Culture: Movie
Cool Thermal Scans   (0)  [vote for, against]
Realistic depiction of thermal imaging on the cheap.

Some movies employ depictions of night vision (either real or faked by green-tinting everything) which is not that bad, as night vision is near our perceived wavelengths, and most things behave the same (notable differences in glass and fog). Thermal imaging on the other hand is either done employing existing thermal cameras at bad resolutions, faked badly by false-coloring the shot or faked moderatly bad by cgi).

For thermal imaging in resolutions akin to normal video (in reality not yet technologically possible (thereby going more into sci-fi)), a cheap alternative would be to paint everything with phosphorescent paint according to how radiant/hot the surface is supposed to be, shoot the scene in darkness and color correct the result.

As all the thermal radiation is modelled by visible wavelengths here, thermal illumination by the sun or some very hot object can be simply modelled by a normal light source softly illuminating the scene.
-- loonquawl, Sep 03 2007

Thermal Image http://www.landinst.../press/mvtherm2.jpg
Existing: good spatial, bad temporal resolution [loonquawl, Sep 03 2007]

Or just use the Solarize filter?
-- DrCurry, Sep 03 2007

I'm struggling with the concept of 'bad temporal resolution'. Should I get Stephen Hawking on the phone?
-- Texticle, Sep 03 2007

It's the opposite of bad spiritual resolution, silly!
-- pertinax, Sep 04 2007

I thought that was good spiritual resolution.
-- Texticle, Sep 04 2007

[texticle] - bad temporal resolution is indeed not Hawkins-call-worthy. Just as you can have bad spatial resolution in an image (few pixels to tell the tale of a lot of surface) you can have bad temporal resolution in a video, meaning that things that change fast are not shown right, but either smeared or jumpy. Thermal scans mostly go for smeared. [dr curry] - the solarize filter gives an image that is becoming a popular metaphor for thermal imaging, but is nothing like it, in essence. In thermal scans hot things show up bright, whereas algorithms for solarisation simply take a normal picture do things to it. The extreme would be the video of a white wall - Solarisation would brighten it up until the white switched back to black, with no reference to what temperature any place on the wall has.
-- loonquawl, Sep 04 2007

Why shoot in darkness? Would just augmenting light with a bit of extra uv do just about the same thing, and make your phosphorescent paint phosphoresce and give the desired effect anyhow?
-- the dog's breakfast, Sep 04 2007

[t d b]As long as the scene you're trying to depict is set in an environment thermally lit by a powerful source (like the sun or a big conflagration nearby) filming in normal light plus uv-fluorescent paint might be sufficient. But most films use thermal imaging in environments that are supposed to be dark. In your setting, different colors of clothing still produce different colors on tape, which is unrealistic for thermal imaging.
-- loonquawl, Sep 04 2007

Hey, It's special effects anyhow, so what is wrong with a super-dooper thermal imaging colour overlay camera - to make everything look a grade higher than standard realism resolution?
-- the dog's breakfast, Sep 04 2007

Simulating Thermal Imaging by using a Thermal Imager is cheating... Apart from that you'd have to heat all the props on the set to their fictional temperature, which might not be fun to do with plastic tubes depicting a jet engine. O rather, it might be fun, but not to the point.
-- loonquawl, Sep 04 2007

random, halfbakery