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DINOTOPIA; the movie rumour number 2



     (I tried sending this earlier from home but haven't seen it yet over a 
     period of several days, so I'm trying it from here.  Sorry if it IS 
     actually a repeat)
     
     I was watching the TV show called MOVIE MAGIC on the Discovery Channel 
     last week.  They showed the episode on stop-motion animation.  It was 
     a very interesting little summary of the history of the art, starting 
     with Willis O'Brien, animator of THE LOST WORLD (the original), and 
     KING KONG, followed by a brief overview of Ray Harrihausen (you know 
     who).  They went on to what modern stop-motion studios use, starting 
     with Joe Chiodo of Chiodo Brothers which do THE NEW LAND OF THE LOST. 
     He was animating giant ground sloths for Japanese TV using video to 
     check his progress, but otherwise was using the techniques that the 
     other two pioneers had perfected.
     
     Then they talked about ILM and Phil Tippett (wait for it)
     
     They discussed the development of Go-Motion, a system that records the 
     stop-motion of the armature into a computer that plays back the motion 
     through computer-controlled motors while filming the armature-puppet 
     so the motion blur is more realistic.  First used by Phil on the 
     tauntaun in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and later used in DRAGONSLAYER (by 
     Phil).
     
     Then they discussed JURASSIC PARK and Phil's work with the DID 
     armature-computer model interface (wait for it)
     This would have been filmed maybe no more than 2 months ago.
     
     They went to Phil's animation studio in Berkeley.  They showed Phil 
     and shots of him working at his drafting board ON A SKETCH OF A 
     SAUROPOD PULLING A CART WHILE IN HARNESS.  And after not discussing 
     the sketch (which was a very brief bit, indeed) they went on to have 
     him demonstrate the T rex DID armature and how it communicates the 
     animators motions through the servos in the armature to a handy SGI 
     that plays back the moves on the mesh-compatriot.  There were a lot 
     more sketches of dinosaurs taped to the wall around the computer than 
     ever appeared in JP.
     
     
     HHHMMMMmmmmmmmmmnnnnnn.........
     
     -Betty Cunningham
     (bcunning@nssi.com)