The Lost Pixels

lostpixels

Since Lost – one of the most worthwhile TV shows since Twin Peaks – is taking a break until February next year, I’d like to spend the time inbetween discussing one of the issues that really annoy me about that show.

No, it’s not the fact that they’re milking every episode, postponing the ultimate revelation one season at a time. It’s not the nagging feeling that once that revelation is upon us, they won’t be able to explain all the myriad of threads they’ve torn the story into. No, it’s much simpler. It’s a visual glitch.

See every time the show starts, right after the opening sequence, the Lost logo comes into focus and zooms past the camera. Freezeframe! There, a glitch in the 3D shape. The face of the logo doesn’t connect properly to the sides.

If you, like me, know just a tiny smudgeon about 3D modelling, this glitch is a symptom of an utterly crap 3D modeller. It bugs the hell out of me. What about you? Are you just sitting there, taking it?

31 thoughts on “The Lost Pixels”

  1. Hans Nilsson says:

    I’ve seen it, and thought about it, but then forgot about it again. If it’s not on purpose, it’s really bad!

  2. Kevin Cannon says:

    I’m always going to notice that from now on, grrr! 🙂

  3. Joen says:

    I?ve seen it, and thought about it, but then forgot about it again. If it?s not on purpose, it?s really bad!

    I really can’t imagine why they’d do this on purpose… looking at the rest of the shape the polygons are clearly visible. It almost looks like a “preview render” to me.

    I?m always going to notice that from now on, grrr! 🙂

    I’m sorry! But if this error is to be released on a future DVD release, they have to know about it!

  4. Dylan says:

    Yeah, I’ve noticed that from day one and yes, it really bugged me. It happens all over the ‘O’ as well. It seemed like such an obvious problem, I was quite surprised they left it in.

  5. i did not notice it, but now every time i watch it; it’s the only thing i can focus on.

  6. James says:

    I really can’t imagine why they’d do this on purpose.

    Did you notice that there appear to be 4 pixels missing from the first chunk and 23 pixels missing from the second chunk? Maybe it was on purpose. ::cue Lost title theme::

  7. Omar says:

    Wow, you pay much more attention to such details than I do :p

    I think the last couple episodes have provided enough new interesting things to think about.

    Even with some of its problems, Lost remains my favorite show.

  8. Joen says:

    Did you notice that there appear to be 4 pixels missing from the first chunk and 23 pixels missing from the second chunk? Maybe it was on purpose. ::cue Lost title theme::

    Noooo, not more story threading!

    I think the last couple episodes have provided enough new interesting things to think about.

    Even with some of its problems, Lost remains my favorite show.

    I agree. I lost interest in Prison Break, but even though Lost never answers my questions, I do keep watching.

  9. Bilal says:

    I started noticing it in Season 2. Thought they would’ve fixed it by Season 3 but it’s still the same. :

  10. Omar says:

    I agree. I lost interest in Prison Break, but even though Lost never answers my questions, I do keep watching.

    Me too. Prison Break lost it’s magic once they left the prison. I don’t care about it anymore.

    What about Heroes? A Lost-inspired show with its own twist. At first I wasn’t very impressed, but it has really picked up recently because the story is awesome.

  11. Joen says:

    What about Heroes?

    I’ve heard good things about that show. I’ll have to check it out…

  12. Nick says:

    Wow, you must pay a close attention. Thats not very good, isn’t it supposed fixed? Do they not see it? Or, are their animators useless?

  13. Bilal says:

    I liked the last episode of Prison Break. Heroes is looking pretty good so far. 🙂

  14. Joen says:

    Or, are their animators useless?

    Maybe they just didn’t expect Lost to be a hit show, and so they had to save money on the title sequence design.

    Then again, I sorta like the design … I’d just have preferred a “final render”.

  15. Oh man – I’ve never seen lost, and now it’s even bothering me!

  16. Sujay says:

    Yeah this has always bothered me.

    The title sequence was done as a rough version before the show was made by J.J. Abrams himself on his Powerbook.

  17. Joen says:

    The title sequence was done as a rough version before the show was made by J.J. Abrams himself on his Powerbook.

    Wow, good info! Where did you get this from? Commentary or something?

  18. Sujay says:

    I remember it from some behind the scenes featurette on the first season DVD. Abrams loves to do his own stuff like that. He even composed the theme song for Alias.

  19. Joen says:

    Abrams loves to do his own stuff like that. He even composed the theme song for Alias.

    IIRC not the best music for a TV show. Interesting enough, surely, but not as interesting as, for instance, the music Robert Rodriquez composed himself to Sin City.

    As for the Lost logo, sure that design is nice, especially thinking it’s abrams. But it’s just not technically nice.

  20. josh says:

    YES! i noticed that everytime! i just google searched ‘lost logo glitch’ and this was top of the list. i can not believe they woudn’t take the extra 14 and a half extra seconds to render their crappy logo properly. the O sucks too, there are way too few faces.

  21. josh says:

    oh dang, im 2 years late on this convo

  22. Joen says:

    oh dang, im 2 years late on this convo

    It’s never too late to start complaining about this, it still hasn’t been fixed.

  23. Kiff says:

    I have noticed this before, but I didn’t put it down to bad modelling (It would be pretty hard to mess up text!!). I think what’s happened is that they’ve done their depth of field in post using a rendered off z-depth. This does have the benefit of being a lot quicker and makes it a lot easier to tweak timings than rendering depth of field straight out of you’re 3d application, but it does occassionally cause these artifacts. I have a sneaking suspision they used eyeon fusion…

    p.s. I love Lost!!!

  24. Jeff says:

    No more complaining. I fixed it.

    http://www.jeffreygoelz.com/lost.html

    ABC Studios, Bad Robot Productions, or Grass Skirt Productions – please download the full resolution version and use. It’s full 1080p 30fps and timed to the original. Quicktime Animation codec uncompressed.

  25. Exitof99 says:

    Ugh, this I noticed early on and have ocmplained about it since. I can’t believe it either that they wouldn’t take the few minutes to fix this obvious error. On top of it, the faces on the inside of the ‘O’ and ‘S’ don’t have smoothness applied to them, so you can see the exact polygons.

    Hell, they could even export the frames that it appears in and manually touch them up in Photoshop.

    By the way, I’m using IE6 and think it is stupid to try and block out 30+% of the internet users. As a web developer, I understand the complaint, but it is silly to refuse someone access based upon a web browser.

    1. Joen says:

      It is so unbelievable, especially since Jeff, the commenter right above you, has fixed it!

      As for IE6, no, it’s silly to stick to a browser from 2001, which not even Microsoft supports any more. I used to actively block IE6 visitors, now I’m just showing a style free version. IE6 is dead weight that’s holding the web back. Unless you switch, even to IE7, you’re holding the web back as well.

  26. Rhys says:

    I noticed the glitch right away too. One of my friends in college majored in motion graphics (a fancy name for this kind of stuff) so I pay attention to it. I can’t believe that it hasn’t been fixed after all these years. This would get points taken off if it were handed in for a college assignment; how can this pass for a multi-million dollar TV show??

    1. Joen says:

      Ironically, they must know about it, because in some of the recap shows, the logo is “fixed”, just bearing a subtitle. For instance, “Lost – The answers”. It fades in the exact same way, but fixed, and with the subtitle.

      I wonder if it’s fixed in the DVD editions…

  27. Mark says:

    Oh, thank you my friends for noticing this graphical error that has bugged me since the first episode! The people I watch LOST with think I’m an OCD nutbag for even seeing it, forget about being disturbed by it.

    Does it also bother anybody else that the show has 3 logos? There’s the borked one in the intro, the ghetto one at the end, then one you see in posters and on the DVD cover.

    That also drives me insane.

  28. Joen says:

    As a small update, with yesterdays episode, “The Variable”, the Lost pixel issue has been “fixed”, but I would imagine it’s not fixed permanently.

    Here’s a spoiler free video showing the new titles.

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid6555681001?bctid=21752180001

  29. RonaldMCTwatFace says:

    This has always puzzled me too. I guess the budget whipping shooting costs and extra food required to feed Jorge Garcia meant the producers opted to make the title animation using Art Alive on the Sega Megadrive (Genesis).

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