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... an Academy Award for its animated short film, Tin Toy. The film was created completely with 3 D computer graphics using Pixar's Renderman, a technique that uses 'shaders' or small pieces of programming code to describe surfaces, lighting effects and atmospheric effects. Surface shaders are small programs that algorithmically generate textures of objects based on mathematical formulas. These computer generated textures produce better looking objects, thus creating newer and better special effects than before (Kelln, 2001). The summer of 1994 featured blockbusters full of computer graphics.
In fact, some effects were so photo-realistic that the computer's role was undetectable. For example, in the movie Forrest Gump, animators used digital compositing, overlaying different video sequences on top of each other, to give the illusion that the actor Tom Hanks was in the same scene as President John F. Kennedy. They also used standard image editing techniques to 'cut' the legs off of an actor who played the part of an amputee victim from the Vietnam War. They simply had the actor wear knee-high blue tube socks. Then after the film was scanned into the computer, the artists used computer programs to copy portions of the background over the blue tube socks in every frame.
The finish product was a very realistic scene that looked as if the actor really was missing a leg (Kelln, 2001). At the end of the day... It is evident from the developments of computer animation and the making of the signature movies based on these landmark technologies that the engineering behind computer animation has opened a whole new dimension in the area of art (cinema) appreciation. Naturally, the role of engineers will become more prominent as they will begin to design more realistic animation techniques and with new advanced algorithms. Some of the most innovative engineers and animators are currently working on building additional software that will enable animators to manipulate and control 3 -D models and effects, leaving the future of computer animation wide open. So, the next time you watch something bizarre happening on your screen, think about the technology that has gone behind its making.
Claymation Chicken Run has become the first feature-length work of clay animation to fill movie theaters, grossing $ 17. 5 million its first weekend and over $ 45 million in the two weeks since. That's a lot of Play-doh. But the success begs the questions: Why hasn't clay animation been tried more often? And why did two previous attempts at full-length clay features stall at the box office? For one thing, clay does not fit the model of the Hollywood dream factory. In 'traditional' animation, like Aladdin or Bugs Bunny cartoons, the images are painted on clear celluloid sheets, known as 'cel' animation, one frame at a time.
Clay animation has a rich history that reaches back to 1897, when a pliable, oil-based modeling clay called 'plasticine' was invented. While not all of Chicken Run is done in 100 percent clay, Aardman stays close to traditions that have evolved over more than a century. The characters begin as clay and then are molded into armatures with latex coverings. The earliest surviving use of the technique is The Sculptor's Nightmare, a spoof on the 1908 presidential election.
In the final reel of the film, a slab of clay on a pedestal comes to life, metamorphosing into a bust of Teddy Roosevelt. Mack Sennet and D. W. Griffith, two important pioneers of early cinema, appear in the live-action portion of the film. In 1917, the first female animator of any kind, New York's Helena Smith Dayton, used real doll clothes and human hair to add realism to her clay depictions of fairy tales and classic literature, including Romeo and Juliet.
Wallace and Gromit A good example of claymation today is Wallace and Gromit, created by Nick Park. This dynamic duo of a crack-pot inventor, Wallace, and a dog who is a lot smarter than his owner, Gromit, has thrilled many with their exciting adventures. Whether traveling to the moon to load up on cheese or saving the crown jewels from an expert thief penguin, Wallace and Gromit always keep their audience wanting more. As a direct result of their popularity, Wallace and Gromit have become idols to the young and old. Nick Park is know for his expertise in clay animation. He began clay animating at a very young age and has worked his way up slowly to his professional status.
While working at Aardman Animations, his unique characters have appeared in three short films, 'A Grand Day Out ' (1992), 'The Wrong Trousers' (1993), and 'A Close Shave' (1995). Each of his Wallace & Gromit films has won him an Academy Award. It seems to be that after all of his time spent on these two, Park may take some time off from Wallace & Gromit to work on some other projects. Still, there is still rumor that there may be a new Wallace & Gromit film in the works sometime in the near future.
As for now, we can only anticipate and hope this rumor is actually truth. Celebrity Deathmatch Everyone first saw the show when they decided to flip over to MTV during half-time of the Superbowl. No one really expected those -kicking clay create to be so, well, downright funny. Of couse, we all wanted more. MTV's 'Celebrity Deathmatch' is a new clay animated weekly series that redefines color commentary in sports and event coverage. Each episode features three fantasy fights that poke fun at the worlds of film, television, music, and politics.
All of the joking is done through the use of clay imitations of today's hottest celebrities up against each other in a live arena. Created by Eric Fogel, the first 'Celebrity Deathmatch' premiered in the fall of 1997 during an episode of 'Cartoon Sushi, ' MTV's animated variety series. The singular fight was a fantasy fight between Charles Manson and Marilyn Manson. Both were competing for the title of 'Most Evil Man in America. ' MTV went on to debut a Super Bowl Half-Time special, 'Celebrity Deathmatch Deathbowl ' 98. ' This time, the show featured three bouts: Howard Stern vs. Kathie Lee Gifford, Pamela Anderson Lee vs. Ru Paul, and Hanson vs.
The Spice Girls. ''Celebrity Deathmatch' puts a new perspective on sports and event commentary in a way that only MTV can, 's aid Abby Terkuhle, President, MTV Animation. 'Following the overwhelming response to our 'Celebrity Deathmatch Deathbowl ' 98 's pencil, we think our viewers will love tuning in each week to watch fantasy fights involving clay renderings of their favorite celebrities. ' Now is that quality television or what? ? ? As in the tradition of most sports programs, 'Celebrity Deathmatch' also features the play-by-play commentating for each fight. They have covered every aspect of a fight broadcast to make the show as realistic as possible. MTV even includes all the pre-game and post-game activity including locker room footage, press conferences, and one-on-one interviews. America's favorite clay reporter, Stacy Cornbread, neatly sums up all of the events. Meanwhile, as the icing on the cake, we get a clay Mills Lane (he officiated the famous Evander Holyfield vs.
Mike Tyson ear-biting scene) as the referee, two goofy announcers (Johnny Gomez and Neil Diamond), and an 'analyst extraordinaire' in Marv Albert. Not to mention that everyone eventually gets what they deserve from writers Chris Kreski, Matt Harrigan, Michael Rubber, and Eric Fogel. The celebrity voices are close enough (Mills is the only one that speaks for himself) and the humor, well, its unique. There is just something about this show that draws you to it. 'Celebrity Deathmatch' will air regularly each Thursday night at 10: 00 PM (EST). John Lynn produces the show. Eric Fogel is creator / co -executive producer, while Abby Terkuhle is executive producer.
The future of Claymation Many people wonder where clay animation is headed. Some say clay animation is headed to the top of the pole and others say to the bottom, but we think it's right in the middle. 'There will always be a place for traditional clay animation, because it has its own look and feel, 's aid Tim Hittle, Independent Clay Animator. We feel he is absolutly correct. No matter where clay animation ends up in the future, there will always be a spot for clay animation. 'I think there is a general belief in the animation community that clay is just at th...
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