Thursday, November 16, 2006

Twinkle Twinkle little Star

If you work in an Animation Studio, there is a reasonable chance that you will eventually be transcribed to an animated character. Producer/Director Bob Godfrey would take it even further and name characters after you as well as imitating your voice when he did the voice-overs. It's more of an in-house joke than a quick way to becoming a Star, but that might all be changed.

For many years there have been children's book publishers who will insert your childs name in fairy tales, and run off a special copy for you. At least one took it further and would put your childs head on the illustrations in the book, but now Smart software can actually put a childs face on a character in an animated movie, and (I understand) do it inter-actively. You can read all about it at

And talking of stars - this time the real thing - a common animation job is making stars twinkle. It is now done by computer, but used to be done by having a piece of black paper covered in pinholes as a background, and another piece also covered in pinholes moving across it; quite a lengthy job for such a minor effect.

There are some people who do not like twinkly stars (cries of shame). They are astronomers who are using lasers, optics, and some single-frame techniques to stopping them twinkle so they don't have to 'wonder what they are' any more.

In the same article there is mention of a scientist who has discovered a whole new field of movies; taking pictures of your breath. It seems that our breath is an indicator of our health - which sound pretty reasonable to me - but taking pictures of it??? Yes, by using a laser to pick out the chemical content of your exhalations.

It may be the next step up from a Breathalyser test for drunken driving; how soon before the breathalyser shows up as a movie saying 'You're drunk, your ill, and your fined'. That would put a twinkle in the eyes of the Traffic cops.


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