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Casey wrote:

> I won't address the comment on "simpleminded"ness (personally, this is a
> little juvenile).  What I will address is the use of still and animated
> figures for determining modes of motion.  When animators for Jurassic Park
> (I know, I know; we all dislike J.P., however...) were designing the motion
> patterns for the animals in that movie they had to animate them one frame
> at a time.  This method involved being able to look at a frame of film and
> then determining what the next logical movement would be.  This suggests
> that movement can be inferred from a still plate.  However, it is also
> helpful to be able to see the animal in actual motion (one animator
> actually said that he could find mistakes in his motion animation by
> watching the animals, that he was animating, walk (run, trot, canter, etc.)
> in reverse.) Now then, I'm not agreeing with any particular side on this
> matter but suggesting that both methods are helpful in the assesment of
> matters of motion.

 Animators study both gaits and motion.
If they studied only gaits in still frame, the motion recreated looks
slightly stilted as in the Harrihausen stop-motion era.  Modern
animators, when looking at moving animals, are trying to create the
illusions of movement that are artifacts of our love of motion pictures
and video.  Modern animators try to put in blurs and smears which are
both artifacts of film, not vision, as modern people unknowingly look
for blurs and smears ON FILM and expect the artifacts to be present to
indicate speed when seeing animated figures on film.

Scientists try to cut out the same artifacts by isolating minute changes
of each gait both photographically and by measuring footfalls, breath,
calorie burn, etc, and they keep reducing these to smaller and smaller
increments in an attempt to gain understanding and clarity.  The BEST
way to study motion from a scientists' point of view would be to have
something like a CAT scan for the whole gait, so they can actually SEE
what goes on inside the animal from any viewpoint such as muscle
expansion, bone movement, etc, but this is something that is not yet
possible.  maybe soon.
           Betty Cunningham  
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