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Draco Brings Illustrations to Life with Kinetic Textures

A new project from Autodesk Research, presented at the 2014 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, brings static illustrations to life using kinetic textures.

At 24 frames per second, animation is a painstaking, laborious process. Even the most advanced animation software, which uses all sorts of tricks to streamline the process, still requires a lot of drawing.

A new project from Autodesk Research is re-imagining the way the world of animation works by bringing illustrations to life with kinetic textures. First presented at the 2014 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Draco was pioneered by Rubaiat Habib, Fanny Chevalier, Tovi Grossman, Shengdong Zhao and George Fitzmaurice as means to revolutionize the way illustrators and animators work as the demand for moving images increases. 

Draco is a sketch-based interface that allows users to add a rich set of animation effects to their drawings. While previous systems have introduced sketch-based animations for individual objects, Autodesk's contribution is a unified framework of motion controls that allows users to seamlessly add coordinated motions to object collections.

Autodesk proposes a framework built around kinetic textures, which provide continuous animation effects while preserving the unique timeless nature of still illustrations. This enables many dynamic effects difficult or not possible with previous sketch-based tools, such as a school of fish swimming, tree leaves blowing in the wind, or water rippling in a pond.

Check out the video demonstrating Draco’s kinetic textures in motion, below:

(via FastCo.Design)

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.