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BBC Schools bring cinema to class

Virtual reality teenagers and widescreen CD-ROMs herald a new high-tech era in BBC Schools programming....
February 1, 1996

Virtual reality teenagers and widescreen CD-ROMs herald a new high-tech era in BBC Schools programming.

A schools series of 10 x 15 minute, French-language dramas is the first to be shot on widescreen.

‘It means we can bring cinema into the classroom,’ says director Luis Espana, who believes the feature-film feel attracts the attention of reluctant students. The series will also be the first from BBC Schools to be supported by a CD-ROM, to test demand for the medium.

Meanwhile, a German-language series, Hallo aus Berlin, aimed at 12 to 13 year olds, features two computer generated teenage characters who live in their own 3-D world.

Developed using motion-capture techniques by independent producers Baxter Hobbins Sides, the animated characters are produced by mapping the movements of actors wearing sensor-equipped suits.

Real-time animated wire-frame figures are then created via a 3-D computer animation system. Skin is then added to the figures and real lip movements recorded against blue-screen are added.

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