ITGS Syllabus

Monday, April 02, 2007

Topic 208

Film: digital actor simulations, characters and animation by Aditya

Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement.


The invention or creation of animation cannot be attributed to any single person. The technology emerged in the early 1900s. These drew on inventions from the 1800s such as the Phenakistoscope and the Zoetrope. The real breakthrough was the creation of the character Felix the Cat in 1919, by Otto Messmer.


Animation films can develop into expensive projects. The movie "Prince of Egypt" cost Walt Disney $60 million. Thus, making an animation film can be a huge risk. It is difficult to gauge whether your ticket sales will be enough to compensate for production costs. This is so expensive owing to the need for superior talent which has to be bought with a LOT of money and superior computer software to put together the sketches prepared by the artists. The high price could lead to the eventuality that less people have jobs. So, the stakeholders are the actors who lend their voice and production companies basically. So, on a higher scale, production companies stand to lose or gain monumental sums of money. The same can be said for actors who lend their voices.

The monumental expenses can be solved either by a lower demand for animated films which is very difficult to do. I assume this can be done by raising ticket prices. Another, more feasible way is to hire artists at a lower price and by software which is cheaper, one whose production is more efficient.

This technology affects the entertainment industry, the economy (because movies raise tremendous sums of money for the economy) and the profession of acting.

This problem is less prevalent in the east because the east is ahead when it comes to cheaper software and also has found that quality of animation doesn't matter as much when making a product for their audience.


Film: digital actor simulations, characters and animation by Chaan

Traditional television means that the viewer may only decide which program he/she wants to watch. With the new developments of digital and interactive television and
multimedia products, the viewer will be more and more able to interact with programs and this will lead to individual programs for each viewer. An example of this is the Apple TV where Apple uses the slogan that “now there will always be something interesting on TV” and this just means that using Apple TV a person can stream his/her library contest including all the movies and TV shows on his TV in the living room!

In the games market, constant innovation is required in order to prevent sales of games from falling off. Convincing simulated humans in games have been identified by the industry as a way of giving a fresh appearance to existing games which will give the consumers more incentive to buy games and thus improve the economy! (indirectly of course)

There is increasing use of animation in film production including production of video assets for multi-media titles. Providing a capability for simulating people will extend the range of uses of 3-D graphics animation. I remember playing the game Max Payne 2 and I was so addicted to it that I started skipping lunch and dinner and I finally finished the entire game after 5 days and I realized why I was so addicted to it. The digital actor in the game had been simulated so well that I could connect it to him on a personal level and at times I felt like it was me in the game!

Characters are used in Disney movies all the time. For example, more than thousands of characters have been created in kids movies. To name a few, there’s mickey mouse, Minnie mouse, Donald duck, uncle scrooge, pink panther, Winnie the pooh, chip and dale and the list can keep going on. All these characters are animated but kids still love them like they would love a real person. Actually, most kids love these animated characters more than the real people. This is perhaps because the animated characters are all about the laughs and happiness and no tears and sadness and that’s what everyone wants to see. Nobody wants to see the reality of life.

We see animation being used everywhere today. Animation is considered “cute” and it appeals to kids. One of the main consumers for companies today are the kids. Kids pee in their clothes so they have to buy a lot of new clothes and that’s why companies use animated characters in order to appeal to these kids. Animation is a very cool trick because you can create animations on the computer, without worrying about setting up appointments with real life actors and all the other things real life actors and directors have to go through! Ask Steve Jobs, who owns 9% of Disney, and he’ll agree that the art of animation is one of the coolest arts ever invented!


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