mistaken). To avoid confusion for the American blokes, FF4 was renumbered FF2 since it was the second American release.

    They then started translating, but never released Final Fantasy V (at least the SNES version - more later). They instead moved FFVI over and called it FFIII to again avoid confusion.

    As everyone knows, there was a lot of hype about Final Fantasy VII - enough so that it would be more confusing (at least Square's marketing dept. thought so) to renumber it "4" to properly line up with the US releases.

    After Final Fantasy became more popular in the US, they decided to release the already-translated FFV in the US. The data-files were already done; they'd already ported the code to the PlayStation for the Japanese re-release of Final Fantasy IV through VI, so they released it under the "new" naming scheme. (They didn't rerelease IV in the US which was annoying, since FF2US is actually FFIVJapan Easy Type version, with a watered down translation.)

    It would be nice to see an official translation of the origianl FFII and FFIII, assuming they don't screw it up (since they're away from Nintendo of America's "we're a children's game company" policy, that's more possible). Keep in mind that FFVII was also the first Final Fantasy with a really decent translation.

    One of my favorite examples of how Nintendo watered down FF3US is the scene where you meet Cyan behind Zozo or whatever, in the World of Ruin. If you pick up the key he drops, and open the locked chest, in the US version you find a book about machinery. In the Japanese version you find a porno mag. (In both cases, Cyan tries to hide it and blushes :) ) (Keep in mind you can't see the mag, but the text calls it such.)

    Another decent example is the "dancer" that runs into Cyan at some point in the game. In the Japan version, she's a hooker.

    Hope that gives some people some ideas of just what we in the US have been missing from the FF series.

  • What's wrong with Forrest Gump? If you thought that was a bad movie, then you basically didn't get it.

    Or is it just popular movies that you dislike?


    --

  • I am not talking about the way the image is stored, I am talking about the way it is captured!

    I mean that in order to get twice as much signal strength out of the light-sensing elements -- before it is quantized -- it needs to be a logarithmic scale.

    With film or other photo-chemical light sensors (such as the human eye), in order to get twice as much chemical exposure, you need four times as much light.

    With CCDs or other photo-electric light sensors (such as older, tube-style video cameras), in order to get twice as much signal strength, you only need two times as much light.

    THAT is the reason why film and video look so different. It's because their brightness response curves are so completely different. And film, not video, is a closer match for how the human eye responds to light.

  • The Siggraph demo was at HDTV resolution, but was nowhere near the quality of the actual movie renders. It basically was a high resolution image of high-resolution texture maps but otherwise like a game box. An obvious indication that this was not used to generate the movie is that you could use the joystick to move the camera around while the action played, obviously an unnecessary feature for final renders of the movie.

    The box was quite impressive. I was told it was 12 PS2's running in parallel, each doing a video-sized piece of the image. There may have been more PS2's coordinating it.

  • Gamers in general will be drawn to this, and depending on the marketing campaign curious onlookers too. The CGI is very nice, but I can't stand those damn celebrity voices, I can't stop thinking "James Woods" or whomever. Why is it that once an animated movie reaches a budget over 5 mill suddenly Jewel and Drew Barrymore "star" in it. It really distracts from the story as these people have more or less been typecast in their most popular roles, while real talented voice-only actors go ignored. Smart move Sony.

  • I think Bruce Sterling put it best: "Forrest Gump is like Stalinist propaganda: it suggests that the ideal citizen should be obedient and stupid". I want characters that question society, not just drift through it aimlessly.
  • Anime kicks most American animation, but as the box office shows, when it comes to feature films, audience will only go to American animation (given the failings of Princess Monokoke and the general distaste for Pokemon and the candy-coated anime). Anime has almost always been beyond kids, almost to the point of being NC-17 (or worse!), and while I appricate it, I don't think that even enlighted Americans would appriciate it.
  • Square developed a few new algorithms to help with animation. Namely one for hair blowing in the wind (sort of interesting)

    This is not surprising. If it's a typical Japanese animated film, this effect will be used in every shot. :)

  • At the time, I bumped into an interview with Tarantino. Apparently he'd been near the Gump people at the Oscars and had said "You _were_ kidding, right?" and they'd been delighted that _somebody_ got it.

    They _weren't_ being serious. It was a satire of the american dream.
    _____
  • "The box", which is called the GScube by Sony, contained 16 modified PS2 rendering pipelines, and also 16 PS2 Emotion Engine CPUs. It weighs in at a neat 512 MB of video memory. ;^) Since then, Sony has apparantly decided the box was to weak, and upped it to 64 rendering pipes. Yummy. At SIGGRAPH, it was fed data from an SGI Origin 3x00 server. I've read somewhere that the incoming bandwidth into the GScube is somewhere around 2.1 GB/s. Whoo-hoo.
  • That would not help. Current analog video standards like NTSC have some gamma correction already. And still, things recorded with film and video look different. Think about the way the evening news or things recorded with a home video camera look compared to things recorded on film (like movies or large-budget prime-time shows). The differences you see are due to the logarithmic vs. linear scale. The way video systems are currently designed, they clip values to maximum brightness at much lower intensities than film, effectively throwing away data at the top end of the brightness scale. There is no way to recover that data after the fact.

    You could, theoretically, build a video camera with a very large linear range and then post-process the data to simulate being captured on a logarithmic-response sensor, but so far, no one has built a device like that. It wouldn't be too hard, though. It could even be done in-camera. Have the CCD sensor output data in a 32-bit-per-color-component linear scale, and then before recording it to tape, have a DSP or other chip convert that data into a 10-bit-per-component logarithmic scale. There are even existing file formats [puffindesigns.com], such as Kodak's "Cineon [dv.com]", that would do nicely. A system like that, if it also had comparable resolution to film, say 4000x3000 pixels (see this resolution chart [cinesite.com] for more info about film resolution) might actually serve as a replacement for film.

    The thing is, nobody's even talking about those things I just mentioned! Some people are actually ready to settle for plain-old HDTV, which is nowhere near as good as film, both in terms of brightness range and resolution.

    Speaking of resolution, let's talk about that for a second. As I mentioned earlier, 35mm film has scannable info on it all the way up to about 4000x3000. On the other hand HDTV, which is what Lucas is using to shoot the next Star Wars movie, is only 1920x1080. Worse yet, those Texas Instruments DLP projectors that have been put into some theaters have so far been limited to 1280x1024 resolution. That's pathetic! Imagine if they installed one of those in the Mann's Chinese theater in L.A. -- one pixel on a screen that size would be as big as my head! Yet some people are so enamored with the word "digital" that they have been running around proclaiming that digital cinema has "arrived"! Ugh.

  • That's not a bad idea, although I doubt Taco would allow anything that made that much sense to actually happen. How could he feel morally outraged at people complaining if he actually did something to try and fix things?
  • I feel compelled to respond, becuase you obviously haven't any Square games other than the Final Fantasies. I'll grant you that the plots are sometimes a bit cookie-cuttered (Final Fantasy 7's extensive backstory is an exception), but what about Square's other main development team, the Chrono/Xenogears people? Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Xenogears are all incredible games with very deep and philosophical plots.

    You should think before you make broad assumptions.


    I was talking about other Square games, especially Chrono Cross. That game is like a junior high philosophy dicussion gone bad.
  • At the time the first Final Fantasy game was released, it was an all-or-nothing prospect for the fledgling game giant SquareSoft. If Final Fantasy didn't make it, they would've been dead in the water. So, for Square, it very well could've been a "Final" Fantasy.

    Fortunately, Final Fantasy did well and so did it's 8 sequels and spin-off games, and so did Square's other games, such as the Seiken Densetsu series. After Final Fantasy II, why change the name of a best-selling series?

    (As an aside, Neverending Story Part Two makes a lot of sense if you think in terms of chapters.)

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.

Working...