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Seminar Computer Animation. Arjan Egges Lecture #2: History of Animation. Introduction. Animate = “Give life to” Adding the dimension of time to graphics Animator specifies movement of objects through time and space. Two main categories. Computer-assisted animation 2D & 2 1/2 D

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Seminar Computer Animation

Arjan Egges

Lecture #2: History of Animation


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Introduction

  • Animate = “Give life to”

  • Adding the dimension of time to graphics

  • Animator specifies movement of objects through time and space


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Two main categories

  • Computer-assisted animation

    • 2D & 2 1/2 D

    • Inbetweening

    • Inking, virtual camera, managing data, etc

  • Computer generated animation

    • Low level techniques

      • Precisely specifying motion

    • High level techniques

      • Describe general motion behavior


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Introduction

  • Low-level techniques

    • Shape interpolation

    • Helps the animator fill in the details of the motion given enough information

    • Animator has a fairly specific idea of target motion

  • High-level techniques

    • Generate a motion given a set of rules or constraints

    • Object motion is controlled by a model/algorithm

    • Fairly sophisticated computation, such as physically-based motion


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Introduction

  • Another way of looking at this: level of abstraction

  • Very low-level: animator colours every pixel individually in every frame

  • Very-high level: tell the computer “make a movie about a dog”

  • Challenge lies in developing tools that allow animators to animate on different levels


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Perception

  • Eye/brain assembles images and interprets them as continuous movement

  • Persistence of vision: sequence of still images shown at a fast enough rate to induce sensation of continuous imagery

  • Eye retains visual imprint once stimulus is removed

    • “positive afterimages”

  • Persistence of vision is not persistence of motion


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Perception

  • Persistence of vision lower bound:

    • Playback rate of images

    • Critical flicker frequency

  • Persistence of motion has an upper bound:

    • Object moves too quickly

    • Motion blur

  • Two important rates:

    • Playback/refresh rate

    • Sampling/update rate


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The early days

  • Persistence of vision: discovered in the 1800s.

    • Zoetrope

    • Flipbook

    • Thaumatrope


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The early days

  • End of the 19th centure introduced moving image by using a projector.

    • Magic Lantern and shadow puppets

    • Zoopraxinoscope (zoetrope + projector)

    • Kinetograph

      • First motion picture viewer


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The early days

  • Animation movie pioneers

    • J. Stuart Blackton (smoke effect, 1900)

      • First animated cartoon in 1906

      • Used a chalkboard for drawing and erasing frames

    • Emile Cohl (Fantasmogorie,

      1908)

    • Winsor McCay (Little Nemo)

      • Each image redrawn on rice paper and then filmed


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The early days

  • Major technical developments by John Bray (1910):

    • compositing multiple layers of drawings into a final image (celluloid)

    • using grayscale

    • Drawing background on long sheet of paper for panning

  • Max Fleischer (Betty Boop), Walter Lantz (Woody Woodpecker)

  • Fleischer patented rotoscoping in 1915


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The early days

  • First animated character: Felix the Cat (Otto Messmer) in early 1920s.

  • Disney came around end 1920s, introducing a number of innovations

    • Storyboards

    • Pencil sketches for reviewing motion

    • Multiplane camera

    • Using sound & colour


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Multiplane Camera

  • Move scene layers independently of camera

  • Six directions of movement for each plane


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Multiplane camera

  • Powerful tool:

    • More effective zoom

      • Move foreground image to the side

    • Parallax effect

      • Moving planes at different rates

    • Adding depth cues

      • Blur the images on more distant planes

    • Introduce motion blur by fast moving planes


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The early days

  • Sound was added for the first time in Steamboat Willie (1928)

  • Disney promoted idea that mind of the character was the driving force of the action

    • Analysis of real-life motion



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Other Media Animation

  • Computer animation is often compared to stop motion animation

    • Puppet animation

      • Willis O’Brian (King Kong)

      • Ray Harryhausen (Might joe Yong, Jason and the Argonauts)


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Other Media Animation

  • Claymation

  • Sand animation

    Physical object is manipulated, image captured, repeat


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Production of Animation

  • Preliminary story

  • Story board

  • Detailed story

  • Key Frames

  • Test shot

  • Pencil test

  • Inbetweening

  • Inking

  • Coloring

Computer Animation

basically follows this

pipeline


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Computer Animation as Animation

  • Lasseter translated traditional principles of animation to computer animation

    • Lasseter is conventionally trained animator

      • Worked at Disney before going to Pixar

      • Many celebrated animations

      • Knick-knack (oscar-winning)


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Computer Animation Research

In Research labs

  • NYIT

Still frame from Gumby animation by Hank Grebe and Dick Lundin, 1984.


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Computer Animation Research

  • University of Utah

    • Films on walking and talking figure

    • Animated hand and animated face (1972)

  • University of Pennsylvania

    • Human figure animation (Norm Badler)

  • MIRALab, Geneva

    • Virtual Humans (Daniel & Nadia Thalmann)


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Pioneering animation movies

Pixar

  • Luxo Jr. (1986)

    • first computer animation to be nominated for an Academy Award

  • Red's Dream (1987)

  • Tin Toy (1988)

    • first computer animation to win an Academy Award

  • Knick Knack (1989)


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Early CG in film

  • Future World (1976)

  • Star Wars (1977)

  • Tron (1982, MAGI)

    • Supposed to look like a computer

  • The Last Starfighter (1984)

    • Use CG in place of models

  • Willow (1988, ILM)

    • Morphing video

    • First digital blue screen matte extraction

  • The Abyss (1989, ILM)

  • Lawnmower man (1992, Xaos, Angel Studios)

    • Hollywood’s view of VR


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Early CG in film

  • Jurassic Park (1993, ILM)

  • Forrest Gump (1994, Digital Domain)

    • Insert CG ping pong ball

  • Babe (1995, Rhythm & Hues)

    • Move mouths of animals & fill in background

  • Toy Story (1995, Pixar & Disney)

    • First full length fully CG 3D animation


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Early CG on TV

  • Reboot (1995, Limelight Ltd. BLT Productions)

    • Similar intention of “inside computer”

    • First fully 3D Sat. morning cartoon

  • Babylon 5 (1995)

    • Routinely used CG models as regular features

  • Simpsons (1995 PDI)


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More recent movies with CG

  • Final fantasy (2001)

    • Fully 3D simulated environment

  • Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)

    • One of the first movies using crowds (Massive)

  • Polar express (2004)

    • Fully motion-capture based

  • The Shrek movies (2001, 2004, 2007)

  • Avatar (2009)


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Resources

  • Milestones of the animation industry in the 20th Century

    • http://www.awn.com/mag/issue4.10/4.10pages/cohenmilestones6.php3

  • Brief History of NYIT Computer Graphics Lab

    • http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~ph/nyit/masson/nyit.html

  • Rick Parent

    • http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~parent

    • http://old.siggraph.org/education/materials/HyperGraph/animation/rick_parent/Intr.html


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