Technology

Revisiting SD Porn: Visual Trickery has a Long Tradition

After writing my two articles “The Wall Illustrated: Jesse Jane” and “The Curse of High-Definition Porn (No, it’s not about ‘addiction’ and women who look ‘too good’)“, I did some research and tracked down footage of Jesse Jane in her prime. If you’re curious, there is a two-part series called “The Best of Jesse Jane”. Believe it or not, but I did not do this to jerk off. I can indeed watch porn with an analytic eye and not fap. My goal was to jog my memory about porn before the HD era.

As we discussed, the resolution of HD porn is too high, making the physical imperfections of the actresses too obvious. As some of you pointed out, their makeup becomes more obvious, too, so much so that you can tell where they are covering up their acne. Or you may see skin irritations from shaving down there. Yet, as I quickly realized, SD porn used plenty of visual trickery to make the women look better, so it wasn’t just the lower resolution that makes them appear more appealing. I noticed visual effects such as increased lighting; I think the technical term is overexposure. With it, skin imperfections are a lot more difficult to identify. To add to that effect, you can blur the image, something I noticed in at least one scene of that Jesse Jane best-off collection. There may have been others, but at times I was not quite sure whether I was looking at mere technical artifacts due to low resolution and compression. The combination of increased lighting and a slight blur gives the image a somewhat dreamy atmosphere, arguably all with the intention to boost the perceived sex appeal of the actresses.

Lastly, I had the impression that close-up shots were not as common in SD. In HD porn, you sometimes get a shot of her pussy or asshole that covers your entire screen, or you get a chick’s lips wrapped around the tip of a cock, and that’s all you see for a while. The latter is a particularly curious case as you would never get that close in real life due to how far away your cock is from your eyes. Then again, if you are a soyboy cuck, then you could certainly get a similar angle as you watch your wife blow her boyfriend. Anyway, I think close-ups are the most problematic scenes in HD porn as you see, for instance, skin blemishes so much more easily, and who wants to get sidetracked by a chick’s blackheads, acne scars, or rashes while fapping?

It seems that with high-quality SD porn, the directors knew what kind of shots to avoid and how to increase the visual appeal of the women. In contrast, at least in the HD material I have studied, contemporary porn directors seem to get their 4K camera and unsteadily walk around the actresses, zooming in at will. In the video game Gears of War, the unsteady camera when moving was called “roadie cam”; that’s what some HD porn is like. It could also be that the profit margins are no longer there in HD porn, so the goal is simply to get the material out as quickly as possible, so there is not much scripting and shootings are in one or two takes. The so-called director may just run around the actors, cut the material down afterwards, and push it out for release within a day or two. Otherwise, I couldn’t explain the sometimes shoddy work even from high-profile studios.

In any case, even though SD porn wasn’t all that, I think that from an artistic point of view, based on “The Best of Jesse Jane”, the quality was higher than it is nowadays. Is there even any porn with high production values anymore? A decade ago you had feature-length movies with proper scripts and more dialogue than your typical Hollywood action flick. There were a few big-budget productions with Jesse Jane and others that are more fun to watch than the kind of Hollywood schlock I get to choose from when I’m on an intercontinental flight. I particularly recommend Fly Girls, which, er, explores the topic of stewardesses having sex with passengers and the pilots. Fly Girls made me laugh more than most Hollywood comedies. Heck, the name of that movie is great alone and more creative than what most Hollywood creatives come up with (‘fly’ is the zipper of your pants; as an adjective it means fashionable, sexy, or desirable). I should probably rewatch it to assess that movie’s technical merits.


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4 thoughts on “Revisiting SD Porn: Visual Trickery has a Long Tradition

  1. I wonder how porn makes mone since the days that streaming became a non-issue from a technical point of view.
    How are they covering their costs? Who’s paying for this?
    Take sth like danejones. They’ll make a say 45min video and put a 9min cut down version on pornhub. That’s more than enough material to jerk-off to. Why should I pay for a monthly subscription to watch the whole thing?

    1. I think the industry is screwed. Revenue sharing with Pornhub and other sites may be one of their income streams. Still, if you have a product like that, you can’t effectively sell it. Imagine how well Hollywood would do if watching a trailer was about as good, if not better, than watching the full movie. In porn that is often the case because the clips on those aggregator sites are condensed, getting straight to the point, whereas you get b.s. intros or hamfisted acting before the fucking in the full scenes.

    2. Well, I find that in Hollywood recently a lot of trailers end up being better than the movies. I am not sure if this is because movies are objectively getting worse each year, or because as I get older I have less patience for bullshit. Maybe they were garbage all along and I just didnt notice?

      I am not so familiar with the porn industry, so maybe someone more knowable can tell – is it possible that the average actresses are not making most of their income from films but from camming? That would make more sense than subscribing to a an old fashioned porn site. and from the side of the actress, it allows to rely upon a more dedicated fanbase?

    3. From what I gather, plenty of those actresses shoot porn scenes as some kind of advertising. One report I came across stated that the pay for a scene has dropped from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred (!); since getting fucked on camera doesn’t pay the bills, they do, as you assumed, make money cam whoring. In addition, they make money as escorts, charging 500 bucks for half an hour. The bigger names charge around 2k/hour.

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