Computer animation

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An example of computer animation which is produced in the "motion capture" technique Activemarker2.PNG
An example of computer animation which is produced in the "motion capture" technique

Computer animation is the process used for generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images, while computer animation only refers to the moving images. Modern computer animation usually uses 3D computer graphics, although 2D computer graphics are still used for stylistic, low bandwidth, and faster real-time renderings. Sometimes, the target of the animation is the computer itself, but sometimes film as well.

Computer-generated imagery application of computer graphics to create or contribute to images

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of gogouse computer graphics to create or contribute to images in art, printed media, video games, films, television programs, shorts, commercials, videos, and simulators. The visual scenes may be dynamic or static and may be two-dimensional (2D), though the term "CGI" is most commonly used to refer to 3D computer graphics used for creating scenes or special effects in films and television. Additionally, the use of 2D CGI is often mistakenly referred to as "traditional animation", most often in the case when dedicated animation software such as Adobe Flash or Toon Boom is not used or the CGI is hand drawn using a tablet and mouse.

Animation process of creating animated films and series

Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most animations are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures.

Virtual cinematography

Virtual cinematography is the set of cinematographic techniques performed in a computer graphics environment. This includes a wide variety of subjects like photographing real objects, often with stereo or multi-camera setup, for the purpose of recreating them as three-dimensional objects and algorithms for automated creation of real and simulated camera angles.

Contents

Computer animation is essentially a digital successor to the stop motion techniques using 3D models, and traditional animation techniques using frame-by-frame animation of 2D illustrations. Computer-generated animations are more controllable than other more physically based processes, constructing miniatures for effects shots or hiring extras for crowd scenes, and because it allows the creation of images that would not be feasible using any other technology. It can also allow a single graphic artist to produce such content without the use of actors, expensive set pieces, or props. To create the illusion of movement, an image is displayed on the computer monitor and repeatedly replaced by a new image that is similar to it, but advanced slightly in time (usually at a rate of 24, 25 or 30 frames/second). This technique is identical to how the illusion of movement is achieved with television and motion pictures.

Stop motion animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own

Stop motion is an animated-film making technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames so that they will appear to exhibit independent motion when the series of frames is played back as a fast sequence. Dolls with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Stop-motion animation using plasticine figures is called clay animation or "clay-mation". Not all stop motion, however, requires figures or models: stop-motion films can also be made using humans, household appliances, and other objects, usually for comedic effect. Stop motion using humans is sometimes referred to as pixilation or pixilate animation.

Traditional animation animation technique in which frames are hand-drawn

Traditional animation is an animation technique in which each frame is drawn by hand on a physical medium. The technique was the dominant form of animation in cinema until the advent of computer animation.

Miniature effect special effect created for motion pictures and television programs using scale models

A miniature effect is a special effect created for motion pictures and television programs using scale models. Scale models are often combined with high speed photography or matte shots to make gravitational and other effects appear convincing to the viewer. The use of miniatures has largely been superseded by computer-generated imagery in the contemporary cinema.

For 3D animations, objects (models) are built on the computer monitor (modeled) and 3D figures are rigged with a virtual skeleton. For 2D figure animations, separate objects (illustrations) and separate transparent layers are used with or without that virtual skeleton. Then the limbs, eyes, mouth, clothes, etc. of the figure are moved by the animator on key frames. The differences in appearance between key frames are automatically calculated by the computer in a process known as tweening or morphing. Finally, the animation is rendered. [1]

Skeletal animation

Skeletal animation is a technique in computer animation in which a character is represented in two parts: a surface representation used to draw the character and a hierarchical set of interconnected bones used to animate the mesh. While this technique is often used to animate humans or more generally for organic modeling, it only serves to make the animation process more intuitive, and the same technique can be used to control the deformation of any object—such as a door, a spoon, a building, or a galaxy. When the animated object is more general than, for example, a humanoid character, the set of bones may not be hierarchical or interconnected, but it just represents a higher level description of the motion of the part of mesh or skin it is influencing.

A keyframe in animation and filmmaking is a drawing that defines the starting and ending points of any smooth transition.The drawings are called "frames" because their position in time is measured in frames on a strip of film. A sequence of keyframes defines which movement the viewer will see, whereas the position of the keyframes on the film, video, or animation defines the timing of the movement. Because only two or three keyframes over the span of a second do not create the illusion of movement, the remaining frames are filled with inbetweens.

Inbetweening or tweening is a key process in all types of animation, including computer animation. It is the process of generating intermediate frames between two images, called key frames, to give the appearance that the first image evolves smoothly into the second image. Inbetweens are the drawings which create the illusion of motion.

For 3D animations, all frames must be rendered after the modeling is complete. For 2D vector animations, the rendering process is the key frame illustration process, while tweened frames are rendered as needed. For pre-recorded presentations, the rendered frames are transferred to a different format or medium, like digital video. The frames may also be rendered in real time as they are presented to the end-user audience. Low bandwidth animations transmitted via the internet (e.g. Adobe Flash, X3D) often use software on the end-users computer to render in real time as an alternative to streaming or pre-loaded high bandwidth animations.

Rendering (computer graphics) The process of generating an image from a model

Rendering or image synthesis is the automatic process of generating a photorealistic or non-photorealistic image from a 2D or 3D model by means of computer programs. Also, the results of displaying such a model can be called a render. A scene file contains objects in a strictly defined language or data structure; it would contain geometry, viewpoint, texture, lighting, and shading information as a description of the virtual scene. The data contained in the scene file is then passed to a rendering program to be processed and output to a digital image or raster graphics image file. The term "rendering" may be by analogy with an "artist's rendering" of a scene.

Adobe Flash is a deprecated multimedia software platform used for production of animations, rich Internet applications, desktop applications, mobile applications, mobile games and embedded web browser video players. Flash displays text, vector graphics and raster graphics to provide animations, video games and applications. It allows streaming of audio and video, and can capture mouse, keyboard, microphone and camera input. Related development platform Adobe AIR continues to be supported.

X3D is a royalty-free ISO standard for declaratively representing 3D computer graphics. File format support includes XML, ClassicVRML, Compressed Binary Encoding (CBE) and a draft JSON encoding. It became the successor to the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) in 2001. X3D features extensions to VRML, the ability to encode the scene using an XML syntax as well as the Open Inventor-like syntax of VRML97, or binary formatting, and enhanced application programming interfaces (APIs).

Explanation

To trick the eye and the brain into thinking they are seeing a smoothly moving object, the pictures should be drawn at around 12 frames per second or faster. [2] (A frame is one complete image.) With rates above 75-120 frames per second, no improvement in realism or smoothness is perceivable due to the way the eye and the brain both process images. At rates below 12 frames per second, most people can detect jerkiness associated with the drawing of new images that detracts from the illusion of realistic movement. [3] Conventional hand-drawn cartoon animation often uses 15 frames per second in order to save on the number of drawings needed, but this is usually accepted because of the stylized nature of cartoons. To produce more realistic imagery, computer animation demands higher frame rates.

Human eye mammalian eye; part of the visual organ of the human body, and move using a system of six muscles

The human eye is an organ which reacts to light and pressure. As a sense organ, the mammalian eye allows vision. Human eyes help to provide a three dimensional, moving image, normally coloured in daylight. Rod and cone cells in the retina allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth. The human eye can differentiate between about 10 million colors and is possibly capable of detecting a single photon.

Human brain main organ of the human nervous system

The human brain is the central organ of the human nervous system, and with the spinal cord makes up the central nervous system. The brain consists of the cerebrum, the brainstem and the cerebellum. It controls most of the activities of the body, processing, integrating, and coordinating the information it receives from the sense organs, and making decisions as to the instructions sent to the rest of the body. The brain is contained in, and protected by, the skull bones of the head.

Frame rate is the frequency (rate) at which consecutive images called frames appear on a display. The term applies equally to film and video cameras, computer graphics, and motion capture systems. Frame rate may also be called the frame frequency, and be expressed in hertz.

Films seen in theaters in the United States run at 24 frames per second, which is sufficient to create the illusion of continuous movement. For high resolution, adapters are used.

History

Early digital computer animation was developed at Bell Telephone Laboratories in the 1960s by Edward E. Zajac, Frank W. Sinden, Kenneth C. Knowlton, and A. Michael Noll. [4] Other digital animation was also practiced at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. [5]

Bell Labs research and scientific development company

Nokia Bell Labs is an industrial research and scientific development company owned by Finnish company Nokia. Its headquarters are located in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Other laboratories are located around the world. Bell Labs has its origins in the complex past of the Bell System.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory federal research institute in Livermore, California, United States

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a federal research facility in Livermore, California, United States, founded by the University of California, Berkeley in 1952. A Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), it is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a partnership of the University of California, Bechtel, BWX Technologies, AECOM, and Battelle Memorial Institute in affiliation with the Texas A&M University System. In 2012, the laboratory had the synthetic chemical element livermorium named after it.

In 1967, a computer animation named "Hummingbird" was created by Charles Csuri and James Shaffer. [6]

In 1968, a computer animation called "Kitty" was created with BESM-4 by Nikolai Konstantinov, depicting a cat moving around. [7]

In 1971, a computer animation called "Metadata" was created, showing various shapes. [8]

An early step in the history of computer animation was the sequel to the 1973 film Westworld, a science-fiction film about a society in which robots live and work among humans. [9] The sequel, Futureworld (1976), used the 3D wire-frame imagery, which featured a computer-animated hand and face both created by University of Utah graduates Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke. [10] This imagery originally appeared in their student film A Computer Animated Hand , which they completed in 1972. [11] [12]

Developments in CGI technologies are reported each year at SIGGRAPH, [13] an annual conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques that is attended by thousands of computer professionals each year. [14] Developers of computer games and 3D video cards strive to achieve the same visual quality on personal computers in real-time as is possible for CGI films and animation. With the rapid advancement of real-time rendering quality, artists began to use game engines to render non-interactive movies, which led to the art form Machinima.

The very first full length computer animated television series was ReBoot , [15] which debuted in September 1994; the series followed the adventures of characters who lived inside a computer. [16] The first feature-length computer animated film was Toy Story (1995), which was made by Pixar. [17] [18] [19] It followed an adventure centered around toys and their owners. This groundbreaking film was also the first of many fully computer-animated movies. [18]

Animation methods

In this .gif of a 2D Flash animation, each 'stick' of the figure is keyframed over time to create motion. Stickwalkav.gif
In this .gif of a 2D Flash animation, each 'stick' of the figure is keyframed over time to create motion.

In most 3D computer animation systems, an animator creates a simplified representation of a character's anatomy, which is analogous to a skeleton or stick figure. [20] They are by default arranged into a default position known as a bind pose. The position of each segment of the skeletal model is defined by animation variables, or Avars for short. In human and animal characters, many parts of the skeletal model correspond to the actual bones, but skeletal animation is also used to animate other things, with facial features (though other methods for facial animation exist). [21] The character "Woody" in Toy Story , for example, uses 700 Avars (100 in the face alone). The computer doesn't usually render the skeletal model directly (it is invisible), but it does use the skeletal model to compute the exact position and orientation of that certain character, which is eventually rendered into an image. Thus by changing the values of Avars over time, the animator creates motion by making the character move from frame to frame.

There are several methods for generating the Avar values to obtain realistic motion. Traditionally, animators manipulate the Avars directly. [22] Rather than set Avars for every frame, they usually set Avars at strategic points (frames) in time and let the computer interpolate or tween between them in a process called keyframing . Keyframing puts control in the hands of the animator and has roots in hand-drawn traditional animation. [23]

In contrast, a newer method called motion capture makes use of live action footage. [24] When computer animation is driven by motion capture, a real performer acts out the scene as if they were the character to be animated. [25] His/her motion is recorded to a computer using video cameras and markers and that performance is then applied to the animated character. [26]

Each method has its advantages and as of 2007, games and films are using either or both of these methods in productions. Keyframe animation can produce motions that would be difficult or impossible to act out, while motion capture can reproduce the subtleties of a particular actor. [27] For example, in the 2006 film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest , Bill Nighy provided the performance for the character Davy Jones. Even though Nighy doesn't appear in the movie himself, the movie benefited from his performance by recording the nuances of his body language, posture, facial expressions, etc. Thus motion capture is appropriate in situations where believable, realistic behavior and action is required, but the types of characters required exceed what can be done throughout the conventional costuming.

Modeling

3D computer animation combines 3D models of objects and programmed or hand "keyframed" movement. These models are constructed out of geometrical vertices, faces, and edges in a 3D coordinate system. Objects are sculpted much like real clay or plaster, working from general forms to specific details with various sculpting tools. Unless a 3D model is intended to be a solid color, it must be painted with "textures" for realism. A bone/joint animation system is set up to deform the CGI model (e.g., to make a humanoid model walk). In a process known as rigging, the virtual marionette is given various controllers and handles for controlling movement. [28] Animation data can be created using motion capture, or keyframing by a human animator, or a combination of the two. [29]

3D models rigged for animation may contain thousands of control points — for example, "Woody" from Toy Story uses 700 specialized animation controllers. Rhythm and Hues Studios labored for two years to create Aslan in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , which had about 1,851 controllers (742 in the face alone). In the 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow , designers had to design forces of extreme weather with the help of video references and accurate meteorological facts. For the 2005 remake of King Kong , actor Andy Serkis was used to help designers pinpoint the gorilla's prime location in the shots and used his expressions to model "human" characteristics onto the creature. Serkis had earlier provided the voice and performance for Gollum in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Equipment

A ray-traced 3-D model of a jack inside a cube, and the jack alone below. Jack-in-cube solid model, light background.gif
A ray-traced 3-D model of a jack inside a cube, and the jack alone below.

Computer animation can be created with a computer and an animation software. Some impressive animation can be achieved even with basic programs; however, the rendering can take a lot of time on an ordinary home computer. [30] Professional animators of movies, television and video games could make photorealistic animation with high detail. This level of quality for movie animation would take hundreds of years to create on a home computer. Instead, many powerful workstation computers are used. [31] Graphics workstation computers use two to four processors, and they are a lot more powerful than an actual home computer and are specialized for rendering. A large number of workstations (known as a "render farm") are networked together to effectively act as a giant computer. [32] The result is a computer-animated movie that can be completed in about one to five years (however, this process is not composed solely of rendering). A workstation typically costs $2,000-16,000 with the more expensive stations being able to render much faster due to the more technologically-advanced hardware that they contain. Professionals also use digital movie cameras, motion/performance capture, bluescreens, film editing software, props, and other tools used for movie animation.

Facial animation

The realistic modeling of human facial features is both one of the most challenging and sought after elements in computer-generated imagery. Computer facial animation is a highly complex field where models typically include a very large number of animation variables. [33] Historically speaking, the first SIGGRAPH tutorials on State of the art in Facial Animation in 1989 and 1990 proved to be a turning point in the field by bringing together and consolidating multiple research elements and sparked interest among a number of researchers. [34]

The Facial Action Coding System (with 46 "action units", "lip bite" or "squint"), which had been developed in 1976, became a popular basis for many systems. [35] As early as 2001, MPEG-4 included 68 Face Animation Parameters (FAPs) for lips, jaws, etc., and the field has made significant progress since then and the use of facial microexpression has increased. [35] [36]

In some cases, an affective space, the PAD emotional state model, can be used to assign specific emotions to the faces of avatars. [37] In this approach, the PAD model is used as a high level emotional space and the lower level space is the MPEG-4 Facial Animation Parameters (FAP). A mid-level Partial Expression Parameters (PEP) space is then used to in a two-level structure – the PAD-PEP mapping and the PEP-FAP translation model. [38]

Realism

Realism in computer animation can mean making each frame look photorealistic, in the sense that the scene is rendered to resemble a photograph or make the characters' animation believable and lifelike. [39] Computer animation can also be realistic with or without the photorealistic rendering. [40]

One of the greatest challenges in computer animation has been creating human characters that look and move with the highest degree of realism. Part of the difficulty in making pleasing, realistic human characters is the uncanny valley, the concept where the human audience (up to a point) tends to have an increasingly negative, emotional response as a human replica looks and acts more and more human. Films that have attempted photorealistic human characters, such as The Polar Express , [41] [42] [43] Beowulf , [44] and A Christmas Carol [45] [46] have been criticized as "creepy" and "disconcerting".

The goal of computer animation is not always to emulate live action as closely as possible, so many animated films instead feature characters who are anthropomorphic animals, fantasy creatures and characters, superheroes, or otherwise have non-realistic, cartoon-like proportions. [47] Computer animation can also be tailored to mimic or substitute for other kinds of animation, like traditional stop-motion animation (as shown in Flushed Away or The Lego Movie ). Some of the long-standing basic principles of animation, like squash & stretch, call for movement that is not strictly realistic, and such principles still see widespread application in computer animation. [48]

Films

CGI film made using Machinima

CGI short films have been produced as independent animation since 1976. [49] An early example of an animated feature film to incorporate CGI animation was the 1983 Japanese anime film Golgo 13: The Professional . [50] The popularity of computer animation (especially in the field of special effects) skyrocketed during the modern era of U.S. animation. [51] The first completely computer-animated movie was Toy Story (1995), but VeggieTales is the first American fully 3D computer animated series sold directly (made in 1993); its success inspired other animation series, such as ReBoot in 1994.

Animation studios

Some notable producers of computer-animated feature films include:

Web animations

The popularity of websites that allow members to upload their own movies for others to view has created a growing community of amateur computer animators. [52] With utilities and programs often included free with modern operating systems, many users can make their own animated movies and shorts. Several free and open-source animation software applications exist as well. The ease at which these animations can be distributed has attracted professional animation talent also. Companies such as PowToon and GoAnimate attempt to bridged the gap by giving amateurs access to professional animations as clip art.

The oldest (most backward compatible) web-based animations are in the animated GIF format, which can be uploaded and seen on the web easily. [53] However, the raster graphics format of GIF animations slows the download and frame rate, especially with larger screen sizes. The growing demand for higher quality web-based animations was met by a vector graphics alternative that relied on the use of a plugin. For decades, Flash animations were the most popular format, until the web development community abandoned support for the Flash player plugin. Web browsers on mobile devices and mobile operating systems never fully supported the Flash plugin.

By this time, internet bandwidth and download speeds increased, making raster graphic animations more convenient. Some of the more complex vector graphic animations had a slower frame rate due to complex rendering than some of the raster graphic alternatives. Many of the GIF and Flash animations were already converted to digital video formats, which were compatible with mobile devices and reduced file sizes via video compression technology. However, compatibility was still problematic as some of the popular video formats such as Apple's QuickTime and Microsoft Silverlight required plugins. YouTube, the most popular video viewing website, was also relying on the Flash plugin to deliver digital video in the Flash Video format.

The latest alternatives are HTML5 compatible animations. Technologies such as JavaScript and CSS animations made sequencing the movement of images in HTML5 web pages more convenient. SVG animations offered a vector graphic alternative to the original Flash graphic format, SmartSketch. YouTube offers an HTML5 alternative for digital video. APNG (Animated PNG) offered a raster graphic alternative to animated GIF files that enables multi-level transparency not available in GIFs

Detailed examples and pseudocode

In 2D computer animation, moving objects are often referred to as "sprites." A sprite is an image that has a location associated with it. The location of the sprite is changed slightly, between each displayed frame, to make the sprite appear to move. [54] The following pseudocode makes a sprite move from left to right:

varint x := 0, y := screenHeight / 2; while x < screenWidth drawBackground() drawSpriteAtXY (x, y) // draw on top of the background x := x + 5 // move to the right

Computer animation uses different techniques to produce animations. Most frequently, sophisticated mathematics is used to manipulate complex three-dimensional polygons, apply "textures", lighting and other effects to the polygons and finally rendering the complete image. A sophisticated graphical user interface may be used to create the animation and arrange its choreography. Another technique called constructive solid geometry defines objects by conducting boolean operations on regular shapes, and has the advantage that animations may be accurately produced at any resolution.

Computer-assisted vs. computer-generated

To animate means, figuratively, to "give life to". There are two basic methods that animators commonly use to accomplish this.

Computer-assisted animation is usually classed as two-dimensional (2D) animation. Drawings are either hand drawn (pencil to paper) or interactively drawn (on the computer) using different assisting appliances and are positioned into specific software packages. Within the software package, the creator places drawings into different key frames which fundamentally create an outline of the most important movements. [55] The computer then fills in the "in-between frames", a process commonly known as Tweening. [56] Computer-assisted animation employs new technologies to produce content faster than is possible with traditional animation, while still retaining the stylistic elements of traditionally drawn characters or objects. [57]

Examples of films produced using computer-assisted animation are The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under , Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin , The Lion King , Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules , Mulan, The Road to El Dorado and Tarzan .

Computer-generated animation is known as three-dimensional (3D) animation. Creators design an object or character with an X, a Y and a Z axis. No pencil-to-paper drawings create the way computer generated animation works. The object or character created will then be taken into a software, key framing and tweening are also carried out in computer generated animation but are also a lot of techniques used that do not relate to traditional animation. Animators can break physical laws by using mathematical algorithms to cheat mass, force and gravity rulings. Fundamentally, time scale and quality could be said to be a preferred way to produce animation as they are two major things that are enhanced by using computer generated animation. Another positive aspect of CGA is the fact one can create a flock of creatures to act independently when created as a group. An animal's fur can be programmed to wave in the wind and lie flat when it rains instead of programming each strand of hair separately. [57]

A few examples of computer-generated animation movies are Toy Story , Frozen , and Shrek .

See also

Related Research Articles

A render farm is a high-performance computer system, e.g. a computer cluster, built to render computer-generated imagery (CGI), typically for film and television visual effects.

Animator person who makes animated films

An animator is an artist who creates multiple images, known as frames, which give an illusion of movement called animation when displayed in rapid sequence. Animators can work in a variety of fields including film, television, and video games. Animation is closely related to filmmaking and like filmmaking is extremely labor-intensive, which means that most significant works require the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the images or frames for an animation piece depend on the animators' artistic styles and their field.

Motion blur

Motion blur is the apparent streaking of moving objects in a photograph or a sequence of frames, such as a film or animation. It results when the image being recorded changes during the recording of a single exposure, due to rapid movement or long exposure.

Motion capture tracking procedure which makes it possible to detect any type of movement and convert it to a digital format

Motion capture is the process of recording the movement of objects or people. It is used in military, entertainment, sports, medical applications, and for validation of computer vision and robotics. In filmmaking and video game development, it refers to recording actions of human actors, and using that information to animate digital character models in 2D or 3D computer animation. When it includes face and fingers or captures subtle expressions, it is often referred to as performance capture. In many fields, motion capture is sometimes called motion tracking, but in filmmaking and games, motion tracking usually refers more to match moving.

Clay animation stop-motion animation made using malleable clay models

Clay animation or claymation, sometimes plasticine animation, is one of many forms of stop motion animation. Each animated piece, either character or background, is "deformable"—made of a malleable substance, usually plasticine clay.

Real-time computer graphics

Real-time computer graphics or real-time rendering is the sub-field of computer graphics focused on producing and analyzing images in real time. The term can refer to anything from rendering an application's graphical user interface (GUI) to real-time image analysis, but is most often used in reference to interactive 3D computer graphics, typically using a graphics processing unit (GPU). One example of this concept is a video game that rapidly renders changing 3D environments to produce an illusion of motion.

Computer facial animation is primarily an area of computer graphics that encapsulates methods and techniques for generating and animating images or models of a character face. The character can be a human, a humanoid, an animal, a fantasy creature or character, etc. Due to its subject and output type, it is also related to many other scientific and artistic fields from psychology to traditional animation. The importance of human faces in verbal and non-verbal communication and advances in computer graphics hardware and software have caused considerable scientific, technological, and artistic interests in computer facial animation.

An avar or animation variable is a variable controlling the position of part of an animated object, such as a character. The character "Woody" in the Disney•Pixar film Toy Story (1995) uses 712 avars. Successive sets of avars control all movement of the character from frame to frame. In development, they are used to define the junctions of a stick model. Later, they are incorporated into a full wire frame model or a model built of polygons. Finally, surfaces are added, requiring a lengthy process of rendering to produce the final scene.

Human image synthesis

Human image synthesis can be applied to make believable and even photorealistic renditions of human-likenesses, moving or still. This has effectively been the situation since the early 2000s. Many films using computer generated imagery have featured synthetic images of human-like characters digitally composited onto the real or other simulated film material.

3D rendering

3D rendering is the 3D computer graphics process of automatically converting 3D wire frame models into 2D images on a computer. 3D renders may include photorealistic effects or non-photorealistic rendering.

Motion graphics digital footage or animation which create the illusion of motion or rotation

Motion graphics are pieces of digital footage or animation which create the illusion of motion or rotation, and are usually combined with audio for use in multimedia projects. Motion graphics are usually displayed via electronic media technology, but may also be displayed via manual powered technology. The term distinguishes still graphics from those with a transforming appearance over time, without over-specifying the form. While any form of experimental or abstract animation can be called motion graphics, the term typically more explicitly refers to the commercial application of animation and effects to video, film, TV, and interactive applications.

3D computer graphics graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data

3D computer graphics or three-dimensional computer graphics, are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images. Such images may be stored for viewing later or displayed in real-time.

Image Metrics

Image Metrics is a 3D facial animation and Virtual Try-on company headquartered in El Segundo, with offices in Las Vegas, and research facilities in Manchester. Image Metrics are the makers of the Live Driver and Portable You SDKs for software developers and are providers of facial animation software and services to the visual effects industries.

12 basic principles of animation Disneys Basic Principles of Animation

Disney's Twelve Basic Principles of Animation were introduced by the Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their 1981 book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation. Johnston and Thomas in turn based their book on the work of the leading Disney animators from the 1930s onwards, and their effort to produce more realistic animations. The main purpose of the principles was to produce an illusion of characters adhering to the basic laws of physics, but they also dealt with more abstract issues, such as emotional timing and character appeal.

The history of computer animation began as early as the 1940s and 1950s, when people began to experiment with computer graphics - most notably by John Whitney. It was only by the early 1960s when digital computers had become widely established, that new avenues for innovative computer graphics blossomed. Initially, uses were mainly for scientific, engineering and other research purposes, but artistic experimentation began to make its appearance by the mid-1960s. By the mid-1970s, many such efforts were beginning to enter into public media. Much computer graphics at this time involved 2-dimensional imagery, though increasingly, as computer power improved, efforts to achieve 3-dimensional realism became the emphasis. By the late 1980s, photo-realistic 3D was beginning to appear in film movies, and by mid-1990s had developed to the point where 3D animation could be used for entire feature film production.

Morph target animation

Morph target animation, per-vertex animation, shape interpolation, shape keys, or blend shapes is a method of 3D computer animation used together with techniques such as skeletal animation. In a morph target animation, a "deformed" version of a mesh is stored as a series of vertex positions. In each key frame of an animation, the vertices are then interpolated between these stored positions.

References

Citations

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