Animation brings classical paintings to stunning life

Beauty, asserts Italian artist and animator Rino Stefano Tagliafierro, is fleeting. And although the art of yesteryear certainly captures it, it's of moments frozen in time, lacking the warmth and humanity of movement.

In his short film "Beauty," Tagliafierro has taken more than 100 classical paintings, from landscape to romantic to Pre-Raphaelite, and applied his experience in digital animation to bring them to life. … Read more

What if your movements became 3D sculptures?

I'm not a fan of station identification (idents) that are over the top, but here's a neat video that takes brand artistry to a new level.

Taiwan studio JL Design, with Lithuanian digital video company Korb, put together an eye-popping series of IDs for China's CCTV Documentary Channel that show people creating seemingly 3D structures as they move.

These "motion sculptures," as they're described, "follow a visual performance of organic and vital substance, animated using data of actors' movements," according to Korb. … Read more

Audrey Hepburn shines again in new CGI ad

No one can play Audrey Hepburn as well as Audrey Hepburn.

Through the magic of computer-generated imagery, the Galaxy chocolate company -- known as Dove outside the U.K. and Ireland -- has brought the deceased movie star back to life for a lovely one-minute commercial by ad agency AMV BBDO and visual-effects company Framestore. … Read more

Cameron narrates stunning Titanic simulation

Just in case his billion-dollar blockbuster wasn't realistic enough for you, not to mention the new $18 million 3D version, James Cameron has created another film about the Titanic, which presents its final minutes in stunning detail.

"From iceberg to bottom, it's never been animated so precisely and so dramatically," the Canadian ubermensch and premier Titanic obsessive says in the trailer to "Titanic: The Final Word With James Cameron," which premieres on the National Geographic Channel on April 8. … Read more

The 404 623: Where honey is our Gatorade (podcast)

It's time for another Natali Del Conte Thursday episode of The 404 Podcast, but we're keeping the complaints to a minimum in deference to our guest co-host today; that is, after Wilson tells us about a 3D movie that tickled his gag reflex. Yes, we learn that Wilson officially honked after watching only three minutes of "African Adventure: Safari in Okavango" in 3D. He shares this experience with children and teenagers who might also be more susceptible to epileptic seizures and migraines as a result of watching 3D TV.

While we're on the topic of … Read more

NBC's Olympics: Separating half-baked from half-faked

Who would choose to be in NBC's PR Department this week?

I couldn't possibly accuse any of them of taking steroids, but could you blame them if they slipped something a little special into their noon smoothie just to deal with another sleepless night?

Many critics have been kvetching about technological fakery during the opening ceremony, when fireworked footprints were CGI'd for home consumption.

I'm not sure how the CGI increased our excitement.

However, the description from NBC's Matt Lauer was definitely breathtaking: "You're looking at a cinematic device employed by Zhang Yimou … Read more

'Indiana Jones' graphics meant to go unnoticed

SAN FRANCISCO--There's just something about that familiar Indiana Jones music. You know it--dun ta dun ta, dun ta da...

Even having spent months slaving over some 540 computer-generated images for the just-released Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the admittedly jaded Hayden Landis still gets excited when he hears that theme song.

"The little kid in you comes out," said Landis, computer graphics supervisor on the film, recalling the music in the opening of the movie trailer. "I grew up with Indiana Jones."

It's that very nostalgic feeling that Landis and … Read more

Forget 'Iron Man's' fighting prowess, check out his computers

I saw Iron Man (cool Web site) on Sunday, joining the hordes who contributed to the $100 million dollar plus opening of the film. The movie was a blast so to speak, and Robert Downey Jr. was outstanding in the lead role. It has plenty of digital special effects and great production design, especially the futuristic computer usage scenarios.

Minority Report has some interesting computer usage scenarios, but Iron Man is far more sophisticated. It's difficult to describe the digital systems, but they are artificially intelligent (pass the Turing Test), and allow Iron Man, aka Tony Stark, to design, … Read more

One Swede ride

The Paulin Motor Company just launched a new concept car called the VR Concept.

Paulin is a Swedish design company founded in 2005 by Daniel Paulin, the designer who worked on the Fab 1 Thunderbird and the Focus C-MAX concepts for Ford. The company has also done work for Hyundai and Kia.

While it was sketchy on details, the VR Concept two-seater sports car is the beginning of a lineup of vehicles the company has planned, according to its announcement. The VR is "versioned for 2012." Car Body Design's comments from Daniel Paulin suggest that the designer … Read more