Thursday, January 05, 2006

It's a big, big, digital world

A whole host of animal characters welcome viewers to the Big, Big World

It's a Big, Big World is a new preschool series from Mitchell Kriegman, the creator of Bear in the Big Blue House. The show debuted on PBS earlier this week and features a diverse group of animal characters brought to vibrant life in a lush jungle setting using a patented Bunraku-like CGI process Kriegman calls "Shadowmation".

Shadowmation is a unique animated process that utilizes real-time virtual sets and Bunraku-style team puppetry. Like action animatronic characters are integrated with computer generated animation in real time, high definition virtual environments. The process allows all the advantages of animatronics, the expressiveness of live performance, and the freedom and range of computer animation. It's was first used and developed for the Disney Channel series Book of Pooh.

While the show isn't true digital puppetry per se, Shadowmation is a very cool digital technique and this looks like it will be a great series. You can watch an online preview of the series at and read more about it over at the St. Petersburg Times.

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