It is becoming common to see movie stars sharing extensive periods of time on the screen with a fully computer generated cast. Motion capture has become popular over the first decade of the 2000s with films such as The Lords of the Rings, King Kong and Avatar. In all of these movies, there were talented animators working on the film. But on top of that, there were actors, not just supplying the voice for a character, but actually performing the roles as well. What the digital character looks like is entirely up the director.


This thesis will explore the work necessary to create a realistic character, from an anatomical approach in relation to the mesh, the texture and the rigging. Additionally, this thesis will explain techniques in digital modeling pipelines which will help to optimize the artist's workflow. When a computer-generated character looks human, but is not well animated, it will tend to appear uncanny, no matter how realistic or attractive it may look. Moreover, in order to communicate certain messages or emotions in an animation properly, facial expression plays an even more crucial role. Details such as the rate and the pattern of eye blinking can make all the difference between creating an automaton and an illusion of realism. Performance capture and, in particular, facial motion capture can be a great tool to overcome the challenge of generating naturalistic motion. Realism is a simulation of the ideal and it is realized by creating key element triggering specific reactions in an audience.

 

Achieving Naturalistic Animation Through Look Development and Performance Capture (thesis paper)

 

Abstract

Cyberpunk: A View on Technology and Our Perception of Reality

 

Abstract

 

 

In the past decade, the cost (equipment and time) of generating good computer imagery drastically reduce. It allowed smaller production to use this kind of technology and create a sufficient level of realism to integrate imagery to real footage or aesthetically pleasing simulation. Shows can recreate animals that disappeared millions of years ago or speculate on a fictional future. In most cases, they provided a vision of nature is an ideological representation or a humanized view of wildlife.  Documentaries produced are becoming less educational and more fictional; often the quality of the information is overcast by the visual spectacle and dramatization.

 

Technology and discovery gradually change the relationship between humans and reality. For instance, the invention of the map allowed mankind to have an abstract understanding of their surroundings past the limitation of the field of view, while the clock conceptualized and quantified a reality we cannot physically alter: time. Both created an imitation or a physical equivalent of reality, altering the perception of our surrounding and making it more artificial.

 Takashi Murakami from Art To Merchandise And Back Again

 

Abstract

 

 

Andy Warhol once famously wrote: “Business art is the step that comes after Art. Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art…marking money is art, working is art and good business is the best art.”[1] Takashi Murakami holds Warhol to his word escalating what Pop Art started by challenging even more the division between art and commodity. Murakami had major exposition in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, London and Versailles. But his work extends beyond galleries and museums into the arenas of fashion, television, toys, merchandise… He teamed up with Marc Jacobs on designs for Louis Vuitton, designed a concept car for Nissan and collaborated with hip hop singer Kaney West’s last CD with creation of artwork, animation and merchandising for the album.[2] In a decade he was able to establish a world reputation as a new kind of pop artist inspired by the world of Japanese cartoon culture of manga and anime, chasing after high-profile collaborations, broader range of services and larger market share.

 

 Murakami attracted attention because he is not an artist who is trying to preserve the appearance of standing just outside the consumer world. Rather than investigating the nagging and idiotic issue of the art world conflict of interest between commercial art and fine art, the goal of this paper is to analyze his approach to art and how he blurs the difference between a commodity and a piece of art. Now the question emerging from Murakami’s work is when a good stops to be merchandise and becomes a piece of art?   

 


 

[1] Andy Warhol, “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)” (New York: Harcourt, Inc.,1975): 92.

 

[2]  Francesca Martin, “G2: Art Diary” (The Guardian,  London, August 1, 2007): 27.

 

 

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© 2015 by Stephan Ehl.