If you tune into late-night TV, you've probably caught a cartoon version of U.S. President Donald Trump on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The cartoon was created by the Late Show's lead animator Tim Luecke and senior digital producer and writer Rob Dubbin. But the animation itself was made possible with Adobe’s Character Animator software – software that integrated research by Assisatnt Professor Alec Jacobson.
“Real-time character animation – almost like puppeteering – is the kind of thing our research is enabling that couldn’t be done in the past,” says Jacobson.
Traditionally, he says, animating a character is extremely tedious because the artist has to painstakingly set the pose of each character for each frame or every few frames. Seconds of film may require hours and hours of work.
“My research also looks at reducing the workload of the individual artist and so this culminates in some new and exciting ways of controlling characters.”
Jacobson is a recent recipient of the Eurographics Young Researcher Award, which the European Association for Computer Graphics awards to two young researchers who have made a significant contribution to the graphics field.
U of T's Nina Haikara talked with Jacobson about his work in computer graphics and Cartoon Donald Trump.
Read the Q&A with Jacobson at U of T News