29 November 2013

Students update classic animation technique

The classic example squash and stretch: a bouncing ball stretching proportionate to its acceleration

Computer Graphics students at Victoria University have created an alternative to an animation technique used by studios such as Disney and Pixar.

The work is the result of a collaborative project by Byron Mallett, a Master's student in the School of Design, and Richard Roberts, a PhD student in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, as part of Victoria's interdisciplinary Computer Graphics Programme.

Byron and Richard have developed a new technique for the classic 'squash and stretch' convention, where the shape of a character or object is intentionally distorted to accentuate its movement.

Their alternative aims to overcome issues with current tools by automating much of the repetitive manual work, while maintaining the artists' ability to customise.

Richard says collaborating on the paper was a great experience. "Our different backgrounds and strengths meant we could each contribute a different perspective to the project."

"Byron's expertise in animation meant he could provide content to work with, as well as critique the way the software worked for artists. My knowledge of programming allowed for fast iteration of the tool."

Dr Rhazes Spell, lecturer of Media Design and Computer Graphics in the School of Design, says this sort of innovative work is a result of the Computer Graphics Programme's unique beginnings.

"Students benefit from taking classes and conducting research in both schools and working with local industry. Wellington provides an ideal learning and research setting for this cutting edge programme," he says.

Byron and Richard will present their paper, entitled A Pose Space for Squash and Stretch Deformation, at the 28th International Conference on Image and Vision Computing New Zealand on Friday.

Article: computergraphics.ac.nz/sqst_article.php

Victoria University



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