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Animation

Until recently, computer software animation developers had to manipulate characters by using their computer mouse to drag virtual limbs into poses one tedious, time-consuming key frame at a time. Now researchers at the Interactive Geometry Lab (IGL) at ETH Zurich have developed a whole new way of creating movement in virtual characters using 3D model "joysticks" that directly create shape and movement inputs. Read More
Have you ever wished you were an alien or a shark? Well, sorry, but you're never going to get to be one. The free Nito app, however, does let you appear as those characters or others, in recorded 15-second videos. It tracks your facial features and movements as you talk, and reproduces them in real time via an animated avatar of your choice. Read More
What if creating the illusion of a ghost walking next to you was as simple as waving a light stick in front of a camera? Pixelstick is a new light painting tool developed by Brooklyn-based Bitbangerlabs, that allows anyone to create incredible images with the aid of a camera set to take long exposure photographs. Capable of reading images created in any image editing software, the digital light rod displays the desired image a line at a time, letting you create visuals in real world settings that can feature anything from floating graffiti to video game characters, blinking heads or brilliant swirls of color. Read More
What happens when old meets slightly less old? You end up with a product that brings animated GIFs out of the computer monitor and into the 3D world. We actually just covered Gifpop, a product that uses lenticular printing to bring GIFs out, and now the Giphoscope does something similar, but with a hand crank instead. Read More
Animated GIFs are not exactly a new piece of technology, having been introduced in 1987. Lenticular printing is a technology even older, as it starter back in the 1940s. So what happens when you take these two older technologies and merge them? You end up with Gifpop, a new service designed to let people print any animated GIF from the web. Read More
NASA has released new concept images and animations outlining one version of its plan to capture an asteroid with an unmanned craft and return it to lunar orbit for astronauts to study. The plan is part of an initiative by President Barack Obama for a US manned asteroid mission as outlined in his 2014 NASA budget request. The agency’s main objective at the moment is to come up with alternative approaches and evaluate them. Read More
In the Japanese animated film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the protagonist explores a post-apocalyptic world riding on a jet-powered glider called a Möwe. When the movie was first released in 1984, a vehicle like that seemed like it could only exist in science fiction, but today one artist is determined to make it a reality. Kazuhiko Hachiya has spent the past decade designing and testing his own single-person glider and recently unveiled a full-sized model with a working jet engine. Read More
There are plenty of interesting ways to deck out your bicycle, but MonkeyLectric may have come up with the ultimate way to make it stand out on the road. The company's new Monkey Light Pro is a set of LED bars that attach to a bicycle wheel and can be programmed to play colorful animations. Read More

There aren't enough stop motion animation films starring light fittings, in my opinion. Until today, I only knew of one: Luxo Jr, by Pixar. Hyperion is the second, and it stars the eponymous insectoid light fitting, designed by Paul Heijnen. Read More

Anyone who’s tried their hand at stop animation will know it’s an incredibly time consuming and delicate job. But spare a thought for scientists at IBM Almaden in California who have produced the world’s smallest stop animation movie by using a scanning tunneling microscope to move individual atoms. Rather than competing with Aardman or Pixar for a slice of the international box office, the film is intended to make the public aware of new technology that could increase computer memories far beyond what is possible today. Read More
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