Wired exposes new tech for The Matrix: Reloaded

There's a fascinating article over at Wired detailing what was necessary behind the scenes to produce The Matrix Reloaded's stunning array of new visual effects. Here's a snippet to whet your appetite:
The old Bullet Time rig had produced the illusion that reality was a big CAD file, but it was just an effect, not a three-dimensional world that could be manipulated as easily as if it really was a CAD file. The universal-capture rig enabled ESC to smuggle the faces of Neo and Agent Smith across the border between the digital and the real, into Gaeta's Matrix - a zone where skyscrapers, skin, flames, and marauding machines are all re-created equal.

What this means for moviemaking is that once a scene is captured, filmmakers can fly the virtual camera through thousands of "takes" of the original performance - and from any angle they want, zooming in for a close-up, dollying back for the wide shot, or launching into the sky. Virtual cinematography.

Apparently, virtual cinematography is so convincing that it could even be used for mass deception, which I have to admit is a little disconcerting. Still, I'll be lining up for opening night.
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