Thursday, September 22, 2011

Case Study: Bringing Lincoln to Life

Bringing Lincoln to Life in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

The hit family film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian has been described as ingenious for bringing to life many famous art and sculpture pieces and animating ‘monumental’ figures in our nation’s capital.

At Direct Dimensions, we had a small part to play in supplying pieces of data and graphics necessary to bring the Lincoln Memorial to life.

In one of the movie’s most inventive scenes, the statue of Abe Lincoln seated within the Lincoln Memorial stands up and walks out of the Memorial and onto the National Mall. After being contacted by Rhythm and Hues Studios, our team re-purposed 3D scans of the Lincoln Memorial already stored in our files to provide this essential digital information to the Oscar Award-winning visual effects studio in the form of a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) model.

Rhythm and Hues Studios then enhanced the digital information with animation for the Abe that is seen and voiced by Hank Azaria within the film.

Direct Dimensions originally scanned the Lincoln Memorial at the request of the U. S. Government in 2001 – just after September 11th – to understand how significant cultural monuments could be reproduced, if necessary. Since then we have captured many other National Monuments including the Liberty Bell and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier but the Lincoln Memorial is the first that ended up in a movie.