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Direction in demos

category: general [glöplog]
I would, problem is I don't know how to do it properly... (and it is now done by others anyway).
added on the 2008-07-03 18:54:55 by Navis Navis
the shky cam in Debris is brilliant because it adds to the whole. I cant remeber the exact points where the shakey cam is used in Debris, but iirc there is a point where the camera's (viewer's) point-of-view is placed at the base of one of the tall buildings and pointed upwards. that alone is a common way to present an object as "intimidating" and ominous. add the shakey cam to the mix and the person watching gets a sense of intimidating power and awe. it's very clever! :)

but, eerr, just shaking the cam for no apparent reason is almost laughable.
added on the 2008-07-03 19:10:34 by button button
Navis: the fact that it's done by others is irrelevant if you do it for the right reason, and right.
added on the 2008-07-03 19:22:46 by p01 p01
Direction/design/art is a special feature invented by people who want to make demos but can't code.
added on the 2008-07-03 19:53:48 by Pirx Pirx
narrative style is sometimes a flow of cliché
added on the 2008-07-03 20:09:59 by 24 24
ra: of course :D it's just a language like any other. every word we speak is a necessarily a cliché, or we wouldn't understand each other. same goes for visual clichés I guess.

but you can be very subtle with cliches yet still maintain some level of understanding too, so that they're not boring.
added on the 2008-07-03 20:17:33 by button button
demos are basically code art or art code, let's say code+art, and the FLT+TBL demo is the most representative one of what a demo is as it shows off impressive technics through entertaining visuals with stance & style.

i'm glad there are still such demos which connect to the origins of demos while meeting a stylish modernity.

same for cocoon and inque ones, which show superenjoyable 'classic' 3d scenes.

pure art demos like still or mfx ones have been a fresh addition for last years, emphasizing the famous 'direction' of a demo and making big impressions, but i hope there are still some place for other styles of demos :)

demos are demos, not movies or art videos.
added on the 2008-07-03 20:32:55 by Zest Zest
'pure art' and mfx? no offense to mfx, i love most of their work, but i dont even think THEY think they're making "art", whatever the fuck that is.

but then again, i can just to inproper techno demos. and i will make one more, for nvscene :)
added on the 2008-07-03 20:43:33 by superplek superplek
hmm. Interesting discussion. First of, I think direction is purely subjective. More appropriate might be: "I like it as a whole."

When it comes to demos there are some things which are very likely to increase my love for the production. I can try to give some examples:

iX: Everything falls together naturally: The style, the music, the camera spots in and around the train. There is a little story which suggests (a least to me) much more. Little details like the "always 2nd" poster sets my brain into spinning mode: I start to associate visuals with meaning. Camera angle and movement help to pick up the right details. If the music picks up these twists roughly at the right moment, it reinforces the spin. In a very very cool demo, my head is still spinning when the demo is over. If I hit Enter to see the production again, "I like it as a whole".

There are maybe less then 20 demos which are like this. Just for curiosity:

No: "Lifeforce". Although anything is perfect, the scene with the knife makes me so angry, that the demo completely loses me for the almost the rest of the show. Only after the final explosion the underwater scene picks me up again. The music fits so good. Then I see the "Warenkorb" and wonder if this might be a reference to Farbrausch. It's just a hint, but for my its perfect.
Yes: "Evolution of vision": I like the music. My brain wants to understand the patterns behind shape, color, and movement which increases so slowly I can pay attention slight changes. I like the syncing. I envy the effects. Just when it gets a little bit boring I see the soft porn stuff. This is always perfect, because depending on how early I see something in abstract patterns I think about myself and if I might be a pervert so see tits (or whatever my brains comes up with) everywhere. Then everything comes together: I keep thinking about the title: Is it referring to effects, to math, to computers, to the visual pollution of the world? I hit Enter.

No: "Halfsome". It starts and I am paralyzed by the graphics. My jaw drops down. Maybe I am a little bit envious. But I enjoy it. But then... it goes on and... it goes on... I start to pay attention to minor mistakes; think about alternative camera angles.
Yes: "Tactical Battle Loop". It starts like Halfsome, but I am paralyzed long after the demo has ended. There is probably no demo I watched more often in a row.
Yes: "Falling down". A very nice example on how a simple setup shot can load everything with meaning: graphics, animation, 3d-models and music. I see this Monty Pyhon guy suffer from everything. He seems abstract enough to be a prototype. Maybe a little bit like Magritte's Businessman. Sure, the twisted trains look cool. But letting them bully the poor guy is just pure genius.

No: 1995. It should is perfect. The music! The effects! The lyrics! But then it leaves me impressed but not really touched. Maybe doing a reminiscence to the demoscene has to be incoherent. I watched 1995 maybe five times.
Yes: Aether. It just sucks me in right in the beginning with this long camera motion towards to logo in a think layer of impressive particles. I think of danger, chaos, destruction and something coming up. The hint of a story suggesting the transfer of motion energy with fatal consequences. References to a galaxy being sucked up by a black hole. Somehow I see Visualice's artwork emerge in the black areas of the particle ground after the impact. Particle animations are played back and force which is technically impressive first but later suggests a meaning: Can destruction be reversed? And then the tentacle effect turns into a jester of destruction, unclear weather celebrating or causing the end of the world. I am convinced that there is a rough system for the usage of effects and editing technics, too: subtly suggesting parts similar to a piece at the opera: Opening, set, climax, etc.
There is no demo I watched more often than Aether. It's my reference for thinking about my own stuff.

Yes: asdf. A fun production sure, but I just love the music. I have it on my ipod. But somehow I also like the unpolished video effect like visuals. The dance of forms and colors. The big white blob for the bass. And after a long introduction its suddenly taking up speed. It's a perfect example for demos being subjective: I showed asdf to a lot of people and they stare at me in amused bewilderment.

For my own productions I can just talk about how "easy it feels" to do them. I normally try to see objects or effects as characters and I try to come up with a story. I actually don't care about anybody seeing or even understanding. It just helps me to make decisions. Sometimes everything just falls together in one sudden impact like with "Perfect Love". One day of creative outburst. And I am still not sure what drove me that day or how I could get into this mode again. Somethings its like "invoke" where it search and search and then do something without having any characters in mind. And the result sucks.

Just my two cents.
I have to do something about my English, I know.

added on the 2008-07-03 20:45:37 by pixtur pixtur
btw Navis: if we oppose debris vs lifeforce (hehe), debris is superimpressive because it's 177k of magic code, but imho its direction (while being perfect) is less impressive as it imitates common cinematography a lot. On the contrary lifeforce direction is a summum as demo direction, giving a supersmooth trip through evermutating visuals and deep (philosophical?) feelings, it's the perfect illustration of ps & psonice's definitions of demo direction :)
added on the 2008-07-03 20:58:17 by Zest Zest
Navis, generally, I wouldn't read too much into what's been written in a pouet.net comment.

Unfortunately, it's mostly bullshit!
added on the 2008-07-03 21:02:21 by _-_-__ _-_-__
what about THIS ?
I think it would have kick ass as a demo
added on the 2008-07-03 21:38:32 by Tigrou Tigrou
I think there's a big problem with this discussion - everyone seems to have a different idea of what exactly direction is in a demo context, and a lot of people have a very vague idea of what it is. It's good though, because I think more sides of it get discussed.

For me, making a demo is starting with a concept, building ideas from that and forming a plan, then making art, music, code, whatever to fit that. The direction part is simply deciding how it gets put together, selecting what techniques to use for a particular scene (I'd call the shaky cam in debris a technique, with the direction part being the choosing of the technique and where and how to apply it), how to present a particular idea as smash said (which involves camera work, composition, choosing effects etc).

It's not as clear cut as film making though - at least I've never heard of a demo project with a director who does nothing but direct. I guess it's generally the role of either the coder or the main artist, whoever is doing most of the 'putting together', but there's much more of a teamwork element needed I think as the different elements need to work together so closely. Or maybe there's a lot of teamwork in the direction of films? Never worked on one to know, so I'm possibly talking bollocks again :)
added on the 2008-07-03 21:58:29 by psonice psonice
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EaCzLh873E <- this is how demos should be directed :)
added on the 2008-07-03 22:02:23 by Zplex Zplex
for fuck's sake: spare us those "this is how demos should be directed" links. yes, both the serious and the laughable ones.
added on the 2008-07-03 22:16:00 by monroe monroe
Steven Spielberg would agree with you all ;-)
added on the 2008-07-03 22:18:54 by magic magic
monroe: Fuck u if u dont have anything to add to this pathetic discussion
added on the 2008-07-03 22:24:10 by Zplex Zplex
Monroe is right, what does some youtube clip adds to this discussion? Why can't everyone just direct the demo the way he or she wants to. No need to make it look like some boring Hollywood movie, or some video clip from youtube. Sometimes the direction of a product works, sometimes it doesn't. It's the charm of the demoscene, imo, this constant combination/battle of looking for the best effect ever and making it fit in some sort of consistent 3/4 minutes of graphics.
zplex: don't even get me started ;) ...
added on the 2008-07-03 22:58:11 by monroe monroe
what's wrong with looking into the techniques of cinematography? demos and movies, obviously, share a lot in common - things that work in movies can work equally well in demos.

some people on Pouet make me laugh. the moment a thread begins to dig a little beneath the surface of a topic, you always get a handful of people jumping up and down saying stuff like: "aaaah, wtf!? I just want to do what i want. you guys SUCK - always discussing things!!"

ffs, you can all do what you like, nobody is discussing this to lay-down any "scene rules", people just have discussions to get ideas - that's all. and sometimes it can help to look beyond your own backyard into other people's...just to see what other people's ideas have made possible :P
added on the 2008-07-03 23:17:10 by button button
I think direction is pretty near the top of stuff you need for a top demo, and it's also a hard part to get right, so hearing what other people think and do is a big help. The youtube clips aren't so useful.. it's more "here's what somebody else did, maybe you can copy it" than "here's the key things you need to think about to make it happen in your own style".
added on the 2008-07-03 23:33:37 by psonice psonice
I make something from a technical idea, look at it and can't tell whether it is any good or bad. This sucks.

So I tweak about with parameters and different approaches to the same thing until I get some kind of emotion connected to the looks of it. It often helps to have a soundtrack running while doing this.

Maybe it is acting funny, scary, mindboggling, surprising or a bit psychedelic. Once you have some sort of feeling connected to it there is a good chance others will feel the same way when they see it. You have some sort of concept you can stick to..

Drawing inspiration from movies can be a shortcut, but the most important thing is that you realize where you want to go yourself. If you're not having an interesting time making your demo, it will suck!

Oh no.. this became a long post. I never read those. noone will read this.
added on the 2008-07-03 23:36:33 by loaderror loaderror
direction is making that digital space yours

@loaderror: I did
added on the 2008-07-03 23:45:29 by numtek numtek


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