Bringing new, proprietary tools and a keen artistic sense to motion-capture technology and animation, Atlanta-based Giant Studios is making a splash in the field. The company's technology serves in New Zealand on the set of Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy epic, "The Lord of the Rings." 3D Animators Michael Kennedy and Kurt Judson, as well as director of marketing Rand Cabus and director of research and development Matt Maddan, spoke about the company and its latest production, "Melvin, the Red-Haired Stepchild," a short movie created at Giant Studios that features a naughty boy who refuses to go to bed, and who takes out his frustrations on an oversized teddy bear, which delivers Melvin's comeuppance.
Peter Jackson's adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" is a major film using Giant Studios' technology. Is the work being done in Atlanta?
RC: No. We have a setup in New Zealand.
KJ: What we're providing to "The Lord of the Rings" is the animation and motion that drives these artificial characters they're creating for the film.
How is the system for rendering dailies of work in progress?
RC: A crude runner can be done in real-time at the time of shooting. That's one of the reasons why they wanted our system. They're going to have characters that are a combination of principal photography and CGI, and they're going to be mixed together. Some CG, some real. The motion-captured animation we provide can be digitally composited into a scene.