Notes about russia

April 13, 2010 permalink

Early Experimental Computer Animation Modeling a Cat’s Gait

[Video no longer available]

Early experimental computer animation through mathematical modeling of a cat’s gait. Evidently, equations were written to model the basic skeleton form of the cat and its walk, and the computer was used to generate a shadow-like projection printed frame by frame onto paper using ASCII-like characters (this animation was done in 1968 on a Soviet BESM-4 mainframe, so I’m not sure what character set they’re actually using here). The result could then be filmed, inverted, and manually cleaned up. Not exactly something that would really take the animation world by storm, but it’s an interesting usage of mainframes for art.

See also: more detailed info about the animation including links to the fulltext paper (in Russian – Google Translate does a pretty good job)

(Via Make)

April 6, 2010 permalink


Solaris (1972). Something of a lyrical Russian follow-up to 2001: A Space Odyssey, a story of personal grief and longing set aboard a space station hovering over an abyssal alien ocean. Great use of understated sets and on-Earth scenery with allusions to the style of the Old Masters. Between Solaris, Alphaville, and Children of Men, I’m discovering that my favorite cinematic dystopian futures are the ones that make little or no effort to appear futuristic.