Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20
  1. #1

    • Senior Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,515

    Alternatives to Animatronics

    Disney is looking for more cost-effective ways to visualize characters in the attractions without having to employ complex electronically-controlled mechanical animation. And, frankly, none of these alternative techniques are quite effective.

    The Buzz Lightyear figures with the facial projections are not convincing.
    And, the two-dimensional Pepper's Ghost video projections don't do much for me, either.

    I would not mind seeing Disney invest in researching and developing stereoscopic displays that do not require guests to wear special lenses. Certain newer video displays use lenticular arrays to orient the light they emit to different eyes, but the users still have to be fairly close to the devices.

    I also don't mind the effect used on the Califia statues at Golden Dreams.

    Perhaps, Disney could project animated, photorealistic imagery onto moving heads from outside the figures instead of from inside, as is the case with Buzz, currently. In that way, complex and smaller facial expressions could be visualized while the larger movements would remain mechanical.

    It also might be more cost-effective to use live performers, more often, also, especially during the expositions and resolutions of stories when the plot is not as important and when interactivity and improvisation is suitable.

    Does anyone have opinions regarding the alternatives toward which Disney has been gravitating in recent years?

  2. #2

    • Huh?
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,808

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Disney Imagineering was actually the first to purchase the first autostereoscopic monitors that were available. Don't remember which company -- either Toshiba or Sharp.

    They have autostereoscopic displays, but I've yet to see them put them into use. The don't need to waste time researching and developing technology that's already available.

    Users do not have to be fairly close. In fact, one zoo has filmed some gorrillas using about 16 different cameras. They're using a VERY large autostereoscopic display with creative decor to give the appearance that these gorrillas are actually there. 16 cameras rather than just two means that you can walk pretty far back and pretty far in, plus see a LOT of different angles to the objects on screen.

    But, WDI has already invested in autostereoscopic displays. We just need to wait for them to implement them.

    BTW: Buzz Lightyear's Astoblasters Online looks best when played on an autostereoscopic display. That's the only way I'll play it.

    Yes, I do have an autosterescopic laptop.
    -Tim

  3. #3

    • Huh?
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,808

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Oh, found it...

    DDD sold their first autostereoscopic display to WDI back in 2001. (Link)

    DDD is closely linked to Sharp.
    -Tim

  4. #4

    • Senior Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,515

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    How do you like your autostereoscopic laptop? Does it hurt your eyes after prolonged use?

    I have heard varying reports about whether or not the technology requires additional adjustments before it will be able to gain widespread adoption, but I am interested in making my next laptop autostereoscopic.

    The Monsters, Inc. attraction uses a common two-dimensional plasma display to visualize the Abominable Snowman, and I think the effect looks a little out of place. I'm still not entirely sure what kind of display technology will be used at the Submarine Voyage, but I hope the characters are convincing.

    The zoo with the gorillas sounds interesting. Perhaps, we might see something similar at Star Tours.

  5. #5

    • Huh?
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,808

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Well.... I have VERY good abilities to view stereo, so while I may say no, I'm not the common person.

    I've had a few people pass by and say "That hurts my eyes just by looking at it!" (Ok, stupid statement, really...)

    But I have not problem. I also have the ability to view it one the most advanced settings.

    My ability to freeview many types of stereo imagery helps a lot.
    -Tim

  6. #6

    • A Pirate's life for me!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    top half of CA
    Posts
    3,947

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    I'd like to see an occassional "live" actor in the middle of the action.

    Can you imagine...In the middle of the Pirates ride, have a live pirate jump out at the passing boat full of guests!

    Or a real axe wielding Groom in the HM going after the passing doom buggy's. LOL.

    OK, I'll calm down now...

  7. #7

    • Minion FOREVER!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Campbell, CA
    Posts
    3,023

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Yes. There seems to be an advance in remote puppetry using voice
    modulation which seems to be getting play. For example, although
    very rudimentary, both Innoventions Stich and Crush meets (although
    they are videos) allow the "puppeteers" to control some of the movements
    and simulatneously "talk" in the character's actual voices.

    Roz in MI is the combination of that w/ AA technology.

    This doesn't obviate the manpower issue (maybe make it worse), but
    definitely makes for more interactive (and unique) experiences.

    Imagine how neat it would be if the Pirate Captain/Barbossa doesn't like your
    jacket and tells the crew to blast you out of the water?

  8. #8

    •   
    • .
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,067

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Don't you think Animatronics are a specialty that Disney has? Nobody comes close. Look at the classic and most poplular rides like POC and HM. Those just wouldn't be the same without the Animatronics. Why not spend the money on modernizing and using new technology for new Animatronics and start making classic rides again.

  9. #9

    • Huh?
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,808

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Hey, better than the E.T. thing.... that rarely worked properly.

    "Goodbye... Tim, ......, Poofyhead"
    "Goodbye.... Joe-han-azz, Klaws, Nancy."
    -Tim

  10. #10

    • Senior Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,515

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Quote Originally Posted by cal4iri
    Don't you think Animatronics are a specialty that Disney has? Nobody comes close. Look at the classic and most poplular rides like POC and HM. Those just wouldn't be the same without the Animatronics. Why not spend the money on modernizing and using new technology for new Animatronics and start making classic rides again.
    I agree. The animatronic puppets are a competitive advantage because they realize Disney's proprietary characters in believable and fanciful ways. Just think of the wonderfully-designed Country Bear Playhouse characters or those from Splash Mountain. And, what would Star Tours be without the R2-D2 and C-3PO.

    Animatronics should definitely comprise the bulk of the techniques used to visualize characters.

    One of the major reasons for D.C.A.'s commercial failure is the lack of attractions that use animatronics.

  11. #11

    • Senior Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,515

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Quote Originally Posted by FrumiousBoojum
    Hey, better than the E.T. thing.... that rarely worked properly.

    "Goodbye... Tim, ......, Poofyhead"
    "Goodbye.... Joe-han-azz, Klaws, Nancy."
    Personal interactivity can be gimmicky and obtrusive if it is not done properly.

    One of the great things about the conceptualization of Star Tours was that the story fictionalized the audience and involved them in the physical conflict by participating passively for the most part.

    Interactivity can be a bad thing.

    Guests should never feel as if they are expected to do something unless they, themselves, initiate the interaction.

    I'm looking forward, though, to seeing more animation in the heads of some of the traditionally interactive characters, like Mickey. And, I have a feeling that Disney will be employing face and/or voice recognition, or, possibly R.F.I.D. transponders, to automatically identify guests and better personalize the interactions the characters and other cast members have with said guests.

  12. #12

    • 0 to 200 mph in 1 second!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southern end of the DLR
    Posts
    1,424

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMickey
    I'd like to see an occassional "live" actor in the middle of the action.

    Can you imagine...In the middle of the Pirates ride, have a live pirate jump out at the passing boat full of guests!

    Or a real axe wielding Groom in the HM going after the passing doom buggy's. LOL.

    OK, I'll calm down now...
    Oh, that wouldn't work at all because it would immediately draw attention to the fact that the actual AA figures were just that: AA figures. By doing so it would also pull the guests out of the "show". It might work in theater-type shows, but not in dark rides where the emphasis would be on the novelty of a live actor amidst the AAs. Roz works so splendidly well because she IS an AA.

  13. #13

    • Rock Star Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    13,674

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMickey
    I'd like to see an occassional "live" actor in the middle of the action.
    They do this on the Great Movie Ride. I think it's a fun change.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  14. #14

    • Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Autobot Base
    Posts
    2,137

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Ever seen that creepy Einstien robot? It's on YouTube somewhere and the facial animation is very impressive.
    M-I-C-K-E-Y P-R-I-M-E

    Flickr
    Lend a hand at Disney Wiki

  15. #15

    • Huh?
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,808

    Re: Alternatives to Animatronics

    Although, the head animatronics are VERY shaky... nowhere near an A-100. If they keep up with advancements on Lucky (which in many ways is FAR ahead of the Einstein), it'll become the perfect animatronic.
    -Tim

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Local WDCC Store has closed, any good on-line alternatives?
    By Skawt in forum Disney Collectables
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-19-2009, 10:34 PM
  2. Structure vs. other parking alternatives
    By trojanrobmc in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 07-19-2007, 12:19 AM
  3. Alternatives or Complements to Disneyland
    By PragmaticIdealist in forum MiceChat Main Lounge
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-24-2007, 11:35 PM
  4. Alternatives or Complements to Disneyland
    By PragmaticIdealist in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-24-2007, 11:35 PM
  5. Open Source Programs -- Free Alternatives
    By FrumiousBoojum in forum Disney Interactive and Game Industry Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-15-2006, 10:00 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •