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Cartoonist Kal Holds Digital Press Con with Pres. Bush

This weekend, a digital version of President Bush will hold a "press conference" at the Walters Art Museum, lead by renowned political cartoonist Kevin "Kal" Kallaughe, who will have his tongue firmly planted in cheek, reports the BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL.

Kal will also be controlling the virtual Bush's movements and giving him voice. The show is part of Kallaugher's push into digital 3D animation, undertaken with the help of the Imaging Research Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and part of the Kallaugher show MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD: THE SATIRICAL PEN OF KAL at the Walters Art Museum.

Kallaugher, an award-winning cartoonist for THE ECONOMIST and BALTIMORE SUN who left the paper in January, wants to marry the art and satiric punch of caricature drawing with digital, 3D animation.

Kallaugher sees 3D realtime animation as a source of timely content for television shows and websites.

For the museum show, he created a bust of President Bush out of clay and foam, had Owings Mills tech company Direct Dimensions make a high-resolution laser scan of the bust and then had Imaging Research Center engineers and artists create a virtual caricature. Kallaugher uses gaming software to control his virtual Bush's movements with joysticks.

"I wanted to find a way I could merge caricature and animation for a source of political commentary," Kallaugher said. "It's the most vibrant and expressive form of satire you can do. If you can take that to a moving image, it's irresistible."

Previously, Kallaugher created a 13-minute cartoon for his senior thesis when he graduated Harvard University in 1977 and said he worked in London for a time with Richard Williams, the animation director on the 1988 film WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.

Kallaugher will talk about his career and new projects at a 2:00 pm lecture on Sunday, June 25, 2006. His exhibition runs through Sept. 3.

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