Saturday, May 25, 2013

Reality vs Visual Effects: The Case of the Boeing Dreamlifter

From time to time, we will review photographs that are real but look like they might be visual effects and ask why that might be so.

In this case, unlike some others we will feature, it is not because of photoshop processing, or unusual lighting, or juxtaposition of elements, or any of a host of other things. In this case, it is because the key element itself just seems implausible. It is huge, it is unusual, it is quite beautiful. We do not see things of this scale around us every day. So when it shows up in real life it looks fake.  The essence of its implausibility is, I think, the cleanliness of its design, combined with the scale.

In a similar way, when I saw an Airbus 380 flying over Los Angeles on approach to LAX, it also appeared fake, probably because of its scale.

This might be an establishing shot of an airport that our character had just landed at. In the background, the giant Dreamlifter would casually be landing

Whereas this would be a more dramatic shot that illustrated a plot point.  Perhaps we are waiting for the Dreamlifter to deliver an important plot device.

But if this does look like a prop, perhaps it is from an older movie about the future.  Perhaps a movie from the 1950s, which might make it more reasonably in black and white.  It would need to be from a time when the future involved jet aircraft technology, instead of more modern anti-gravity or vertical thrust.  Here we have traditional jet technology circa 1990 combined with a futuristic and implausible over-sized body.

The pictures here were lifted from

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