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VWN Resource Database: CG Passives
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Resource Database > CG Passives
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Computer generated passive entertainment features offer graphical capabilities many hundreds of times more powerful than those in interactive computer generated environments. We look at why that is, and take a selection of entirely CG productions, to showcase the advances made in this sphere, year on year.

In many cases, techniques pioneered in passives can transition to interactives.


Sections


Passive and Interactive Differences (8)

We know the graphical effects in CG passives are always hundreds of times better than those found in interactives at the time, but why, exactly, is that? Is the gap closing?
Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Non Real-Time RenderingReal-Time Rendering

This tome is, as the4 title suggests, more of an overview for the subject than a detailed how-to. It covers everything from the very basics of computerised model animation, right through rigging and boning, on to timing and lighting ? but it does so without going into painstaking detail on any one topic.



Much of the book is understandably dedicated to cinematography and animation using theatric props. However, even these sections provide insight on how to create an interactive 3D area that achieves dramatic effect almost effortlessly for those entering it, or different approaches to creating a winged avian, that the mind of a visitor will still process as a graceful bird.



Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris: Facial Detail
This frame is from the widescreen version of ?Final Flight of the Osiris?, one of the Animatrix animated shorts. It has been considerably scaled back from the original material. Still, it exists to showcase the state of CG faces back in 2003. At least the CG possible when interactive VR techniques are applied to a passive VR production. In the years since this animation short came out, normal passive CG specialists have caught up. The question we ask here is, how come it took four years for them to catch up?

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris: Gap between Live Action and CG, Vanishing
A vivid reminder, in the comparison between the CG in Final Flight of the Osiris, and CG shots in the film Matrix Reloaded, of just how close we are coming to achieving the capability for all live action films to be entirely CG based, instead.

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris: Initial Fight
This frame is from the widescreen version of ?Final Flight of the Osiris?, one of the Animatrix animated shorts. It has been considerably scaled back from the original material. However, you can clearly see the detail and realistic motion the CG figures possess. This is easily equal to any passive CG sequence created today. Yet, it was actually created back in 2003. It is here to remind us that the technologies developed for interactive CG, do in fact scale to passives, just fine.

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: Second Life Animatrix Style
It is easy to see in this image, and most of this scene from Program, the influence of contemporary multi-user VRs such as ActiveWorlds or Second Life, as the camera control in the film tries to mimic them more or less exactly, behind, over and slightly to one side of the avatar that represents your physical body within the virtual, as a parody of third person view.



1982 (2)


A picture slideshow of the movie Tron, one of the very oldest cinematic cultural sources of VR, and still one of the best.


US and Canada region DVD of Tron; The first Hollywood film to feature computer mediated reality. Set in a cyberpunk-alike environment, Flynn, a programmer at a major software firm, is fired for all the wrong reasons. He sends Tron, a program written by himself into the computer mediated world to find evidence to vindicate himself.





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1984 (1)

Locally Hosted resource
The Adventures of Andre and Wally B
In 1984, there was a passive CG short film, created by the Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Project, which some years later became Pixar. It was one of the very first CG presentations ever made, and used a borrowed supercomputer - the Cray - to render.



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1986 (1)

Locally Hosted resource
Luxo Jr
Made back in 1986, this very simple CG short is where Pixar's current logo comes from. It demonstrates that you don't need very complex elements or a high degree of 'bang-whizz' effects to create an adorable personality that hooks into the emotions.



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1988 (1)

Locally Hosted resource
Tin Toy
Tin Toy was the first real CGI film made by what is known today, as Pixar Studios. Made entirely by John Lasseter, chief creation officer at Pixar, this 1988, 20 minute CGI was groundbreaking in its day.



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1989 (1)

Locally Hosted resource
Knick Knack
Made in 1989, Knick Knack was a three minute short CG animation by Pixar Studios, featuring what was then the cutting edge of rendering capability, way beyond what real-time renders were capable of. To put it in perspective, this was just six years before Toy Story was released.



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1997 (1)

Locally Hosted resource
Geri's Game
Made in 1997, Geri's Game is an iconic CGI short film, coming on the heels of 'Bug's Life', and the first real attempt at fabric animation by Pixar Studios.



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1999 (0)



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2000 (2)

Locally Hosted resource
For The Birds
For The Birds is a Pixar short film, produced in 2000. Less than four minutes long, it was a tale of an outsider; a person different from the rest.


For The Birds, is a Pixar CG short film, produced in mid 2000. As is normal for Pixar CGs, it utilised the very best technology available at the time, in terms of algorithms and model details. By examining it, and other such CG productions, an appreciation for the pace of change in passives can be constructed.




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