Vir­tual World De­sign

Animation Magazine - - Frame- By- Frame - By Ann Latham Cud­worth [A.K. Peters/CRC Press, $49.95]

If that creepy Sec­ond Life doc­u­men­tary didn’t scare you off the topic of vir­tual worlds for­ever, this brand new of­fer­ing from award-win­ning, 20-year vet­eran of vir­tual en­vi­ron­ment de­sign Cud­worth is a com­pre­hen­sive look at the sub­ject and prin­ci­ples. The 400-plus-page book ex­plores the in­ter­twin­ing of 2D graph­ics, 3D mod­els, light­ing, sound and sto­ry­telling, and il­lus­trates how th­ese el­e­ments come to­gether to cre­ate ac­ces­si­ble vir­tual en­vi­ron­ments for teach­ing, re­search and en­ter­tain­ment. Read­ers are treated to 200 il­lus­tra­tions and can hone their in­creas­ing knowl­edge as they go with a dozen step-by-step pro­jects, of­fer­ing cre­ative chal­lenges through ex­er­cises build­ing a vir­tual class­room, “all ac­cess” ter­rain, sound-based game and more.

22See Frank Miller’s unique comic art style come to life on screen in the lon­gawaited Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

need to be to­tally CG performers ca­pa­ble of mak­ing au­di­ences laugh as eas­ily as gasp with dar­ing deeds of hero­ism.

Get­ting that kind of per­for­mance out of dig­i­tal char­ac­ters was far and away the most com­pli­cated and chal­leng­ing part of work­ing on this movie, says ILM’s Pablo Hel­man, pro­duc­tion vis­ual-ef­fects su­per­vi­sor on the film.

The Heart of the Mat­ter

“The show from the be­gin­ning was re­ally about per­for­mance,” says Hel­man. “We de­cided from the be­gin­ning it was go­ing to be great ‘The whole premise of this sys­tem was we were go­ing to be able to edit those per­for­mances be­cause we needed to rein­ter­pret this

sci­en­tif­i­cally got­ten data into some­thing that was ap­peal­ing and that was telling the story that we wanted to tell with the char­ac­ter.’

— Pablo Hel­man, ILM, pro­duc­tion vis­ual-ef­fects su­per­vi­sor

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