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Old February 23 2013, 01:23 AM   #11
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Re: Tron: What do the different colors mean?

Nick Ryder wrote: View Post
Although after watching both the original Tron and Tron:Legacy I think I have to prefer the Legacy style of coloring over the original - for one I think the all black bodysuits with the different colored wire sections was just more striking visually and I think had they been able to do the same EL wiring in the 80s I'm pretty sure they'd go back and do the same thing...
I'm fairly certain they wouldn't have. The fact is, Tron was more an animated film in conception than a live-action film. The goal of the filmmakers was to create a world that looked like the computer graphics of the day, highly stylized and abstract and impossibly smooth and perfect, with everything seeming to be made from pure light and color. So they basically just used the live-action film of the actors as the raw material for a novel form of animation, printing up the frames of film on animation cels and rotoscoping/backlighting them in an attempt to create the impression of people made of light. It was exactly the opposite of the modern philosophy of CGI which is to make computer imagery look as much like solid reality as possible. They wanted instead to make real imagery look as much like computer graphics as possible. The only reason they didn't do the entire Grid sequence as CGI is because it wasn't technologically feasible yet to create expressive CG-animated characters, so they had to "fake" it with live humans rotoscoped into hand-drawn, backlit and airbrushed environments that mimicked the look of computer graphics.

So given more advanced technology, they wouldn't have put real illuminated clothes on the actors; they would've probably skipped the actors altogether and CG-animated the whole thing. That was the aesthetic they aspired to, after all -- a world of pure computer graphics -- so given the chance to create that for real, they certainly would have. (Which is why I think TRON: Uprising was truer to the original intent than Legacy was.)

- as evident by the fact that all of Sam's "vintage" Tron toys and merch is black with the color - so I think by Legacy it was either retconned that the black and blue/white for good and black and orange/red for 'troops'/bad was always the case. With white and blue suits being for either 'older' programs brought into the new system like Zeus and the Sirens or simply 'support' programs and black for the other programs that did day to day stuff.
I assume the black-suited look is from the new Grid that Flynn created after taking over Encom, which was separate from the original, spontaneously evolved Grid.

(That's another difference in conception between the original and the sequel. Computers were more mysterious back in '82, and the original film was thus more an anthropomorphic fantasy vision of computers as an alternate world where programs were little people running around, with the programmers having no idea that any of this was happening on the other side of the screen. And the programs looked like their programmers, as if the programmers' essence were part of their creations. It was kind of the same idea behind the Japanese Digimon franchise, technology filtered through an animistic outlook. But the modern TRON productions replace that fantasy take from the original with the more science-fictional and grounded notion of the Programs as intentionally created artificial intelligences inhabiting an intentionally created virtual world. I can understand why the change was made -- it's a more accessible idea to modern, more computer-savvy audiences -- but it's a pretty fundamental change in the premise, despite the pretense of being a direct continuation.)
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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