Bulat M. Galeyev

The seminar "Computer Animation: Problems and Perspectives", held in February 1992 in Moscow, attracted artists and others working on the theory and practice of computer animation in countries of the former Soviet Republics. Held in the House of Cinema in Moscow, this meeting was initiated by the Union of Composers and Animation Center Pilots.

The speakers paid much attention to the parallels and differences between traditional and computer animation methods. Topics of discussion included the specific features of computer animation - the effects possible when completely free of camera "movement"; the fine film quality; methods of creating figurative and nonfigurative imagery with the computer; and a comparison of programming in early cinema, traditional animation and computer animation.

New theoretical excursions were highlighted in the retrospective screening of the best films of the festivals Ars Electronica and SIGGRAPH. The Moscow show was less impressive, but reassuring. The Creit Studio, St. Petersburg, has achieved great success in animation, although its interests are connected with the production of advertising shorts and video clips. Commercial orientation toward high profit computer animation is common in all countries now. SKB "Prometei", Kazan, presented video- recordings of its experiments in the area of laser-computer animation. Of great interest were the works of the Albatross Studio, Novosibirsk, whose computer film "Shadow" won a prize in Ars Electronica'91 in Linz. It was also a pleasure to watch the films of the Studio of Computer Art, Moscow, whose complex commercial advertising created with computer animation included the work of artist Felix Kooznetsov. I predict that his films will soon appear at Russian and international festivals.

Leading Russian cinema-animators F.Khitroock and A.Khrzhanovsky (they are as well known in Russia as Disney is in the USA) also were at the seminar. They expressed interest in meeting with computer artists and discussed their wishes to experiment in this field and the possibility of cooperation with foreign computer firms. On this note, the seminar was visited by representatives of Apple Computer, USA , and representatives of the Russian journals "Teleradioephir", "Satelit-Video-Ass" and "Chelovek i Computer".

(Published in "Leonardo", 1993, v.26, N1, pp.6-8.)