Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Software to manage CGI animation helps Europe achieve feature film first

30.03.2005


EUREKA project E! 3062 DAMAGE has developed a software tool to track and manage digital assets – the sound, illustrations, backgrounds, colour schemes and special effects – for production of a feature-length computer-generated imaging (CGI) animated film. While CGI animation provides popular and profitable entertainment, it has until recently been the multimillion dollar stronghold of the Hollywood giants.



The new software – and Valiant, the film on which it was tested and developed – is set to take the world by storm, and to open up a whole new global market for the European film industry. From the producer of Shrek I and Shrek II, John Williams, the new film features a pigeon named Valiant, voiced by Ewan McGregor, who becomes a hero of the Royal Air Force Pigeon Service in World War II. Other voices include Ricky Gervais, Jim Broadbent, John Cleese, Hugh Laurie, John Hurt, Tim Curry and Olivia Williams. Valiant is produced by Vanguard Animation and Ealing Studios and is released in the UK on 25 March 2005, in mainland Europe in July, and on 19 August in the USA.

Building on European heritage


Europe has a long heritage of producing animated films but lacked the critical mass of US studios such as Pixar and DreamWorks. Yet, the artistic skills of European animators and European technological know-how are acknowledged worldwide. “Producing a feature-length CGI animation has long been the Holy Grail of many a European studio but, until recently, it has seemed impossible,” says Sean Hinton, managing director of Ealing Studios in west London, where Valiant was produced.

“We had a purpose-built facility constructed at Ealing to house the 175 animators necessary to produce Valiant. But we needed to get the workflow technology right, especially as we were working with less than half the budget and in half the time of our US studio counterparts. The DAMAGE project gave us exactly what we were looking for.”
DAMAGE project leader Innovative Animation Services (IAS) is a young company based at Ealing Studios, led by the Hollywood production experience of Buckley Collum. IAS sought a partner that could develop the asset-management technology to be tried out during the production of Valiant. The answer came from the Limburg University Centre for Digital Media, just outside the Belgian city of Hasselt.

A requirements’ specification – agreed by all user partners of the project – was drawn up after a major exercise to research, understand and model the production process and workflow in producing an animated film. The specification and development of a secure, robust database, capable of handling several million items of multimedia content, was created. The software includes an approvals process, enabling a film’s director to approve assets, sequences and ultimately the whole film.

Developing a world first

DAMAGE’s achievements are significant as the systems previously created by US studios are custom-made solutions that are not marketed externally. Another European animation studio has already expressed interest in acquiring a licence for the DAMAGE software. Licensing to other studios will in turn allow European animation facilities to collaborate efficiently in projects that would previously have been too big for them to undertake on their own. And opportunities have now been created for European animation facilities to participate in US-originated films.

“The feedback we have had from those who are familiar with the in-house software used by the US production houses was amazing – what we’d produced with the Belgians through EUREKA was better and smarter than anything they’d seen elsewhere,” says Hinton. “Their systems have evolved over a number of years, whereas we worked from scratch, with a blank piece of paper, a smaller budget and the benefit of fresh and original ideas from the amazing pool of animation expertise that exists across Europe.”

Paul McCallum | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>