A trailer and a news story got me thinking. The trailer was for an animated version of The Ten Commandments. The article was on the new trend for desktop supercomputers.

It used to be that it took many minutes for the fastest computers to produce a single frame of computer animation. For The Last Starfighter back in the 80s, the rented Cray XMP took over 40 minutes per frame. The same sort of animation can be rendered in real time on a computer costing hundreds of dollars instead of millions of dollars.

This means that we can rely on Moore’s law to deliver more than enough computer power for all of us to have virtual movie studios on each of our desks.

The bad news is that we will no longer be able to blame the lack of access to toys as a barrier to our imaginations. It’ll come back to storytelling and talent. We’ll be able to make films as obviously bad as The Ten Commandments (without the talents of the slumming voice actors).

Pixar hire those who know story and those who can animate. The software they use is designed to support creative people. It is easier to teach creative people how to use Pixar software than it is to teach computer experts how to create compelling characters and tell a good story.

Therefore all the rest of us need do is learn a lot moore about storytelling.


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