Kinetix and Solo Dance Master
Bill T. Jones Take Virtual Dance One Step Further
'Ghostcatching' Virtual Dance From
Jones and Riverbed Studios Reveals Power And Beauty of Character
Studio's Motion Capture Technology
SAN FRANCISCO, - As part of its
efforts to promote innovations in digital choreography, KinetixR
today announced that "Ghostcatching," the latest collaborative
work by new media producer Riverbed and Bill T. Jones, one of
the greatest living solo modern dancers, has virtually come
to life thanks to award-winning Kinetix 3D software. An experiment
in motion capture and 3D modeling, "Ghostcatching"
combines traditional hand-sketching with digitally rendered
and refined 3D dancers who spring to life with the vitality
and passion of human performers. "Ghostcatching" runs
through Feb. 12 at the Arthur A. Houghton Gallery at New York
City's Cooper Union School of Art.
Riverbed, a Kinetix software user,
assisted Jones in the digital choreography, which has been heralded
as "a landmark in the computerized rendering of the human
form" by The Village Voice. Jones and Riverbed created
the piece with Character StudioR,
the acclaimed software extension to Kinetix's 3D Studio MAXR
application and the technology behind the Dancing Baby phenomenon.
"In 'Ghostcatching,' Bill
T. Jones makes powerful statements about freedom of movement
and the human body -- a freedom that can be expressed ever more
enthusiastically through the digital medium," said
Paul Kaiser, principal artist, Riverbed. "With
the revolutionary motion capture features found in Character
Studio, the creative possibilities for virtual dance are endless."
eight-minute, large-screen exhibit explores the improvisational
mind and the possibilities of emerging narrative through a unique
mixture of dance performance, filmmaking, hand-drawn images
and an eclectic soundtrack featuring chanting, humming, singing
and talking. The techniques employed in "Ghostcatching"
were pioneered by dance legend Merce Cunningham in his revolutionary
"Hand-Drawn Spaces," one of the first performances
to combine abstract dance figures with digitally recorded real-life
movements. With Riverbed producing both works, "Hand-Drawn
Spaces" and "Ghostcatching" made full use of
Character Studio, the groundbreaking 3D character animation
solution from Kinetix. Compaq dual-processor workstations were
used for the animation, and final rendering of the hand-drawn
3D images was completed at Compaq's render farm of networked
workstations in Houston, Texas.
"The Compaq workstation
gives independent 3D artists like Riverbed the same power and
performance as any multimillion dollar workstation you would
find in a Hollywood special effects firm," said Kaiser.
"Its lightning-fast dual-processors let us design and
render our animations as quickly as possible."
"It's gratifying to see
Kinetix software play such a prominent role in the world of
dance," said Jim Guerard, general manager and
vice president of Kinetix. "'Ghostcatching' demonstrates
the beauty of dance in its rawest form: the individual motions
of the dancer. There may be no truer test of the power and potential
of motion capture than the work of this modern master."
Character Studio's sophisticated
motion capture animation tools let Jones and Riverbed create
complex sequences of movements by capturing original dance moves.
Wearing motion-capture sensors, dancers' movements were optically
recorded as points and converted to digital 3D files motion
files. This motion data was then combined with artistic charcoal
drawings to create "hand-drawn" animations that reflect
human movement with exceptional realism.
Character Studio R2 is available
as a plug-in application for 3D Studio MAX R2.5, the world's
best-selling PC-based 3D animation and modeling solution for
professionals, and is U.S. list priced at $1,495 from Kinetix,
and from Kinetix resellers and distributors. 3D Studio MAX R2.5
also is available today and is U.S. list priced at $3,495.
About Bill T. Jones
Bill T. Jones is the artistic director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie
Zane Dance Company. He has received many honors and awards,
including a MacArthur "genius" award in 1994. In addition
to creating over 50 works for his own company, Jones has been
commissioned to create dances for modern and ballet companies
including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Boston
Ballet and the Berlin Opera Ballet among others.
Riverbed is a New-York based multimedia arts group founded in
1994. Riverbed's new media work explores mental spaces and drawing
as performance, with a recent concentration on virtual dance.
They have created installation art for museums, theaters, and
other public spaces, as well as interactive works for the computer.
To learn more about Riverbed projects, visit the Riverbed Web
site at http://www.riverbed.com.
develops and delivers affordable content creation tools for
professionals such as film and video producers, video/computer
game developers, Web content developers, architects, engineers,
and designers. The leader in PC-based professional 3D modeling
and animation tools, Kinetix provides a full range of products
for the application development process, from 2D and 3D creation
to assembly and delivery. With headquarters in San Francisco,
Kinetix is a division of AutodeskR,
the forth largest PC software company in the world with over
four million customers in more than 150 countries. 3D Studio
MAX, the company's flagship product, won more than 65 awards
since its introduction in 1996. Kinetix products are sold through
resellers and distributors worldwide. Visit Kinetix on the World
Wide Web at http://www.ktx.com
SOURCE Autodesk, Inc.
Web Site: http://www.autodesk.com
Web Site: http://www.ktx.com