Terminator Salvation "Machine Vision"

Machine vision", in the Terminator franchise, is the point of view of the machines. So, every time you see something through a machine's eyes, it's treated in that way. Back in the original Terminator, these images would be tinted red and have a grid, and maybe have some DOS prompt language. We tried to update that idea using technical references of today's machines and technology.

What really fascinated us was using data from depth cameras. They basically measure depth and distance from the camera. You can take that data and turn it into a point cloud and start to make images with that. One thing that's really interesting about that is you get these natural artifacts. The images are not perfect. You can program it and script it so you can get 3D images, but they kind of fall out in certain places, in a way that's really hard to do when you're hand-animating. We didn't actually shoot with the depth camera's for the film, as we originally had planned, but used it as a reference for how the machines would be taking in images.

FastCo featured the R&D work done at IF for the film.


Client: The Halcyon Company / Warner Bros
Animation Company: Imaginary Forces
Creative Director: Karin Fong
Producer: Cara McKenney, Kathy Kelehan
Production Manager: Steven Giangrasso
Production Coordinators: Heather Dennis, Kim Dates
Design: Charles Khoury, Jeremy Cox
Animators: Chase Massingill, Josh Van Praag
Finishing: Rod Basham