First things first: Stop-motion animation, especially in old science fiction and fantasy movies, is great. It looks good. It’s fun. It doesn’t need to be “fixed.” That said, the internet’s mad scientists will always try to tinker with whatever “outdated” works they can simply because they like a challenge.
Here, for example, is a guy who goes by CaptRobau showing off his latest attempt to upscale a selection of old stop-motion movie effects with modern technology.
The video is a follow-up to CaptRobau’s earlier work in using AI tools to smooth out stop-motion scenes from a bunch of famous examples of the animation technique. Picking up where he left off, the clip returns to a selection of Ray Harryhausen effects (1968's The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad, 1963's Jason And The Argonauts, and 1981's Clash Of The Titans) and the monkey/dinosaur action of the 1933 King Kong. This time, CaptRobau has added motion blur to his process.
It may seem faintly sacrilegious to watch these classic effects lose part of their original charm thanks to the video’s increased frame rates and less jerky motion, but as a proof of concept and from a general technological standpoint, CaptRobau’s work is pretty impressive. Kong fucks up a T-rex and beats his chest with smoother motions; a cyclops and a gorgon move with grace; swordfighting skeletons swing their weapons around more fluidly—all of it looks more “realistic,” though not necessarily better. Still, it’s a fascinating application of new technology upon old.
We just hope CaptRobau isn’t visited by Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, or motion smoothing’s greatest opponent, Tom Cruise, in the middle of the night to have his computer broken apart for the great sin of elaborately activating a setting that directors are dead-set against anyone having to experience.
Send Great Job, Internet tips to email@example.com