Zoe Leonard, 24 Nov 2020
Congratulations to CDE RE Simone Barbieri for successfully defending his thesis “Unified Animation Pipeline for 2D and 3D Content” on 10th November 2020. Our congratulations also go to his supervisory team, Dr. Xiaosong Yang (Bournemouth University), Dr. Zhidong Xiao (Bournemouth University), Ben Cawthorne (Thud Media). Here Simone explains a little more about his research and his EngD experience.
Outline of research
The research consists of two main parts. The first one is the generation of 3D characters and animations from existing 2D drawings. The second is a unified animation pipeline for animation production and videogames. Find out more about Simone, his research and outputs here.
My research project has been carried out in cooperation between two companies: Thud Media and Cloth Cat Animation. Cloth Cat produces animated series, both 2D and 3D, while Thud Media deals with interactive experiences, such as videogames, applications and websites.
My experience with both companies has been very positive. I had never worked in the animation industry before, so the experience brought me to a better understanding of how exactly this industry operates.
Moreover, I'm satisfied with how the project evolved over time. Starting to employ 2D character in VR, the project ended up in the generation of 3D characters from drawings and state of the art pipeline for animation production, which is now in testing and will be employed next year.
As this project is part of an Engineering Doctorate, together with the contribution to knowledge, it needs to provide impact in the industry. Not only the research must be beneficial to the companies that contributed to the project, but it also has to push the industry forward. The impact is achieved in particular with the unified animation pipeline. This, in fact, provides an important advantage during the production of animation. The real-time rendering provided by the pipeline, thanks to the employment of a game engine, offers significant economic and time saving, allowing the filmmakers to preview the scenes they're working on instantly and very close to the final product in terms of visual quality.
How are you feeling now you have defended your thesis?
Relieved! The latest year has been particularly stressful. I needed to continue working on it in the fifth year, so I had to work on the thesis in my free time, and that, combined with quarantine, wasn't a good combo! The Viva itself was a nice experience though, I wasn't sure of what to expect, and I was a bit anxious, but instead, it carried out as a very pleasant discussion about the thesis, explaining why I did some things in a particular way. I enjoyed it!
What are your plans for the future?
The companies I worked with during the EngD have been very invested in the project, so, as they plan to keep developing it, I will continue working with them! I really enjoyed working on this project, so I'm glad I can keep working on it.
We wish Simone every success in his future.