Cassiopéia


Cassiopéia

Infobox Film
name = Cassiopéia

|thumb|150px
caption = DVD cover for "Cassiopéia".
director = Clóvis Veira
producer = Nello de'Rossi
writer = Aloisio Castro
José Feliciano
Robin Geld
Clóvis Vieira
starring = Osmar Prado
Jonas Mello
Aldo César
Marcelo Campos
Cassius Romero
Rosa Maria Barolli
music = Vicente Sálvia
editing = Marc de'Rossi
distributor = NDR Filmes
released = April 1, 1996 (Brazil)
runtime = 80 minutes
country = Brazil
language = Portuguese
budget = US$ 1.5 million
imdb_id = 0136748

"Cassiopéia" is a Brazilian CGI animated feature film produced and released by NDR Filmes in Brazil on April 1, 1996. It was the first computer-animated film ever (which means it was made entirely from scratch, without external image scanning, real model vectoring or any other techniquescite web|url= http://www.mci.org.br/historia/cassiopeia/cassiopeia.html|title= Cassiopéia|accessdate= 2007-03-16] ). The story is about a planet named Atenéia, located in the constellation of Cassiopeia, which is one day attacked by space invaders who begin to drain its vital energy. A distress signal is sent into outer space by the local astronomer, Liza, and received by four heroes who travel across the galaxy to the rescue.

Plot

"Cassiopeia" features a simple and somewhat naive plot aimed mainly for children; however, the fact it was a computer animated film also drew attention from adults as well.

The main characters are four humanoids: Chip, Chop, Feel and Thot who venture through the galaxy facing many dangers as they try to rescue the planet of Atenéia. Each of the heroes have specific functions in their spaceship: Chop is the captain and pilot, Feel and Thot monitor the space, and Chip is the gunman, working also as comic relief. Liza is an astronomer in Atenéia's main lab, working on all of the scientific details of the planet's life. On the way to defeat the evil forces of Shadowseat, the foursome meet Leonardo, a scientist from an undeveloped planet who creates crazy gadgets.

Development

The production, which took four years, started in January 1992 with environment and character modeling and the creation of the script. In January 1993 the animation began. The image generation work was completed on August, 1995. The soundtrack was finished in December 1995, and the first copy was printed in January 1996.

The software used was Topas Animator, by producer Crystal Graphics, running on 17 486 DX2-66 computers, which were already slow at the time, and the process proved to be quite time-consuming. The first character model was made on a 20 MHz 386 SX. Cassiopéia had a team composed by seven computer animators, three traditional animators (who served as consultants and directors of animation) and some other people doing freelance work.

Controversy

There is still debate about which was the first CG movie, "Cassiopéia" or "Toy Story". When Disney came to know that Cassiopéia was in production, it was already halfway completed.cite web|url= http://www.mci.org.br/historia/cassiopeia/cassiopeia.html|title= Cassiopéia|accessdate= 2007-05-10] At the time, Disney was abandoning the idea of use CG imagery in film cite web|url= http://lowendmac.com/orchard/06/0123.html|title= Low End Mac|accessdate= 2007-05-10] since "Tron", the company's first attempt, had an unsatisfatory critical reception from the public. However, the controversy concerns the fact that Pixar Studios made the heads of the main characters from clay sculptures that were digitized with a Polhemus 3D wandcite web|url=http://www.silicon-valley.siggraph.org/MeetingNotes/ToyStory.html|title= Toy Story at Silicon Valley ACM Siggraph|accessdate= 2007-03-17] ), thus excluding its status as a totally computer-generated movie, while "Cassiopéia" was made from non-physical models and created entirely in a virtual environment, from the modeling to the texturing. However, this does not preclude it from being the first "CGI" movie released. This difference between both films is defended by Brazilian animators who consider "Cassiopéia" as the first CG movie, even being released a few months after "Toy Story".

Voice cast

Awards

Crystal Graphics
* Won - Best Animated Feature

Trivia

*The software used for the animation and modeling, Topas Animator, was already obsolete at the time of production.
*The characters and scenes were made from basic geometric shapes like spheres, cubes and cylinders.
*The rendering was made with a net of 486 PCs. In the last months of production, the computers were stolen, which delayed the production even more.
*A sequel, entitled "Cassiopéia 2" was stated as "in production" using top-of-the-line equipment and 3ds Max as main software, but the project has been apparently discontinued as of 2002.

ee also

* "Toy Story"
* List of animated feature-length films
* List of computer-animated films

References

External links

* [http://www.mci.org.br/historia/cassiopeia/cassiopeia.html MCI - Museu da Computação e Informática] pt icon
* [http://www.adorocinema.com.br/filmes/cassiopeia/cassiopeia.asp#Imagens Some pictures from Cassiopéia] pt icon


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