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Toy Story Meets Google Street View 61

theodp writes "The Atlantic talks to creative director Tom Jenkins about his short film Address Is Approximate, which tells the whimsical story of a toy's journey to the California coast. Jenkins' personal project, described a 'Toy Story for the Internet age,' uses stop-motion animation and Google Street View to bring an after-working-hours office space to life. Film critic Larry Page gives it a thumbs-up."
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Toy Story Meets Google Street View

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Toy Story was released in 1995. Wasn't the internet age already underway at that point?

    • by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Friday November 25, 2011 @10:15PM (#38171914)

      Toy Story was released in 1995. Wasn't the internet age already underway at that point?

      Yup, but it was still in the Archie and Veronica comics reading stage...

    • Toy Story was released in 1995. Wasn't the internet age already underway at that point?

      To you and me. To "regular people" the internet did not come home until after Windows XP was introduced in 2001. Don't believe me? Ask your neighbour what windows looked like / was called before XP.

      • by lanceran ( 1575541 ) on Friday November 25, 2011 @10:31PM (#38172014)
        Im having vietnam-style flashbacks of grey rectangles and hourglasses with sounds of dial-up in background. And cyan... so much cyan. I lost a good hard drive back then.
        • by derGoldstein ( 1494129 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @01:24AM (#38172848) Homepage
          Back then you could HEAR your computer working! The dial-up modems, the loud spinning HDs, CD-ROMs, Floppy Disks, and dot-matrix printers. You knew what your computer was going just by listening.
          Now it's all sterile. Software is downloaded onto solid-state hard-drives, in silent computers with low-rpm fans, if any. No wonder there are so many botnets -- you have no idea what your computer is doing anymore.

          I sometimes wish I could turn the sound back ON. Sure, there was cyan and #C0C0C0 all over the place, but it FELT real.
          • by Zakabog ( 603757 )

            My first computer was an IBM PS/2 running Windows 3.1, 66MHz 486. Back then the sound of a HDD being accessed usually followed any action I did, opening notepad, starting a game, etc. When the noise stopped the computer was ready and I became conditioned to think of that noise to mean loading. Now days I hear a HDD access noise and all I can think of is "Wow this computer is so slow!" It doesn't matter if it takes the same amount of time to open a program on a silent PC or on a PC with a really loud HDD, th

          • by doti ( 966971 )

            I also find very uncomfortable to use a computer without a good system monitor.
            I use the good old gkrellm [wikipedia.org]

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You're talking to the /. crowd we're not "regular people". Quite a few of us remember xmodem / zmodem / kermit, BBS connections to the internet and of course ftp/telnet when we got there.

    • by Anonymous Coward


      Windows 95 released in August 1995 without TCP/IP being installed by default. Now sure in some circles the internet was old by then, but it can hardly be the "internet age" when the most popular OS in the world releases without it...

      • I remember thinking that Compuserve was pretty sweet at that point. And had to be explained to as to why this "internet" thing was such a big deal. Sigh, live and learn.

      • That's not all! Windows 95 was released without a spreadsheet application or presentation package installed! Clearly, the "business age" hadn't started yet, either.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Plus [wikipedia.org]!

        Obviously, having TCP/IP support enabled by default for all your network devices is a fundamental part of Internet access. How else could people in 1995 utilize the cable-provider broadband connections in their home?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modem [wikipedia.org]
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point-to-Point_Protocol [wikipedia.org]


        • Dont forget clippy, people weren't organised before that helpful little guy
          • I hear he's a store greeter these days. Just imagine... 'Hi there, you look like you're trying to do some shopping...'.

          • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

            Clippy worked.
            People started reading manuals out of fear for clippy.
            Clippy is better than "RTFM", it's "RTFM or I'm going to humiliate you in public".

        • For those of you who are a bit slower, my point is that the reason the web browser or many other applications designed for the Internet were not installed in Windows by default, is that Microsoft was still hoping they were products they could sell to you

          Remember also that Microsoft were trying to push their own, proprietary MSN (the original version of their AOL-alike network, not later uses of the brand) in preference to the Internet at that point. Seems laughable in hindsight, but they obviously thought that they could do it. I even remember reading a magazine around the time that the Internet had just exploded into the public consciousness (circa 1994) and even they were injecting a sceptical note into whether the Internet would be a success or whether

      • I bought an HP Pavilion with Windows 95 installed in August 1995. It had TCP/IP installed but no browser. Microsoft wouldn't allow me to download IE using FTP, so I had to buy a copy. I figured if I had to buy a browser, I would buy Netscape Navigator instead.

        This explains why I was highly amused when someone from Microsoft explained in the anti-trust trial that Windows had to have a browser to run. My version sure didn't.
    • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:28AM (#38172614)

      Toy Story was released in 1995. Wasn't the internet age already underway at that point?

      What's ironic about the comment is it suggests Toy Story is old-hat or using some outdated technology when this new short film is done in stop motion and Toy Story is computer animated.

      • by neumayr ( 819083 )
        ...and it looks a lot better than even modern 3D CGI. So no real irony - stop motion obviously is not obsolete, just a hell of a lot more expensive to make than CGI, limiting it to shorts. Still, not outdated.
        • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

          Yes, but as an animation method it far predates the world of Toy Story. Which method is more fit to call itself the one of the "Internet Age", the one that requires computer rendering, or the one that I fondly remember for the California Raisins and other Claymation specials of my childhood (back before the commercial internet even existed)?

          • by neumayr ( 819083 )
            Probably the first that was used in the movie that was fileshared more often than bought ^^ Which probably would be a commercial film, thus CGI -.- Still doesn't make stop motion outdated! *shake fist*
  • by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Friday November 25, 2011 @10:24PM (#38171966) Homepage

    ..."film critic" Larry Page has a rather unique interest in Googe Street View.

  • Not first post, but close. So when TFA posted YouTube page had 123963 views, 5158 likes and 33 dislikes, so we can see traffic sent by /.
    • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:02AM (#38172474)

      And 90 minutes later, YouTube page had 123963 views, thereby confirming that absolutely no one in /. every clicks the links in the summary (or that YouTube only updates that number every few hours, but I choose the believe the first option).

      • We don't need informed comments. What Slashdot needs is confident and angry action! That's how American politics works, so if it's good enough for Jesus and Gingrich it sure as Hell is good enough for Slashdot.
      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        It's up to 141,226 now, and the top-rated comment is:

        "why is it the black robot that has to click like a madman for the white robot...?"

        Which I think is pretty hilarious. It also explains what the black robot was doing. I didn't get it at first.

      • Seems like both... YouTube stats seem to batch update, AND there was no spike in views from posting on /. which is not that surprising. The only interesting inference is how little traffic it must take to /. your average server
        • by Matheus ( 586080 )

          OR... the little fact that most /.ers had already see the movie when this article hit the main page. "Been there done that now for some feverish ranting"

      • Waaait a minute! How did you check this without clicking the link? Surely the views count would have gone up when you checked??

        Hmm, what's that sound...

  • The day 3d cameras can digitize what they're looking at for a 3d representation of the real world is the day Google Street view becomes a vehicle to turn USA into a big digitized driving game.
    • Actually, in many areas google street-view already has 3d. Take a close look and you'll probably notice rudimentary 3d at a resolution of about 2 meters (groups of trees, fences, etc). It's not very detailed right now, but it's well on its way.
  • by Krishnoid ( 984597 ) * on Friday November 25, 2011 @11:08PM (#38172202) Journal
    If you've never driven down the California coast, try to do it. Photos and video can't reproduce it accurately -- you have to experience it to understand. I only saw it for the first time a few years ago, and the stick figure's expression at the beginning perfectly captures what I imagine the emotion of someone who used to live near the west coast, has been living in New York for a few years, has difficulty sharing the experience with the people around him/her who have never been there -- and is homesick.
    • by melted ( 227442 )

      Maybe it is, but when I was driving along there it was all hazy so I couldn't see shit. :-) It was in July a couple of years back.

    • by DamonHD ( 794830 )

      Pacifica, Highway 1...

      That was a while ago for me. I don't drive a lot, I'm not into road trips, and California isn't the only beautiful place in this world that can look remarkably unspoilt, but down from SF on Highway 1 was very pleasant.

      I took a pic that I thought was great and noticed that I'd almost exactly reproduced the scenic shot on the front cover of the magazine on the table in my hotel room!



    • But with GSV I get to see all these places without having to leave my basement and subject myself to a rigorous groping by an Airport Safety Technician, or possibly murdered by their deathmachines.

      Holidays are overrated, you might meet other people.

  • by safetyinnumbers ( 1770570 ) on Friday November 25, 2011 @11:38PM (#38172364)

    Its viewpoints are too widely spaced to give such smooth movement. I notice that the linked interview is evasive about whether it actually uses it.

    • by TheLink ( 130905 )
      Yeah. Too smooth.

      That said I've used Google Streetview as a "virtual tourist" before - to see various bridges around the world, Rio and the "Cristo Redentor" statue, compare Johannesburg with Cape Town, Kyoto, Tokyo, New York, etc...

      It's definitely a far cry from being there, but it can be a good way of seeing the world beyond what photographers and film editors show you.
    • CollegeHumor did some videos that did use Google Street images and animation. Kinda neat.

      Here's the first one, and that should lead you to more:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35LqQPKylEA [youtube.com]

    • by Matheus ( 586080 )

      Honestly the attached article was an Ad. The interview didn't really tell much except for advertise his other work and future project. Either the interviewer was terrible OR it was a canned session. ...and no... there is no way he got all of that imagery from Street View. As you say: (in my words) too much gap in GSV to provide smooth animation (and no controls visible on the screen for the downtrodden black robot to click on)

  • artsy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveGod ( 703167 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @08:12AM (#38174052)

    You know it's arty when the camera never stops moving. Enjoyed the concept and other elements of execution but the camera direction is irritating.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake