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Thursday, July 21, 2005

HP fetes partners with Madagascar

HEWLETT Packard (HP)Nigeria, at the weekend fete its partners made up of distributors and resellers to what was described as "Madagascar, Challenges to Technology" at the popular Silverbird Gallery Cinema in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Starting with a blank screen … Champion Infotel gathered that it was a task for crew of 240 for four years to create the two complete jungles, namely New York City and Madagascar.

The team created realistic jungle foliage, large crowds of animals and people, characterized with new cartoon style and extreme body flexibility.

The new types of animated interaction between characters and environment, HP said, comprises hair and fur, sand, wind and wave.

However, the foliage challenges saw the 66 per cent of film taking place in the jungles of Madagascar.

HP noted that animators needed lots of realistic jungle plants that move and interact with characters, hence the jungle effects team created seven baobab trees, 12 flower/fruit trees, 43 miscellaneous jungle plants

The New York City in the film saw different plants with unique vegetation motion system, automate plant animation, creating range of plant motions, characters that had to interact with plants, allowing the jungle to reveal series of 14,000 plants and 4 million leaves sway in wind.

Chief Technology Officer of the DreamWorks Animation SKG at HP, Mr. Ed Leonard said that what the film depicts was that HP technology brings animal magic with Madagascar.

"Together we are redefining the future of entertainment and we are having a lot of fun doing it," he declared.

He however, said that there were some crowd challenges, which include that there were more crowd scenes than any other "DreamWorks’ film".

Crowds, he explained were 20 per cent of the entire film while animators needed a simplified method of handling characters in crowds and crowd lemurs were all related to the generic lemur character rig, whereas 425 unique looking lemurs; with same single lemur in 425 different disguises.

The team also met the Fossa sequence, in addition to the biggest crowd of animals in a coloured film with 1,100 lemurs, representing children at the Central Park Zoo, 10,400 possible geometric combinations of body and face shapes, clothes, hats, hair and shoes

Further, he said that character challenges include the Madagascar unique animation style, which appeared very cartoony with extreme poses, squash and stretch, tail systems, balloon volumes, stunt body parts with 61 different characters.

Explaining that the DreamWork’s needed to enhance their racial animation and wig systems with Melman having 20 bones in his neck, Gloria, volume preserving techniques

And Alex coming along with massive hair and fur challenge, which brought about 354 guided hairs driven motions of 50,342 mane hairs with 500 curves and six control points each, even as Marty’s tail and mane both "act" with 1,200 controls.

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