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RE: Dinosaur Planet

Considering the complexity and expense involved in doing computer
animation, the quality of the animation exhibited on Dinosaur planet was
very good.  I don't think anyone would disagree that the most lifelike
animation ever presented for dinosaurs was the work done by Industrial
Light and Magic for Jurassic Park. I think I remember that in Jurassic
Park only 22 minutes of actual CG dinosaurs actually appeared on-screen
and took nearly half the 80 million budget just for the animation.
Considering Dinosaur Planet has a total of nearly 4 hours of screen time
for dinosaurs and it is a made for television program, obviously some
shortcuts and lesser complex degrees of animation needs to be utilized.
Granted there are some jerky movements and yes I have noticed them too,
not only in Dinosaur Planet, but also in Walking with Dinosaurs and When
Dinosaurs Roamed North America, but I think that overall I am excited
that there are studios out there that are willing to tackle such a risky
project where so much of the behavior of these creatures is subjective
and a great deal of imagination is involved.  I think any criticisms
about the slightly jerky movements are unfair considering we are lucky
to have programs like this produced for those of us who are true
dinosaur lovers and just like to see them on the screen. 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On Behalf
Of Jane P. Davidson
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2003 10:41 AM
To: Danvarner@aol.com
Cc: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: RE: Dinosaur Planet

I have problems (as a non scientist, but an art person) with the quality
of animation.  I suppose that it is possible that some of the animals
locomotion such as was shown, but I find the sequences where animals are
moving to have a "jerky"  quality.  To me,  they begin to look like
computer generated animated items and the aritsts involved lose the
of realism they are trying to convey when the animals begin to move.
motion models or single cell animations from our past, such as those of
Harryhausen or the Disney films such as Fastasia, convey to me a better
sense of realism in terms of movement.  Even if these early productions
did not have the posture or gait right, the animals "came alive" better.
Of course the whole business is relative.  We don't have complete data
coloration or vocalization or movements of animals which are extinct.
So thsat is my impression of D Planet.  I would be interested in hearing
what others think about this.  Jane D

Noli me rogare; hic ego solum laboro

People think of me; therefore I am.
   Jane P. Davidson Ph.D.  University of Nevada Reno


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