Computer Science 39a : Schedule

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Legend for images in this document

(red) Reading assignment
(vcr) Movie shown
(doc) Handout
(net) Online document
(mac) Computer demonstration
(who) Student Presentation

The Schedule

1. (Tu 96-08-27) Usual teaching staff (Prof. Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia)
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) Introduction, student queries. We looked at the post-its from previous years and discussed reasons that made them work or not work. We discussed the difference between camera dolly motion and zooming, and what a scene and shot are in film contexts.
(red) Chapter 6 (Traditional animation)
(red) Section 10.1 (Key-frame animation)
(doc) 1. General Information
(doc) 2. HW #1 due 9/3 : Post-it animation and UNIX intro
(vcr) "The Tetra-Pak Story" by Pixar
(vcr) "Berkeley Zoom 3fps" by Dan Garcia
(vcr) "Gamesman3D" by Dan Garcia
2. (Th 96-08-29) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) The traditional animation process, post-it student ideas, differences between computer animation and traditional animation (what's easier to do in one domain and more difficult in the other). Motion Specification, linear interpolation and more general interpolation.
(red) Section 7.2 (Animating numbers)
(doc) 3. The traditional animation process
(vcr) "Celmates - three Winnepeg animators (Brad Caslor, Cordell Barker and Richard Condie)."
(vcr) "The Cat Came Back", 1988 Oscar nominee by Cordell Barker
(vcr) "The Big Snit", 1985 Oscar nominee by Richard Condie
3. (Tu 96-09-03) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We will look at student post-it animations, and talked about Raster Architectures and Color Theory
(red) Section 2.4 (Colour theory)
(doc) 4. HW #2 due 9/10 : Become familiar with UNIX and Emacs
(net) HW #2 online turnin form
(net) HW #2 online turnin form RESPONSES!
4. (Th 96-09-05) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We will continue to talk about Raster Architectures and Color Theory.
(red) Section 2.5 (Computer graphics hardware)
(vcr) "Hunger" by Marceli Wein, 1974 (mwein@WatCGL.UWaterloo.CA)
(vcr) "Le Paysagiste: Mindscape (pinscreen movie)" by Jacques Drouin, 1976
5. (Tu 96-09-10) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) Forward and Inverse Kinematics for motion specifications and the constraints that would emerge to make a realistic walking figure.
(red) Section 9.6 (Linked structures - don't worry about complicated math)
(red) Section 10.6 (Dynamic simulation & forward/inverse kinematics)
(net) HW #3 online due 9/19 : Create a home page and experiment with SPAM, a forward-kinematics application
6. (Th 96-09-12) Dan Wexler (PDI)
(Photo of ...) I'll be speaking about our recent work on the Arrival. The talk will cover the more detailed lighting aspects of our work. I will descuss the texture mapping process which we use to avoid texture map stretching, and the attention that is paid to film effects like bloom and grain. There is a breakdown of the shot that shows the steps from an initial lighting setup to the final render. I will talk about how we match the lighting on a live action shot so the computer generated imagery fits with the plate shot on film.
(vcr) "The Arrival creature" by PDI
7. (Tu 96-09-17) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We look at how to do the next assignment, morphing yourselves into each other. We talk about polygons and texture mapping.
(net) HW #4 online due 9/24 : Morph yourselves to each other
8. (Th 96-09-19) Linda Branagan (SIGGRAPH'96 Electronic Theatre Chair)
(Photo of ...) Computer animations can accomplish dozens of things: they can tell stories, explain concepts, explore spaces, and create moods. But these with these widely different goals come different criteria for quality -- what's vital for one type of animation may be unimportant for another. Using examples from recent SIGGRAPH conferences, Linda will explain what makes animations good, and she'll also describe common pitfalls that student animators should be careful to avoid.
(vcr) "Fibonacci and the Golden Mean" by The Palladian Group, 1996
(vcr) "Fractal Ellipsoidal Fire" by Geoffrey Y. Gardner, 1992
(vcr) "The Visible Human Project" by National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1995
(vcr) "Does this Pulsar have Orbiting Planets?" by Lytle/Cornell Theory Center, 1992
(vcr) "Chicken Crossing" by Glassner/Microsoft, 1996
(vcr) "The Dangers of Glitziness and Other Visualizaton Faux Pas" by Lytle/Cornell Theory Center, 1993
(vcr) "Gas Planet" by PDI, 1993
(vcr) "Rolling Stone" by Cheung/Pratt, 1995
(vcr) "Histoire de Crayon" by Marguin/AII ENSAD, 1996
(vcr) "Watch Out!" by Wood/Ringling School of Art and Design, 1996
(vcr) "The Play" by YellowCo Ltd, 1996
(vcr) "Instant d' Apres" by SUP Info Com, 1996
(vcr) "Legacy" by Butts/TAMU Visualization Lab, 1993
9. (Tu 96-09-24) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We talk about the basics of a 3D software program: Modeling, Hierarchies, Textures, Lighting, Animation using the example program Infini-D 3.2 on the Macintosh.
(mac) Infini-D 3.2 Demo
(net) HW #5 online due 10/1 : Create a 3-D articulated figure
10. (Th 96-09-26) Mike Collery (PDI)
(Photo of ...)
11. (Tu 96-10-01) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We teach how to use more Mac tools
(mac) Demo of Avid Videoshop, recording sounds, Infini-D spline editing and changing the scale center, using MoviePlayer to flatten your .mov files, using Fetch to transfer your files to po.eecs, incorporating movies into your homepage.
(doc) 5. Snippets from Disney Animation : The Illusion of Life
(net) HW #6 online due 10/15 : Make a Rube Goldberg animation with sound and put it on the web
12. (Th 96-10-03) Stefen M. Fangmeier (ILM)
(Photo of ...) I will talk about our work on Twister as an example of how computer graphics are used in the Visual Effects business. I will show one video that includes the ILM demo reel, some tornado reference video that we looked at during our work on the effects and some examples of shots from Twister that illustrate what some of the challenges were.
(doc) 6. Designing Digital Tornados article by Stefen Fangmeier
(vcr) "ILM demo reel" by ILM, 1996
(vcr) "Tornado reference video" by various artists
(vcr) "Twister Visual Effects" by ILM, 1996
13. (Tu 96-10-08) John Hughes (Brown)
(Photo of John Hughes) I'll be describing SKETCH, a system for rapid conceptual modeling of simple 3D geometries, intended to be used when the final idea of something being modeled is still vague and imprecise. SKETCH uses gestural inputs and deliberately "sketchy" rendering to try to achieve the informality and fluidity of paper-and-pencil sketching. I'll show some videotape of the system at work, describe some potential applications, and discuss a little bit of "how it's done."

So far, SKETCH is just a prototype and has not been used in any production work. But major modeling-software developers are collaborating with use already to try to integrate it into more conventional modeling software. I'll also discuss some ideas about how it might fit into such software, and where the project might be headed in the future.
(vcr) "SKETCHPAD" by Ivan Sutherland, ca 1967
(vcr) "SKETCH" from SIGGRAPH '96

14. (Th 96-10-10) Ronen Barzel (Pixar)
(Photo of ...) This talk describes how the ropes, cords, springs, and "Slinky Dog" in Toy Story were modeled and animated. To give complete creative control to the animators, no physical simulation nor other procedural animation was used; the models were animated manually using keyframe systems. This was made feasible by using an approach in which wave deformation is layered over directly controlled underlying shape.
(vcr) "Luxo Jr" by Pixar, 1984
(vcr) segments from "Toy Story" by Pixar, 1995
15. (Tu 96-10-15) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We learn how to use Infini-D some more. We learn how to double-click on events and edit the details of an object, how to change the composition of a surface so that the back does not contain the same as a front (like in the earlier animations), how to edit a spline object and animate it over time, how to change lights and add more lights, why not to render in ray trace mode (but only use best and low anti-aliasing), how to change the display of the key-frame window, how to animate using splines (vs. linear key-frame interpolation), how to use the paths instead of just key frames, how to use the 'auto-banking' and reverse animation assistant, and we discussed the next assignment. We discuss HW #7 due 10/22 : Create a single 465x348 picture using advanced features of Infini-D and put it on your web page, i.e. multiple lights, shape editing, and interesting geometry
(mac) Infini-D tutorial continued.
16. (Th 96-10-17) Oren Jacob (Pixar)
(Photo of Oren Jacob) Special effects might be considered a somewhat strange topic to discuss in regards to a completely computer generated movie. In one view, all of Toy Story was a special effect. The pixels of the film all came out of a compuer, didn't they?. But yet, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not see fit to nominate us in that category.

We view the effects work done on Toy Story in a similar vein. Our definition of a special effect was, losely, a process done on or an element added to the footage that did not fit neatly into the categories of either character, prop, or set. It is undoubtedly easier to define what we thought of as a special efffects by example.

This talk will focus both on the definition of effects within the greater scope of a computer generated film as well as descriptions of how several effects in the film, including raindrops, smoke contrails, and lighting, were actually accomplished. A discussion about the difference between modelling, animating, shading, and lighting and how those various departments interact in the effects production process will also be presented.
(vcr) "Behind-the-scenes of Toy Story" by Pixar, 1995.

17. (Tu 96-10-22) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) The U.C. Theatre is showing Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation daily: 4:30pm, 7pm, 9:30pm. The show runs from 96-10-18 to 96-10-24. We discuss rotoscoping, body suits, and other tools for motion capture. We discuss HW #8 due 10/29 : Create a story and storyboard it (we'll choose the top 4 for our final projects)
(vcr) "Medialab realtime motion capture" by Medialab, 1995.
18. (Th 96-10-24) Darwyn Peachey (Pixar)
(Photo of Darwyn Peachey) Images and Image Processing in CG Animation Production

Films such as Pixar's "Toy Story" consist completely of 3D animated computer graphics. Although much of the work takes place in the 3D realm of models and motion, there are significant and interesting problems to be solved in the 2D realm in which rendered images are modified, composited, and recorded on video and film. In particular, problems related to the color rendition of different display technologies are especially difficult to solve. This presentation will describe the imaging problems we have encountered and discuss the ways that Pixar dealt with them in "Toy Story" and other productions.

Darwyn Peachey is Director of the Studio Tools department at Pixar. He has worked on animation and rendering software at Pixar since 1988, and spent four years working on "Toy Story".

Peachey received M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in computer science from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. He has published research papers in graphics, operating systems, and artificial intelligence, and has spoken in seven SIGGRAPH courses. He was a member of the paper selection committees of SIGGRAPH 92 and 93, and Graphics Interface 86, 88 (as Program Chairman), 89, 90, 91, and 95. In 1993, Peachey and six other Pixar employees received a Academy Award for the RenderMan rendering system from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

19. (Tu 96-10-29) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) (Toy Story is available on video today!) We see the rest of the medialab video and heard students present their ideas for final projects.
(red) Chapter 11 (Animation systems)
(red) Section 9.1 (Physical models)
(red) Section 9.2 (Manual digitizing)
(red) Section 9.3 (Orthogonal photographs)
(red) Section 9.8 (The human form)
(red) Chapter 13 (Applications for computer graphics)
(who) Student Presentations
(vcr) "Medialab realtime motion capture" by Medialab, 1995.
20. (Th 96-10-31) Laurence Arcadias (Independent Animator)
(Photo of Laurence Arcadias) (see her Interactive Works) She shows her work, starting from animations she directed when she was in France to movies she did in the US. She explains how she started as a traditional animator, how she got involved in computers and now, why she is doing more interactive animation. She talks about different issues with the new technologies and how it may influence her work in the future.
(The Toilette Zone image)"TOILETTE-ZONE" - This is a short movie financed by A2 and C.N.C. (French National Center of Cinema.) I directed it, I created the characters and the story and animated some sequences mostly at the beginning and I produced it with my company Amorce films.
(The Donor Party Image)"THE DONOR PARTY" - This movie was done in Apple's Advanced Technology Group (ATG) with "Inkwell" and sponsored by "French Minister of Foreign Affairs". Only one picture was created for each character per scene; outlines for the characters were then animated and used to warp the characters for animation. So far this movie has been shown in SIGGRAPH 93, MONTREAL: IMAGES DU FUTUR, BERLIN INTERFILM FESTIVAL and ADELAIDE FESTIVAL in AUSTRALIA. LOW RES FILM FESTIVAL. HOTWIRED. Released by VOYAGER with the winners of the contest: "NEW VOICES NEW VISION"
(Tennis Racket)"TENNIS-RACKET" - It is the movie I first did at Apple with "Inkwell" which is an experimental 2.5-dimension animation program built in ATG Graphics Group.
(Bad Dog image)"SCREEN SAVERS" : "BAD DOG" - This is my work when I was in Berkeley Systems. I created and animated Chameleons and Bad Dog and worked with Dana Muise on Mike's House
(Offensive Chameleons Image)"SCREEN SAVERS" : "OFFENSIVE CHAMELEONS" - First loop I did for "Totally Twisted Screen Saver". It was judged too offensive by the management. Check on "Chameleons After Dark" files for final version.
(I love you image)"INTERACTIVE ANIMATION" : "I LOVE YOU": That was the fee to attend a Joe's Digital Dinner Event for Valentine Day: $10 or a Digital Valentine. It's interactive, just press any key on the Keyboard.
21. (Tu 96-11-05) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We continue to look at automatic motion specification, and think about energy minimization. We learn about wireframe, flat shading, gouraud shading, and what is actually happening when (wire | fast | better | best | ray-tracing) is selected from Infini-D. We talk about what makes for good camera motion, and what is due next week. Due next week is a demonstration that all the objects are created in Infini-D
(vcr) "OJ Trial crime simulation and motion capture" by c|net central and Failure Associates, 1995.
22. (Th 96-11-07) Jeff Light (ILM)
(Photo of Jeff Light) As film effects are driven to dizzying heights of more intense action and to create more amazing fantasy, the pressure to create convincing digital stunt doubles is increasing and the technology to make it possible is becoming more readily available. The use of puppets, dummies or stunt-persons as stunt doubles has been practiced since the beginning of movie making. Digital stunt doubles are simply the logical extension of this idea.

The need for digital stunt doubles is driven by a number of factors. The performance may be too dangerous or impossible for an actor. A shot that requires thousands of extras may be too expensive to shoot with modern financial constraints. Some scenes may already be composed of sufficiently complex synthetic imagery, such that it is simply EASIER to composite a digital character interacting with other elements in a scene.

There are daunting obstacles to overcome in the process of creating a digital stunt double. Primarily, it should not call attention to the fact that it's an effect. The modeling, animation and rendering must blend seamlessly with surrounding shots. Often, the switch between live action and the CG double will happen DURING the shot, when the audience is focusing their full attention on the character that is being switched! Modeling and rendering hair, skin and cloth remain difficult obstacles to imitating the look of the original performer. Animating the subtleties of REAL human or animal motion is highly complex. Motion capture or procedural animation approaches may provide partial answers but not a panacea.

Since the drive to create an increasing amount of a performance with a digital character is inexorable, the implications of not simply supplanting but actually replacing actors, living or dead, raises important artistic and ethical issues, which I hope we can approach with wisdom.
(vcr) "Jurassic Park CG scenes" by ILM
(vcr) "Dragonheart CG scenes" by ILM
(vcr) "Twister CG scenes" by ILM

23. (Tu 96-11-12) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We take a class field trip to 111 cory to learn how to use Infini-D's modeler using a bending pencil as demonstration. We take time for each group to show Dan the results of last week's homework assignment - a model of all of the objects in the final project. We discuss the next assignment due 96-11-14 which is to display a picture showing a rendered scene with all the objects in the scene
(mac) Infini-D modeling tutorial.
24. (Th 96-11-14) John Berton, Jr. (ILM)
(Photo of ...) John talked about his background and the history and background of computer graphics, with detailed examples from video.
(doc) 7. Issues of Importance to Computer Graphics Artists and Developers
(vcr) "Man meets Pong" by Ohio State students
(vcr) "French kiss object morph" by Ohio State students
(vcr) "Ray Tracing image" by Robert Conley
(vcr) "Flying logos" by Cranston / CSURI
(vcr) "Vector paper plane" by Robert Abel & Co.
(vcr) "Snoot and Muttly" by Ohio State students, Susan Van Baerle and Doug Kingsbury
(vcr) "Genesis Effect" by Lucasfilm CG group
(vcr) "The Last Starfighter" by Digital Produtions
(vcr) "Stella & Stanley in 'Breaking the Ice'" by Digital Productions and Symbolics, Inc.
(vcr) "Sherlock Holmes Stained Glass Man" by ILM / Lucasfilm CG group
(vcr) "The Abyss" by ILM
(vcr) "Terminator 2" by ILM
(vcr) "Jurassic Park" by ILM
25. (Tu 96-11-19) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We take another field trip to the lab to see the animations to date, to talk about details of the next assignment, and to teach how to fake a landscape.
26. (Th 96-11-21) Pauline Ts'o (Rhythm & Hues)
(Photo of ...) "The State of the Art": This talk will be an overview of the computer animation and digital effects industry, with emphasis given to comparing and contrasting technical, production, and strategic business approaches of different studios. Also a discussion of the possible future of the industry.
27. (Tu 96-11-26) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We see some of the cutting edge of Computer Animation research and then take our next-to-last field trip to the lab to see how the final projects are doing.
28. (Th 96-11-28) No class! Thanksgiving holiday. Gobble, gobble.
29. (Tu 96-12-03) Ralph Guggenheim (Pixar)
(Photo of Ralph Guggenheim) 'Toy Story', the first fully computer animated feature film ever made, was produced by Pixar Animation Studios of Richmond, CA. Although the film is a breakthrough in its use of computer graphics, its popularity is due to director John Lasseter's emphasis on story and characters. Ralph Guggenheim, one of the film's producers will talk about the technical and creative hurdles that Pixar confronted in making this milestone motion picture.
(vcr) "Scenes from Toy Story" by Pixar
30. (Th 96-12-05) Usual teaching staff
(Photo of Brian Barsky and Dan Garcia) We will summarize the course, suggest ideas for students who want to do more with animation, and see the final animations.

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