After posting on the subject in both the Don Bluth and Animation:Master forums I’ve been involved in ongoing discussions on the usefulness of this technology in both places. To my way of thinking this allows me to better understand views from the perspective of those who empower traditional animators (Bluth) and computer animators (Martin).
Whether this technlogy seems to be important appears to primarily boil down to whether the artists wishes to use traditional media (in this case paper) or a digital (virtual) representative of the same. To my way of thinking both approaches are needed and must be investigated if we are to further bridge the gap between artist and technology and to explore the future of animation.
Technologies such as Wacom Cintiq bypass the ‘original’ physical media to capture a representation directly in the computer. Having the original work may be important (to the creator) for a number of reasons but for now I’ll focus on primarily one aspect:
A physical original is generally a unique creation that would take a skilled creator to reproduced or duplicate. Copies of the original (re-presentations) can generally be produced easily but tend to be identifiable as counterfeit upon close examination of and comparison to the original. An original is unique.
A byproduct of this uniqueness is intrinsic value. Like it or not scarcity often determines value and in a world where the law of supply and demand remains in effect having access to that original is a point of distinction (if not contention). In the digital realm the original is exactly reproduced to the point where in almost all cases there in no verifiable original. The only way to secure value is to limit access to the original and in a digital world this runs counterproductive to the usefulness and effectiveness of open systems. Sharing resources is one of the most valuable elements of product-ion and re-presentation.
What technlogolies such as the Wacom Inkling represent is a narrowing of the gap between the extremes and a means to gain scarcity with ubiquity; something found only in one place yet found everywhere (in a user defined enhanced form) simultaneously.
Don Bluth forum discussion
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