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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
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.