Cartoonist KAL Does a Motion-Capture Animation

Posted
By: E&P Staff Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher has unveiled a 3D motion-capture animation titled "Dancin' Dubya."

The Economist of London/former Sun of Baltimore editorial cartoonist told E&P that the video lasts five
minutes.

Motion-capture technology allows a person equipped in a special suit to act as a "mobile animation rig." A series of special cameras are used to read the location of markers on the person as he or she moves through space.

These markers correspond to markers attached to a digital character (in KAL's case, "Dubya"). The actor's movement is transferred to the markers on the cartoon character so that the cartoon character moves identically to the actor. Movies such as "Lord of the Rings" used this process.

For "Dancin' Dubya," KAL wore a motion-capture suit and originated the presidential disco moves in the video.

Also working on the video were various companies and people -- including Digital Steamworks (animation production), Mike Gibson (assistant producer), PhaseSpace (motion capture), Direct Dimensions (digital scanning), Mark Kromer (sound editor), and Wes Johnson and Kim Johnson (voices).

In other news, KAL has become a regular contributor to Economist.com's "Democracy in Action" blog.

KAL's work is distributed by CartoonArts International/New York Times Syndicate.

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