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Computer Animation. 451-113 Introduction to Computer Graphics and Systems. Principles of Animation. The real world is continuous and analogue We perceive movement through changing scale and differential parallax

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computer animation

Computer Animation

451-113 Introduction to Computer Graphics and Systems

principles of animation
Principles of Animation
  • The real world is continuous and analogue
  • We perceive movement through changing scale and differential parallax
  • In order to reproduce this we need to ‘sample’ the real world, and to exploit properties of the human viewing system
the human eye
The Human Eye
  • Our retina retains a latent image for about 1/15 second
  • If we can view a series of images faster than this, we will perceive this as fluid movement
  • A lesser frequency (or frame rate) and will will see this as jerky
background
Background
  • Humankind has used illustrations and movement to explain stories for millennia
  • shadows on cave walls
  • wayang puppets
  • lines in the sand
the industrial revolution
The Industrial Revolution
  • Science and technology facilitated the reproduction of movement
  • Before photography, artists drew sequences of images and we observed then through a device to simulate movement
  • After the 1830s, photography took over this role from artists
edweard muybridge
Edweard Muybridge
  • Often credited with being the inventor of motion pictures
  • Studied the gait of humans and animals using a camera and a moving stage
movie animation
Movie Animation
  • Walt Disney set the standard for cartoon animation of characters, Steamboat Willie released in 1928
  • Once again artists drew key frames, and cheaper labour filled in the missing frames (inbetweening, a term we still use)
information revolution
Information Revolution
  • Mechanical and manual methods of animation are replaced by computer systems
  • Computer graphics packages are now used to create rendered frames, artists still supply creative input
animation methods
Animation Methods
  • Animated GIFs
  • Flythoughs
  • Keyframes
  • Parametric
  • Motion Capture
animated gifs
Animated GIFs
  • Basically the same approach as a flip book
  • A series of GIF images are played sequentially
  • The basis of Web animation
    • small, fast
software systems
Software Systems
  • MicroStation permits flythroughs and keyframing, with some script control
  • Better systems use all methods
  • It is a very involved process if it is to appear realistic
flythrough animation
Flythrough Animation
  • For a flythrough, only the camera is moved
  • All other elements remain stationery, including the objects, lighting, materials and so on
  • Generally, a camera path is determined, the number of frames decided, and the rendering method set
keyframe animation
Keyframe Animation
  • In this case the key frames are determined
    • this includes materials, lights, objects, camera position
  • The number of frames between the keyframes are determined
  • The system then generated the in between frames (inbetweening!)
parametric animation
Parametric Animation
  • A set of behaviours are determined for each object to be animated
  • These are then used to generate the animations
  • Good for repeated sequences
    • a flock of birds, water, rain drops…
    • often achieved by the use of ‘plugins’ (3DMax)
video systems
Video Systems
  • There are 3 common video systems used in the world, SECAN, NTSC and PAL
  • In Australia we use PAL
  • 760x576± resolution, 25 frames per second
  • We need to use this if our animations are written to video tape
  • If not, anything goes!
codecs
Codecs
  • Short for compressors/decompressors
  • Used to reduce the final file size
    • full frame video at 25Hz = 30Mb/s±!
    • very few graphics cards can reproduce this
    • the Internet certainly cannot
  • Common ones include MicroSoft Video (for AVI), MPEG, Quicktime, Real Video...
web delivery
Web Delivery
  • Prerecorded video can be delivered across the Internet only if it is compressed
  • ‘Streaming’ is possible with some formats but not with MPEG
  • Another approach to deliver animation is to produce VRML files
    • gives interactivity and movement
virtual reality modelling language vrml
Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML)
  • Delivers 3d geometry over the Internet, as well as animations
  • Gives the user a degree of interactivity
  • Support in the industry varies
    • SGI Cosmoplayer now defunct
    • Cortona VRML a new release
    • see example
summary
Summary
  • Good computer animation is difficult
  • However modern computers give people a viable outlet for their creative bent
  • A flythrough of a block of cheese is just the beginning!