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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 27 | volume V | July-August, 2002



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 27July-August, 2002
Theatre Theory

Animating Ancient Theater Through Computer Graphics

A conversation between Sallie Goetsch, University of Warwick, England and Stefan Didak, Animagic, Netherlands


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p. 1
Goetsch & Didak

[Goetsch]
    >When I first saw Animagic's proposal for a 'designers'
    >toolkit' (see Listings: Conferences and Resources) I was struck not
    >so much by its obvious usefulness to scene and lighting designers
    >but to its potential as a tool for teaching and research in ancient
    >theater.

[Didak]
    The above idea gave us the idea to extend the basic features list of
    the toolkit to include more features dedicated to 'overall view'. Meaning
    that you can move around stage props, parts, etc.

[Goetsch]
    > Practitioners of the Greek and Roman performing arts work
    >primarily with simulation, speculation, and reconstruction, given
    >that the evidence of performances in antiquity is so fragmentary. The
    >two-dimensional models and archaeological plans which are
    >currently used by lecturers are often visually confusing--though not
    >as confusing as the extant remains of, say, the Theater of Dionysus
    >in Athens. And hypotheses about the operation of stage machinery
    >such as the crane and the *ekkyklema* have gone largely untested
    >due to the lack of funding for experimental building.

[Didak]
    One of most important uses of computer graphics is of course the
    simulation and visualization of subjects that can't be tested under
    normal circumstances due to (as you already stated) lack of funding.
    There are numerous cases in our field where computer graphics have
    convinced prospective investors to make funds available for
    projects. The simulations done (for offshore companies mainly)
    showed new ideas for construction vessels in both global and high
    detail. The designs we made then were exported to another file format
    and processed by another company which specialized in structural analysis.
    This company then tested the stress factors on the design and
    construction to see if it was a safe design (by standards set for
    that industry) and if it was viable from a builders viewpoint.
    I could see the same thing happening for reconstructing ancient
    theater.

[Goetsch]
    >'High-quality professional 3D animations with support for file
    >exchange with systems like AutoCAD' could change all that.

[Didak]
    True. And the AutoCAD format is one of the best-supported industry
    standards for file exchange when it comes to 2D and 3D models.

[Goetsch]
    >We could input the (hypothetical) dimensions of the TDA and create a
    >three-dimensional model which we could rotate to show the actors'
    >and audience's perspectives and test the sight-lines of different
    >positions in the *cavea*. We could re-create the original logistics
    >of choral performance.

[Didak]
    This is one of the features we will not be implementing in the
    toolkit since the packages such as AutoCAD and 3D Studio already
    have provisions for them.

[Goetsch]
    > If the Toolkit incorporates sound,
    >we could synthesize *aulos*-music and its interaction with the
    >acoustic properties of the space.

[Didak]
    There is no way we could add sound to the toolkit.






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