Friday, February 5, 2010

February 05: ImageMovers Digital

On this day in 2007, Disney announced the start of a new company called ImageMovers Digital with the producers of Polar Express. The state of the art digital film studio would be run by director Robert Zemeckis and owned by The Walt Disney Company.

The studio's beginnings though can be traced back to 1997 when it was simply called ImageMovers. Writer-producer-director Zemeckis formed the studio along with film producers Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey. Under the creative eye of Zemeckis, ImageMovers turned out such hits as Cast Away, What Lies Beneath, The Polar Express, and Beowulf. Always interested in cutting edge technology, Zemeckis used the process of performance capture to create a unique animated look for both The Polar Express and Beowulf.

Performance capture (or motion capture) is used to describe the process of recording movement and translating that movement onto a digital model. When used in film making, movements of an actor are sampled many times per second and later mapped to a 3D model - so that the model performs the same actions as the actor. A computer processes this information allowing not only the movements of the actor, but the desired camera positioning as well.

ImagerMovers Digital's first project was the 2009 A Christmas Carol (starring Jim Carrey).
Future films planned include Mars Needs Moms! and a remake of Yellow Submarine.

Click HERE for more history captured events in Disney history.

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