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What's next for animation technology?

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What's next for animation technology?

Everyone is amazed at how 3d imaging has transformed animated and live action films. I am wondering if anyone has a clue what the next frontier for animation technology will be. There has to be something beyond 3d imaging, and I always like to think about the next step!

Sorry if this statement is too brief but the next frontier is stereoscopic 3D. I do not have much to say on the subject.

My opinion is that it will be virtual sculpting.
Unlike rigging, it'll become a much more intuitive process, with the software reading hand movements from the artist via some kind of faster interface ( gloves or even rings ?).
The process will allow an artist to create the basic shape, then refine it, add texturing, and then POAs. The use of this would extend beyond animation, into other products such as toys, automotive design, other product designs such as appliances.
To facilitate this, the visual display would be larger, and perhaps curved to allow the artist to "immerse" into the design environment. The display will likely be some kind of 3D medium, desirably without glasses of any kind.
Ideally this will be a smooth and supple process, without using any keyboard or mouse controls, everything would be via the hand controls. To be successful, it cannot be clunky or bulky, it has to be something you can slip on comfortable and work with without necessarily being conscious of it being there.

Obviously to make it work a number of successive advancements need to come to together: visual displays, the control interface, more processing power to accommodate the greater poly-counts, and enhanced software like Deep Canvas for painting with.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

this is the one area that hasnt been automated by the computer, which Im glad hasnt happened. because its really about artistry. unlike sculpting where you give an object a high poly count so its easier to manipulate. there is no parallel logic for animation.

its not there have been no automatic animation programs but they have all failed. artistry remains beyond the realm of simulation for the moment. but skinning will be improved upon.

rigging is actually pretty easy right now. I would urge you to look up character animation toolkit. rig anything in 5-10 minutes. its almost wrong, how easy it is. the only rigging program where people have built the concept character with skeleton before the actual model

to ken davis. you have used deep canvas, have you used any other 3d painting programs. bodypaint remains my preferred 3d painting tool