Monday, November 15, 2010

The Beauty of Flying Fish

Taking some time off (away from computer) today, as well as dodging some "aftershock" activity (it's been quiet most of the week, but starting late last night, the ground got back to business...), I stumbled across a little documentary from the BBC about marine life in the South Pacific and "greeny" concerns about the effects of commercial fishing while waiting for the news.

While I've found some of the earlier episodes a bit dull, this episode was surprisingly quite interesting, though not necessarily the greeny aspects (which can at times get a bit preachy). Rather, it was the beauty of some of the cinematography used that I was drawn to:
- the calm, serene atmosphere under the ocean surface, compared to the choppy waves above
- the beauty of a seeing a large school of backlit fish swimming or rather swarming in various formations
- the thrill and energy of watching tuna herding and then catching smaller 'prey' fish, with fish dashing around everywhere in many different directions at once

Seeing this footage really reminded me of Finding Nemo, which I have to say is probably my favourite Pixar film. I'll probably say that one of the reasons I ended up starting to play around with 3D was after watching this and some of the associated "making of" clips, especially some of those showing some raw, unrendered rig-tests, etc. There's just something about watching unrendered + "raw" meshes (i.e. faceted vs smooth-shaded) in motion. The same could be said though about fish, and fish swimming around underwater, especially in the ocean.

I thought that things couldn't get any better than the tuna-feast sequence, but the ending of this documentary really surprised me. Never before did I realise the fun that comes from watching fish flying around in mid-air in slow-motion. It was actually really visually stunning, watching the fish wriggle and flap and turn over and over, all the while gaping slowly in mid-air, with specs of soft bokeh from light reflecting off the sea in the background. For a strange reason, it was also really hilarious to watch.

Maybe I'm just going insane :P

1 comment:

  1. From your description, I think I may have watched that one too.
    I think the tuna actually swirled around in a circle around their prey, if I remember correctly.
    The fish-flying part is really intense, and makes me want to go scuba diving again!