INA -- A Pioneer In New Technologies
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Dominique Bloch explains: "Even though, since 1996, the greater part of our education centers on digital technologies, we wanted this year to create a 13 week course in 3D animation. Meant for large classes, it introduces the fundamentals of animation in all techniques (cutouts, pin-screen, puppets, etc.), with special emphasis on the analysis of movement and mastery of rhythm. With a lot of time devoted to exercises which are reviewed, we propose hands-on access, comparable to that of long-established educational programs in such schools as CFT Gobelins."

Imagina's "teapot" logo from 1999.
© Aréa Stratégic Design.
Imagina and SIGGRAPH are the premiere computer animation conventions. © MBQ.

Imagina: INA's Gift
To accompany this new direction, the National Audiovisual Institute started in 1981 a formidable observation opportunity in the form of the Imagina event. Created in collaboration with the Monte Carlo Festival of Television, Imagina in its first year only presented "some monochrome polygons animated by computers according to elementary laws of physics" as Francis Beck, President of INA, described it on the occasion of the most recent manifestation. Today Imagina is regarded in addition to SIGGRAPH as one of the most important computer conventions. With the decentralization of the trade fair to Paris (in the year 2000 it will take place in the Port Maillot convention center), the Forum will reach a larger public. In addition to this new move to Paris, carefully planned admission fees will permit easier access to the following convention in Monaco, which will enable people to pick and pay for specific packages according to their interests in the areas of 3D and interactive techniques, television and the Internet. Visitors will be able to attend the competition for the Pixel-INA prize, and visit the Innovation Village, a true laboratory of the future. Another presentation of the real-time creation competition (this past year it was devoted to the now famous "Dancing Baby") will also take place, as will the Action New Independent Talents prize, sponsored by Action Films in order to recognize the creativity of amateurs, the professionals of tomorrow. Numerous lectures will cover themes in 3D animation, such as its use in video games, special effects and the Internet. A presentation of the most innovative Web sites is also planned, along with a number of surprises that have not yet been unveiled. There is no doubt that these multiple events will give the convention a festive air, humanizing a world that up until now has been stigmatized by a reputation of producing cold and sterile images, a reputaion which 3D has suffered with long enough.

Now that it has opened the way for all kinds of digital phenomena, INA is well intent, thanks to these new directions, on giving the keys to creators, as well as users.

For more about Imagina's past editions we invite you to readAnimation World Magazine's reviews of the 1997 and 1998 editions.

For the complete information on the upcoming Imagina, please refer to the Calendar of Events, where we provide additional information and entry deadlines.

Translated from French by Dr. William Moritz.

Originally a screenwriter, Valérie Rivoallon has worked in journalism since 1988. On the editorial staff of BREF, a magazine devoted to the short film, she has specialized in animation since 1993. She has also organized programs for several festivals, and works on the radio. Her monthly animation program is called Bulles de rêve.

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