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Strange CU effect in Resident Evil: Extinction


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#1 Paul Nordin

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 11:38 AM

I saw "Resident Evil: Extinction," shot by David Johnson, BSC yesterday. Post-appocalyptic movies are my truest form of guilty pleasure. I thought the film was pretty good in it's production values and true to it's intent, was a roller coaster ride.

Mostly it seemed to be well shot, but in several places there was a strange processing done to the close-ups of Milla Jovovich. I believe each one was an exterior. In them she looked very different from the wide and medium shots, with her skin texture appearing unaturally smooth and "softened". The only reasons I could think of were either the DP had underexposed those shots and they had to be heavily boosted in post and then they were over-smoothed to remove the resulting grain, or the producers hated the harsh desert exterior lighting on Milla's face and forced some radical post processing to make her skin smoother.

Regardless, I found them very distracting and totally out of character with the rest of the film's look. Does anyone know why this was done? And if so, what was done?

Cheers,
Paul
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#2 d humber

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:00 PM

I noticed it too. In several medium shots, imperfections were visible on her skin, but in the close-ups, it was unnaturally flawless.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 01:09 AM

When I first caught the tail end of the trailer for it with that circular tracking shot around her as the sky was burning...I thought it was a commercial for a videogame or something.

I haven't seen the film...and probably won't, but do you think it's possible that those CU's were completely computer generated?
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#4 Paul Nordin

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 01:31 AM

When I first caught the tail end of the trailer for it with that circular tracking shot around her as the sky was burning...I thought it was a commercial for a videogame or something.

I haven't seen the film...and probably won't, but do you think it's possible that those CU's were completely computer generated?


Computer enhanced definitely, but probably not a computer generated actor...at least I don't think so. If it was, they should have realized they didn't have the budget to do it right.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 01:34 AM

Computer enhanced definitely, but probably not a computer generated actor...at least I don't think so. If it was, they should have realized they didn't have the budget to do it right.


Sounds more like digital cosmetic touch-ups during the D.I. phase. Remember how far they went with digital diffusion on her film "Ultraviolet"?
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#6 adam berk

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 02:12 AM

check out this article at fxguide on "digital touchups"

pretty awesome

http://www.fxguide.c...e...cle&sid=357
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#7 Paul Nordin

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 04:19 AM

Sounds more like digital cosmetic touch-ups during the D.I. phase. Remember how far they went with digital diffusion on her film "Ultraviolet"?


David,
You're probably right. The effect is similar to that look, where your eyes are trying to grab onto some visual reference points in the image but they have all been smoothed away. Really does not fit in this context since it was not evident in any other shots. In Ultraviolet at least they were making a visual statement.
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 04:35 AM

I was actually seriously creeped out by that scene in X3
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#9 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 08:26 AM

When I first caught the tail end of the trailer for it with that circular tracking shot around her as the sky was burning...I thought it was a commercial for a videogame or something.


Its funny because it is an ad for a video game.

I wonder how often this stuff looks good in a post suite (projected or not) but once its been touched up and output it looks awful on the big screen. I sometimes think that a lot of the bad keying you see in films is a result of it not really being monitored in an ideal environment.

Edited by A. Whitehouse, 24 September 2007 - 08:29 AM.

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#10 Jason Debus

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 01:58 PM

Mostly it seemed to be well shot, but in several places there was a strange processing done to the close-ups of Milla Jovovich. I believe each one was an exterior. In them she looked very different from the wide and medium shots, with her skin texture appearing unaturally smooth and "softened". The only reasons I could think of were either the DP had underexposed those shots and they had to be heavily boosted in post and then they were over-smoothed to remove the resulting grain, or the producers hated the harsh desert exterior lighting on Milla's face and forced some radical post processing to make her skin smoother.


I saw this last night (my girlfriend likes the girls-kicking-ass movies). The smooth skin looked like heavy makeup to me. In some shots it had a look similar to Jude Law in AI, reflecting the ambient light giving it a plastic like sheen. Just speculation, but it's possible that her face got scorched in the desert and they had to do something so that her face would match the other shots. In one shot you could see the makeup line on her neck and her natural skin looked sunburnt.
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#11 Paul Nordin

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 08:42 PM

The smooth skin looked like heavy makeup to me. In some shots it had a look similar to Jude Law in AI, reflecting the ambient light giving it a plastic like sheen.


Interesting theory Jason. I would bet a dollar that its a digital makeover, but the only way to verify would be to watch it again and it wasnt' that good of a flick.
Cheers
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#12 nathan snyder

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 06:08 PM

Just saw the film today, and it really looks like a digital touch up. But it is not in every closeup and it occurs a various places throughout the film. However, I will have to watch it again but it looks like the effect usually happens on what looks like pickup shots, where the background is just the blue sky or some very plain out of focus background that could be anywhere and not necessarily where they did their principle shooting.

Also, I noticed in the credits that not only did they have a digital intermediary but they also credited a negative cutter. Is it possible they only DI'd some shots that got the weird skin touch-up?

BTW, I thought the touched up shots were more distracting than anything they may have been trying to cover would have been.
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