Sunday, 25 March 2012

Bollocks!

Okay, I like Fringe. The episodes are quite enjoyable, the characters are interesting, the storylines are different, and... yeah, okay their science is more than 'fringe', it's complete bafflegab. Usually, I can let it go. They hand wave it enough with enough babble and sound authoritative enough that I can accept it in the premise of the story and not have it bother me. (Other people may not be so lucky.)

But then, every now and then, when you are watching something...

The set up (without spoilers) is that they have some video taken by a nanny-cam style recorder. The event is of some superfast movement, so they need to slow down the footage. To do this, they get some high tech equipment that can... and let me quote this, it's what broke my sense of immersion:

It's an apparatus designed to slow down video. The playback rate is so decelerated, that you can actually see light particles.


...um... what? Um... no.

Firstly, I can slow down video footage right now. VLC has that facility. Hell, just go frame by frame if you need to.

But the idea here, of course, is that we will be able to see what moved superfast... which would basically be making up frames on the video that don't exist. Motion blur is due to the recording being being exposed to enough light for long enough that it registers the light reflecting off something as it moves about. It's not that it has compressed frames that can be unpacked. Especially when we are talking nanny-cam level quality here!

This is hardly the first time video enhancement has been handwaved into omniscience. But when he said 'see light particles', my bullshit sensor exploded. If only he had said the equipment could reconstruct the object that caused the motion blur, that would have fit the scene. Because, hey, that's perfectly believable!

[This is the same episode that hinges on that ol' canard of human pheromones...]

[END]

2 comments:

FilmWonk said...

Ha! I found this post by googling Fringe "actually see light particles".

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had this reaction to such sub-CSI nonsense.

C'mon Fringe, you're better than this.

Jamas Enright said...

Thanks for the comment! It's amazing what little thing will suddenly trigger us fans to craze!