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Exploring Mobility, Chatbots, Blockchain and Augmented Reality solutions in the Cloud to re-imagine Education & Research

Droidmaker

Kevin Roebuck
Director, Digital Experience


For the flight out to New York this morning, I thought I'd pick up the new book on
George Lucas and the digital filmaking revolution. A few weeks ago, I had
stumbled across a cool webinar from the Computer History Museum that
Sun had sponsored called "A Human History of Computer Animation". The event
featured a panel discussion with folks like Alvy Ray Smith, Ed Catmull and
a few of the Pixar Directors from recent pictures Monsters, Inc and The
Incredibles, Andrew Stanton and Brad Bird. You can check out the archived
video at: http://www.computerhistory.org/events/index.php?id=1114720561.
The author of the book was the session moderator, Michael Rubin.

I first started at Sun in the summer of 1984, I used to work on the production
line for the Model 120 and Model 160 Sun Workstations. I was always fascinated
in pack-out when we'd put the customer labels on the box and see these
special systems going out to places like Cal Tech, MIT and eventually to
Industrial Light & Magic in Marin. I always wondered what the best and brightest
creative people actually did with these intricate machines. At that time, we used
to make around 30 systems a month, now it's like 30,000 or something.

That summer through a series of really fortunate circumstances, i was able to visit ILM
and was astounded by the creativity and magic being done with Sun systems
in digital filmaking. The last demo they showed me was of the planet blowing
up in the upcoming Star Trek picture. Things were changing, fast.

It was great to see the storyline of Alex Schure's original vision for computer
animation as a tool for distance education. I'm only about half way through
the book, but it is a really interesting read and I recommend it to anyone with
an interest in film and digital animation. The book is called "droidMAKER, George Lucas
and the Digital Revolution".

Tomorrow is opening day at Digital Hollywood and the University Project where
people from a variety of creative interests ranging from NYU to UCLA to DreamWorks
will start to talk about common approaches, practices and technologies in
entertainment that can lead to more effective learning through the magic
of technology.

May the force be with us


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