Computer animation complete [electronic resource] : by Rick Parent

By Rick Parent

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As early as the early 1960s, computer animation was produced as artistic expression. The early artistic animators in this period included Ken Knowlton, Lillian Schwartz, S. M. Noll. Typical artistic animations consisted of animated abstract line drawings displayed on vector refresh displays. Chuck Csuri, an artist at Ohio State University, produced pieces such as Hummingbird (1967) that were more representational. In the early 1970s, computer animation in university research labs became more widespread.

In fi lm, computer graphics helps to bring alien creatures to life. Synthetic alien creatures, while they should appear to be real, do not have to match specific audience expectations. Young Sherlock Holmes (1986, ILM) was the first to place a synthetic character in a live-action feature film. An articulated stained glass window comes to life and is made part of the live action. The light sources and movements of the camera in the live action had to be mimicked in the synthetic environment, and images from the live action were made to refract through the synthetic stained glass.

Optically 26 CHAPTER 1 Introduction compositing each element in a film meant another pass of the negative through an optical film printer, which meant additional degradation of image quality. With the advent of digital compositing, the limit on the number of composited elements is removed. Third, once fi lms are routinely stored digitally, digital techniques can be used for wire removal and to apply special effects. These digital techniques have become the bread and butter of computer graphics in the film industry.

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