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Posts from the ‘Technology’ Category


eLearning and 3D Animation Technology will Revolutionize Education

Race to Nowhere movie dvdWaiting for Superman movie

Last week my son’s middle school hosted an event to watch and discuss Race to Nowhere, a documentary about America’s broken education system. In a similar fashion to Waiting for Superman, Race to Nowhere points out the painful reality that despite epic funding and marathons of standardized testing, we have become unsuccessful at preparing our children with a functional education allowing them to compete in a global economy as a population that is smart enough and skilled enough to remain the most innovative country in the world. But where Waiting for Superman largely places the blame for our unsuccessful education system on teachers and more specifically, the teacher’s union, Race to Nowhere investigates the methods the schools and parents are usinElg to teach and, in many cases, demotivate the development of our children.

The film is more about how we teach our kids than what we teach them. It raises fundamental questions about the purpose of school. Here are some of the key points that really got me thinking:

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How to Run an Effective Animation Studio (or any business for that matter)

I wrote this article way back in 2004 and recently stumbled across it again, probably when Googling my own name. My values and views on running a successful studio have changed very little in the past 10 years and I suspect that it is these core values that will make it likely for us to remain successful for another 10 years. Read moreRead more


Ghost Remote HD iPad App

Ghost Remote HD logoGhost Productions, Inc. has created Ghost Remote HD, an iPad App for the medical industry that allows users to find, organize, edit, arrange, present and securely distribute medical animations to any iPad on the planet.

This app will allow small, medium and even medical giants, like Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, to securely distribute animation and media files to their entire sales team ensuring that everyone has the most recent versions of marketing and training media. The app also provides editing capabilities and the opportunity to combine multiple animated movies into one high definition presentation playable on the iPad screen, on a HD television via the iPad’s HDMI cable, and even wirelessly broadcasted across AirPlay. Read moreRead more


3D Tech: Everything You Need to Know About the 3rd Dimension

Written by:  Stephan Kuslich
Founder & CEO of Ghost Productions


3D Stereoscopic Technology


3D projection has advanced well beyond the red-blue glasses of yesteryear. For an example of how this technology can enhance medical animation, click on the image to view our award-winning video HEAL in stereoscopic 3D.

They’ve been around for decades: 3D movies that have been giving audiences nominal  “fly off the screen” thrills via the iconic 3D glasses with the cardboard red and cyan lenses that trick the eyes into perceiving depth where none exists. Throughout the ages, Ghost Productions has had an interesting experience with various 3D technologies that range from static holographic printing to glasses-free auto-stereoscopic projectors. Only recently has the display technology advanced to the point where we’ve felt good enough about the quality of the output that we began offering this as a standard service to our clients.

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MN Maya Users Group

Written by:  Matthew Perrin
Resident Ghost Writer

The Autodesk Maya dragon logo, now ubiquitous, has come to signify both a robust 3D design suite and a powerful catalyst for creative imagination.

Opposite the commercial spectacle and international attention characteristic of SIGGRAPH conventions, localized software user groups offer visual effects designers opportunities for specialized education and interpersonal connection.  The Minnesota Maya Users Group is a perfect example.  Established over a decade ago for the purpose of sharing tips and techniques about the 3D design application, the group is currently co-administrated by Ghost Productions animator Sam Gannaway and Minneapolis Media Institute (MMI) Game Art & Animation program chairman Terry Stoeger.  While both men are veteran Maya users who have been involved with the group for some years now, Terry’s familiarity with the program harks back to a time when he once worked for Alias|Wavefront, the software developer that created Maya before both were purchased by Autodesk.  That kind of 3D pedigree comes with some serious credibility and is ample reason to seek out the collective wisdom and experience of the MN Maya Users Group.  An even better reason is that the group gatherings are completely free to attend and are typically held every other month.  You can get involved by joining their Google group and liking their Facebook page.

Want to know more about what happens at ghOst Productions?  Visit our homepage.


SIGGRAPH 2012 – Part II

Written by:  Matthew Perrin
Resident Ghost Writer


When last we left our two colleagues Jason Craft and Brian Thompson, they were preparing to board a plane heading for Los Angeles, California.  Now back at Ghost HQ, we grilled them about their graphic journey.  During our staff-wide debriefing, the talk turned tech-heavy real quick.  And although hearing about such things as physically-based shading techniques and cinematic color translation was intriguing to our industry interests, such discussions failed to properly portray the visual awe that SIGGRAPH so uniquely manifests.  The remedy: photos.  There proved no better way to stoke our imaginations and jealousies than being shown the wonders that our coworkers had experienced while the rest of us were busy working.  Join us in ogling some of the sights on parade at SIGGRAPH 2012… Read moreRead more


SIGGRAPH 2012 – Part I

Written by:  Matthew Perrin
Resident Ghost Writer


The Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and its Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques present SIGGRAPH 2012. Click on the image to learn more about this amazing event.

Do you ever find yourself gazing—as I often do—at your cell phone or computer and think: this is really…beautiful?  Everywhere you look, technology is aestheticized—intentionally designed to be beautiful.  As humans increasingly invent and interact with digital devices, designers and developers continually quest to beautify those devices.  The result of such efforts is something akin to a set of standard techno aesthetics that serve to visually define computer couture at any given moment in history.  Whether your tablet or laptop is designed in California or South Korea, you can expect it to feature a “futuristic” blend of sleek lines, polymers, and metals. But since many digital devices these days look similar, one might wonder where standard techno aesthetics originate.  The simple answer: SIGGRAPH.  Although the history of the acronym itself is complex, the organization responsible for its creation describes SIGGRAPH as an “international conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques.”  This annual convergence of artists, designers, scientists, and educators (currently expected to exceed 20,000 participants), is now in its 39th year and begins on Sunday in Los Angeles, California.  More than simply a meeting of minds, the ideas and inspirations that coalesce and disperse at this gathering profoundly impact the appearance and appeal of the gadgets and games that we encounter each day. Read moreRead more


Render Reflections #1

Written by:  Matthew Perrin
Resident Ghost Writer


What is art?  Are there certain criteria or rules that an object must meet in order to be considered art?  Very often it seems that art is treated as insular and paradoxical: we devote special instruction to its creation, erect impressive buildings for its display, and spend vast fortunes on its attainment.  And yet, the representation of objective beauty is as elusive as it is alluring.  What one observer may consider to be “whimsical” or “immature” may be deemed “innovative” or “iconoclastic” by a different observer. Read moreRead more


POrtal: Viral Velocity

…for immediate release…

St. Paul, MN – June 11th, 2012 was a typical Monday at the office of Ghost Productions.  But once business hours ended, and employees trickled out the door, something phenomenal occurred.  After more than a year in development—involving countless hours of tinkering with software, recording and editing scenes, and testing the limits of individual imagination—a concept was realized, a vision was unveiled, and several portals were opened.  On this otherwise quiet evening, our Lead Compositor Jason Craft posted a three-and-a-half minute video to the hosting service Vimeo… Read moreRead more


Oh SNaP! A Video – Part II

Written by:  Matthew Perrin
Resident Ghost Writer


Come one, come all.  For those readers just joining us, welcome!  We begin this post by returning to our previous week’s discussion of the technical travails involved in our recent SNaP character project.  But before we do so, let’s give that video another view…

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