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RE: new BBC program(me)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
Amtoine Grant
Sent: Tuesday, 31 August 2004 4:53 AM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: new BBC program(me)

>I was mad that they spent so much time on their machines. 1- How is a 
>machine going to show bite pressure or whatever of a living animal, 
>when the machines are operated by hydraulics? 2 - The only way to see 
>how 2 cgi models would fight and react to each other would be with 
>advanced AI. Remember the stupid one with the saltwater croc & the 
>great white? I guess I'll get started on that AI . .

The original concept for the show (and what persuaded most people to get
involved) was to build mechanical models based on real anatomy, to then
calibrate them accurately based on existing models or measurements, and then
test the resulting power of each limb / jaw on different kinds of material
including flesh, bone, shell etc. Attempts would also be made to calculate
the kinds of forces involved in certain movements (eg. crocodile "death
roll") that would be hard to do in live animals. Unfortunately, the
realities of the television industry put a dampener on the whole concept,
and the show lost its credibility by totally underestimating the
intelligence of its audience (who tore into it voraciously). There were
other difficulties too, such as a veto on showing any kind of mechanical
device biting into bone or flesh of any recognisable dead vertebrate other
than a fish. Even the little that was done became heavily censored.

While some of this was addressed in the later shows (eg. calibration of
hydraulic devices) it never came close to its original premise.

As for the CGI fight, you can probably tell that the scientists involved had
little or no say in how those were scripted. Believe me, the shark vs. croc
fight was originally even sillier.

It's very hard to get an interesting television concept approved that
includes a lot of science. It's even harder to get a finished product that
retains its original vision.