I love movies, and I understand that the whole point–the value of going to a movie at all–is to suspend reality and immerse yourself in the story being told. I know that producers use a variety of tricks and technologies to make things happen on screen that aren’t really possible. Even as someone who works in and with technology everyday I am awed and amazed at the visual effects in Chappie.
What’s the big deal? Chappie is a computer-generated image created digitally from scratch. You can’t tell, though. I saw Chappie over the weekend and there is no way to tell that Chappie is not a physical robot interacting with the other actors in the real world. The ability to simply conjure reality from bits and bytes is mind blowing.
I wrote more about the visual effect in Chappie in this blog post:
Sony Pictures released a new movie last week called Chappie. Chappie is the latest movie to address the theme of the singularity, or an artificial intelligence becoming self-aware. I’m not a movie critic so I’ll leave the analysis of the directing, lighting, dialogue, and other film elements to the professionals. What does interest me, though, is the technology that goes into creating a movie like Chappie.
I’m dating myself to some extent, but I see Chappie as a mashup of the movies Short Circuit and RoboCop. It combines the endearing story of a robot gaining “consciousness” like Johnny Five in Short Circuit with the question of the ethics of a robotic paramilitary police force like RoboCop. I saw the movie over the weekend and enjoyed it thoroughly.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, though. Chappie isn’t really there. The entire role of the robot is completely computer generated. I had a chance to speak with Chris Harvey, visual effects supervisor for Chappie, about the effort that went into putting the robot on the screen.
Computer generated imagery, or CGI, is certainly nothing new or magical as far as movies go. Not only has it been done, but it’s done frequently and probably happens on some level in almost every movie these days. However, there are a few aspects of creating Chappie that stand out as unique.
You can click here to read the rest of the story on Forbes: The Tech Magic Behind The Movie Chappie.
If you haven’t yet seen the movie Chappie, I recommend you do so. Here is a trailer to pique your interest: