LEDs and CGI Disney Hair

A pair of stories about how the entertainment industry is using technology to push the boundaries a bit…

First, the quest for the perfect CGI hair on a Disney princess reaches the next milestone this weekend with the release of Pixar’s Brave.  I’m taking my little girl this afternoon, she probably won’t notice the intricacies of individual strands of hair but as a former artist I always geek out about that stuff.

Here’s Rebecca Greenfield in The Atlantic:

In the decades-long quest to perfect animated hair, the makers of Merida’s wild locks in Pixar’s Brave have gotten one step closer to perfection. Hair has presented a particular problem for animators — a problem that CGI animation has improved upon but not ameliorated. The way locks move can make a character look just the right amount of real. Though, there is such a thing as too real, where we fall into the Uncanny Valley, a land with creepy too-human characters that mess with our minds. But, even with some slips in the wrong direction, we have seen a marked improvement in hair animation, with this ginger’s wild locks presenting a new level of hair animation.

Let’s take a look at how far we’ve come:

Keep reading:

‘Brave’ Advances the Quest for the Perfect Animated Hair (The Atlantic)

Now this is really cool – love or hate the band Coldplay, you’ve got to admit they know how to put on a live show.  On their new tour, Coldplay have incorporated something called Xylobands, LED wristbands on every member of the audience that are radio-activated to light up throughout the show, hence making the fans part of the spectacle.

From Mashable:

Coldplay has been turning its audience into interactive participants at recent concerts by handing them Xylobands, LED-illuminated wristbands that can be activated using a radio signal.

The wristbands come in a variety of colors and have the Twitter hashtag #coldplayfilm printed on them to promote the band’s live DVD. When turned on at certain points during the concert, the audience is illuminated with multicolored twinkling lights.

And here’s some footage of a recent performance as seen from the crowd at a stadium show:

Pretty cool.  Bet we see a lot more of this kind of thing…


Coldplay Wristbands Turn Audience Into Giant LED Display (Mashable)