Just the Basics, Ma'am
By Steve Pitzel
I'm an animator, and have been one for over seven years now. If you're an animator too, you already know how important audio is to your work. In fact, if you're an animator, the chances are very good that you're a musician as well. If you happen to work in the Los Angeles area, you may be a professional session player, vocalist, composer, arranger, sound engineer…the list goes on. That's not unusual. The bond between animation and music is very strong, and they both require a sense of rhythm and "color."
"When you see a comics rack, even at a distance of ten to fifteen feet, you're overwhelmed by the energy and the grossness and the vulgarity and the pure vitality that's spilling off that material." Gil Kane quoted in The Comic Book in America, page 29.
The Challenge of Animating the Artist's Dream
Figure 1 - Artist's lament: "It never looks quite the same in the game…"
Source for Michelangelo's David: Digital Imagery © copyright 2001 PhotoDisc, Inc.
by Steve Pitzel
Introduction: Disguising seams in NURBS models
Today is a great day to be a 3D animator! It wasn't long ago that animators were stuck with creating stiff-jointed, scarred-looking automatons. These characters had all the beauty and grace of Frankenstein. Rendering engines couldn't handle deformations, or high-level geometry, and polygons ruled the gaming world. The computing power for creating fluid movement and seamless-looking joints simply wasn't there.
This article proposes a simple and efficient multithreading solution to accelerate rendering for a number of animated 3D models. The solution enhances the performance of skeletal animation by using a thread pool, double buffering, and intermittent updates. This set of techniques performs CPU-based skeletal animation at performance levels that are competitive with GPU-based animation implementations, and it serves as a flexible alternative on multi-core systems.