Aired: November 27, 2010

Seeing the Bigger Picture

In the late 19th century, the art of creating visual effects for film began with frame by frame animations of moving pictures.  Now, effects-men like Matt Wallin (Virginia Commonwealth University) are creating life-like icons in movies like King Kong, Jurassic Park 2, and Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace.  Wallin tells us about his visual effects work and what it was like to be a stormtrooper for a new scene in Star WarsAlso featured: Teenagers are in constant contact with each other through texting or on sites like Facebook. But there is a downside. Linda Waldron (Christopher Newport University) says there has been a dramatic increase in cyber-bullying with sometimes tragic consequences.  And also: Imagine a desktop printer that produces tennis shoes, chocolate Rotundas and even helps design a rocket. Glen Bull (University of Virginia) is introducing a machine called a digital fabricator into the classroom. It’s a cutting edge technology teaching tool that forms actual three-dimensional objects from designs created by students.

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