Friday, March 17, 2006
When the American Museum of Natural History wanted to create a digital walking Tyrannosaurus rex for a new dinosaur exhibit, it turned to dinosaur locomotion experts John Hutchinson and Stephen Gatesy for guidance.
The pair found the process humbling.
With powerful computers and sophisticated modeling software, animators can take a pile of digital bones and move them in any way they want. This part is easy; but choosing the most likely motion from the myriad of possibilities proved difficult.
'We kind of took a step back and said 'Whoa, boy! Limbs are very complicated.' We can't just take a limb, connect the bones together and figure out how the animal moved,' Hutchinson told LiveScience. 'It's absolutely impossible.'