The French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau has become legendary for his spectacular cinematography of natural marine life. The reader may be familiar with the magnificent underwater documentaries produced by the Jacques Cousteau Foundation or those of the National Geographic Society.
We have implemented an animation system that enables an animator to produce intriguing ``nature documentaries'' of an artificial undersea world, not by conventional means, but by assuming the role of a marine cinematographer analogous to that played by Cousteau. Unlike Cousteau, however, who must deal with a physical camera in a physical world, our animator uses a virtual camera to explore and record artificial life inhabiting a virtual marine world. To demonstrate this new gender of computer animation, we have created a mini animated parody of a National Geographic underwater documentary.
Our ``National Geo-Graphics'' documentary explores ``The Undersea World of Jack Cousto''. Jack's cinematography reveals a mysterious world of colorful artificial fishes. We observe mating rituals and other elaborate behaviors. Dangerous predators stalk in the deceptively peaceful habitat. The following images show stills from the animation, which was rendered using the photorealistic RenderMan package.
``The Undersea World of Jack Cousto'' runs for two minutes and thirty seconds and was produced by the author along with her colleague Radek Grzeszczuk and Professor Demetri Terzoupoulos.
|Xiaoyuan Tu||January 1996|