The Dark Knight, Flash programming, YouTube

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Dark Knight Last weekend we went to see The Dark Knight at the Dallas Motor Vu Drive-in. It was a double feature that started with Journey to the Center of the Earth. We were there from about 8:30 PM to 2:30 AM. There aren’t a lot of drive-in theaters around anymore. It’s fun to go to a drive-in every once in awhile, except for the annoying people who bring laser pointers or aren’t bright enough to turn off their headlights. (Forgive the pun.) I’ve been to the drive-in in La Grande, Oregon as well. The Dark Knight was, of course, awesome. However, I don’t think I’m the target audience for the Brendan Fraser movie, as my adult brain is generally functional. I rated both movies at

On a movie-related note, a friend sent me the Step Brothers Duel promo. I haven’t seen this new Will Ferrell movie and I’m not particularly excited to see it, but the programming behind this Flash application is cool.

I advise you to skip over the following two paragraphs and watch the YouTube videos below if you’re not into web programming/design:

The Step Brothers Duel appears to be customized Flash object layering/rotation on top of an FLV video clip. You upload a photo that gets placed into an object that’s manipulated around at different angles on the underlying video. The developers did a really good job with it, including alpha transparency layers on top of the uploaded image to give the appearance of lighting/reflection. The video and the photo layer are very synchronized, with just a little jitter from probably having to hand-tune the top layer. In Flash, since it is possible to swap movie clips at runtime, they may have created the whole thing with a stand-in photo (with rotating, alphas, etc.) that is switched to the uploaded one before viewing. (By the way, this site will also call your friend’s phone and play an audio clip, but I’m more interested in the Flash part.)

The Step Brothers Duel reminds me of OfficeMax’s Elf Yourself application from the holiday season (mentioned last year). That site is down for now, but it allowed users to upload photos that replaced the faces of four dancing elves. You could size and adjust the images to move the face locations into the correct spots, once you uploaded your photos. Cool stuff. I need to improve my ActionScript skills.

Crooked (Orcus) Rot And now for a bit of YouTube:

Watch the heartwarming story of Christian the Lion (be thankful that I’m linking to the version with Sigur Rós music in the background instead of Whitney Houston or Aerosmith). Lions are just big housecats, really. That can eat you.

Here’s a squirrel waterskiing. No, really.

David Firth just released a new stop-motion short film called “Crooked (Orcus) Rot,” full of mannequin heads and rubber hands and blood. If this Svankmajeresque video is too creepy for you, then you’ll probably find the next link delightful.

Watch two cute little British brothers: Charlie bit my finger. “And that really hurt, Charlie, and it’s still hurting.” I had to watch this one a couple of times.

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