Intel has announced the start of Mass Animation, a collaborative, worldwide effort to produce a computer-generated animated short film for theatrical release. Artists are invited to animate the shots of a 5-minute, CGI-animated short film titled "Live Music," which is produced and directed by Yair Landau, former president of Sony Pictures Digital. The collaboration, through a unique application built on the Facebook Platform, will run through January 30, 2009.
"Live Music" is inspired by Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and early CGI films. Set in a musical instrument store, the story follows Riff, a rock 'n' roll guitar, who, as Landau describes it, "falls in love to the wrong song but ends up with Vanessa, the classical violin of his dreams." The story is conveyed through the universal language of music, allowing the expressions and actions of the characters to be instantly relatable globally. The instruments are brought to life through original compositions and familiar rock tunes played principally by guitarist Steve Vai as Riff and violinist Ann Marie Calhoun as Vanessa.
The tools and 3-D models that animators will need to collaborate on this project including a limited duration version of Autodesk Maya 3D Animation software are provided, and can be accessed through the Mass Animation application on Facebook built by Aniboom.
Dell will be awarding a Dell Studio XPS* desktop PC powered by an Intel Core i7 processor to animators whose creation is rated the best by the community on a weekly basis. An international jury of animation experts will select the shots to be considered for the film. As director, Landau will have the final say as to which submissions make the final cut. Animators whose work makes it into the finished product will receive on-screen credit and US$500 in compensation.