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Virus in the Shell: Notes


Virus in the Shell: Notes

Video: Ghost in the Shell
Audio: Virus (KMFDM)
Awards: Anime North'99 - Technical Award

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I had several problems making this one. I considered giving up a couple of times. First off, although this received a technical award, the opening is nowhere near what I had planned. Oddly enough, when I tried the Ghost in the Shell PSX game, the menu system was a little like what I had thought about doing.

At any rate, at this point (early 1999) I was using a Celeron 400 with a Matrox Marvel G200-TV. Although I captured in hi-res, I only rendered at 320x240 because I ran out of HD space near the end, and the graphics I made were at 320x240. I'm not exactly sure why, but the result came out quite blurry, and at 4AM on the deadline to submit to the contests, I didn't notice this. I've run the current version through a sharpen filter.

At first, I borrowed a friend's laserdisc copy of GitS but noticed the picture shook slightly. After reading a Usenet post saying that the (sub) VHS transfer is better than the LD transfer, I bought a VHS copy. Fortunately the subtitled version moved the letterboxed screen up and the subtitles didn't obscure the picture.

I tried to tell a story with this video, with "2501" being a virus that infects Kusanagi (carried via the Megatech body host) rather than being a life form. Batou and Togusa then have to clean up the damage. This is narrated through a bunch of (not-too-complex) CGI scenes that I made. I realise the text appears quite quickly, but remember that these are trained operatives of Section 9, and I like to think of it as incentive to watch the video again. :-)

To make the sequences, I made a background picture, wrote a program to output several BMP files with the appropriate text displayed on a blue background for bluescreening. Of all things, I had problems with the random number generator. When generating numbers from 0-15 for the hex displays, the pattern repeated after sixteen numbers, so I changed the range and capped the values.

For the object in the upper right, I went to an online Protein Database and one of the first items I found was the foot and mouth disease virus. I got the PDB file and converted it to VRML. I was hoping to write a custom viewer, but due to lack of time I simply put it in Netscape/Cosmo Viewer, sent it out to tape, and brought it back in again.

One other thing I wanted to try was doing a morph, which I hadn't seen done in AMVs. During the line "you're the victim, he's the master", I used Sierra Morph 2.5 to morph between the two pictures shown above. There are a couple of rough spots, but fixing them would probably mean making more keyframes of mesh points, which I didn't want to do.

One person thought that the morph was actually in the movie, and another person thought that the text sequences were from the game. Cool.

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