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 The plastic brain: Better connectivity of brain regions with training
02.07.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien

nachricht Arguments, Emotions, and News distribution in social media - Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen
04.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>